Ryan Barquilla is a bit of a chameleon when it comes to the guitar. Being able to play in many different styles such as rock, blues, jazz, reggae, funk and fingerstyle, Ryan is able to adapt to whatever musical situation presents itself. He has played guitar for Little Mix, Ms Dynamite, Javine, Donaeo and Four Kornerz to name a few.
Ryan’s musical journey began at about 8 years old when he started taking piano lessons. It was soon clear he had a knack for the instrument. But it was when he started learning to play the guitar at the age of 12 that he knew music would be more than just a hobby.
Inspired at this young age by his uncle, Ryan began learning songs by ear – a skill that would develop into an invaluable tool – such as working out the solos to ‘Sultans of Swing’ (by Dire Straits) at the age of 15. Despite learning the guitar to play rock music, Ryan developed an appreciation for other styles of music. In an environment where lots of people like lots of music it was a great way to be exposed to the beautiful diversity of musical styles including jazz, gospel, latin and even metal. It was at this time when he joined the Revelation Gospel Choir (who went on to reach the finals of the BBC’s Last Choir Standing in 2008) on guitar and sometimes even vocals.
Ryan would go on to enrol at the Institute for Contemporary Music Performance (IMCP, formerly The Guitar Institute). After only a few weeks, he would start plans for a Christmas gig at the local music venue trying to involve as many of his fellow students as were interested. This was his first taste of organising musical events and collaborating with other musicians on a professional level. He went on to get a Distinction (1st class) on the diploma course and then a 2:1 on the Music Performance degree.
At the ICMP, Ryan became one of the first call musicians and was specifically chosen by producer Yak Bondy (S-Club 7, Blue) to play on Amy Studt’s album ‘False Smiles’. Since then, Ryan has formed a number of bands including his originals project named Spiral Compass where he is the songwriter, singer and guitarist.
Ryan is based in London and also enjoys the odd magic trick and has a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.