WHEN YOU'RE A music artist with a background in PR and event planning, you throw the perfect listening party. Earlier this week, Ryan O. Harris, who is such an artist with just such a background, premiered a curated playlist of his upcoming EP, Vanilla Sky, at a private event on the second floor or Montrose's AvantGarden.
To set the mood for his "summer playlist," Harris enlisted sponsors including Highway Vodka, and, over by the DJ booth, hemp sorbet from Hemp Ice Factory was served, as were pastries and candy from Black Print Edibles.
The setting and refreshments were meant to match Harris' mellow, amicable sound, which asked for minimal movement and maximum chill. To round out the vibe, Harris asked for a '90s dress code. "Summer comes with a sense of nostalgia that rarely is allowed to melt into itself," explains Harris. "We can't go back, but we should always be able to glide into memories that makes us laugh, smile, cry and even learn."
Harris' music is deeply personal, and seems to flow easily from his personality. "Firefly," a free-flowing track that evokes backyard hangouts at twilight, is "a nod to when I erupted into my 30s and felt not only empowered, but prepared to execute my power to build what I wanted," says Harris. Another playlist highlight was "Light Up the Night," a song that Harris wrote around a track that was sent to him a decade ago by a friend who recently passed.
While Harris' music stands on its own — outside the context of a cool hidden Montrose bar surrounded by the beautiful people of Houston — it certainly was enhanced by the trappings of Harris' party. "I come from an entertainment PR and special events background, so I believe that the love is in the details," he says. "A good party is never about one person. It's about the collective not wanting the party to end."
Vanilla Sky will be available for streaming on all platforms beginning July 16.
Courtney Nao and AJ McQueen (photo by Gemini Quintos)
DJ Skrechy Shrach (photo by Gemini Quintos)
Adee Mendéz and Mya Rose (photo by Gemini Quitos)
Bryce McKinney and Aaron Spady (photo by Gemini Quintos)
Ryan O. Harris and Travis Jones (photo by Gemini Quintos)