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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 21, 2023

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Musician holds song writing close

Ryan Sowers performed at Howard’s Club H in 2011.

He had a blue notebook filled with endless notes of ideas written on scraps of paper, the white space of old newspapers and anything he could get his hands on.

Now, three years and two turned-down contracts later, he is still using that same notebook.

During the singer/songwriter’s freshman year, he pursued the opportunity and headed to Nashville to record an album called “Contradictions.” After performing throughout Bowling Green once the record was finished, Sowers started to carry around a box filled with copies of his albums throughout his residence hall and to people in his hometown.

“We probably sold around 200 CD’s when I was just selling them [at the University],” Sowers said. “After I sold a few hundred CD’s my mom called me a couple of times and said ‘hey we keep getting letters from this company who want to sign you.’”

Bob Bender productions offered twice for Sowers to sign a contract, leading for Sowers and his music to be featured in commercials and movies. The artist remembers having a long talk with his mom before signing and thinking “it was all great, but then I had to stop myself and say ‘this is nuts.’”

“[Playing music] is an outlet and a way to tell my stories and my life and about my experiences,” Sowers said. “The music meant more to me than the money or the contract or anything. I wasn’t going to give up my memories, my story, my life for someone else.”

Sowers started playing shows for the spirituality group called Cru at the University as a freshman and met guitarist and Cru staff member Steve Rieske. The musician has seen Sowers perform throughout town many times.

“He’s more willing to write the song he wants to write and he knows how to write a song that people will enjoy,” Rieske said. “He writes creative songs and is a good performer.”

Aside from turning down fame, one of the greatest moments in his musical career was when he played “Hallelujah” at a memorial for the two Alpha Xi Delta students who died in a car accident in 2012.

“We played the song and it was really emotional for me,” Sowers said. “They knew my music was doing something bigger than me. It was providing closure, something that could help people.”

Singer/songwriter Cory Breth performed at a few of the same places Sowers did in Bowling Green and remembers the talent in Sowers. Breth said turning down contracts isn’t something that is easy.

“I think you just have to draw a line somewhere and that’s where his line was,” Breth said. “He just wanted to play to tell his story.”

Sowers is expecting to perform for Dance Marathon this year and for questions on purchasing his album “Contradictions,” students can email him at [email protected].

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