RYALS Pens A Letter To ’16-Year-Old Me’ On How To Deal With Heartache & Emotions In ‘Forward’

If you could share all that you knew TODAY with who you were yesterday, what would it sound like? For RYALS, the sensational singer-songwriter, it would sound like this invigorating dance-pop bop.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
View gallery
Image Credit: RIYALS

RYALS doesn’t have time to look back in anger. “I ain’t gonna lie / I’ve been losing my mind, you’re right / trying to keep it cool / but after the day, comes the night,” he sings at the start of “Forward,” his new song (premiering here on HollywoodLife.) Like how the rays of a streetlight dance in the waters collected in a city street pothole after a car speeds by, “Forward” vibrates and gyrates like a seductive dance. RYALS‘ voice seems almost otherworldly against the dark, dance-inspired track. “Forward,” as the title implies, is all about momentum. It’s about moving past the heartache of today to find satisfaction and relief in the night.

The dark vibe of the “Forward” stems from a dark moment in the RYAL’s life. “I wrote ‘Forward’ for 16-years-old me,” the Ukraine-born, New York-based singer shares with HollywoodLife. “Having my heart broken for the first time, and keeping all the feelings and emotions to myself, while having to play it cool, act straight and not knowing if the situation is ever gonna change.” RYALS says this moment “led me to a year of depression and having suicidal thoughts as a resolution for all the problems. Being scared to be thrown away from home if I say anything to my parents or to lose friends if they ever find out that I’m gay. I was locking myself in the bathroom, turning on the water, so no one heard me cry, and on my knees, I was almost suffocating from those ’emotional attacks,’ if it’s still not a thing [that] it should be.”


“It was getting worse day by day, month by month until I couldn’t even recognize the reflection of me that I saw in the mirror,” adds RYALS. “It was the day when I feared that my life was really ending. And that was the day I had decided to turn my life around. And learn how to control what I can control and be okay with what I can’t. That’s where my healing process began, where transformation started. And let me tell you, it never ends.”

“Life is like a river,” he shares with HollywoodLife and any young LGBTQ+ listeners that are going through their own moments of emotional stress. “It’s never going to be the same. You learn how to adjust to the new waters every day. Sometimes you relax and enjoy, sometimes you fighting for your life, sometimes all you can do is just try to stay afloat. But no matter what situation you are in right now – it will change. Everything does. It just takes a little time. Believe in yourself, have dreams, believe in those dreams, and don’t you ever, EVER lose hope. You just keep moving it forward.”


“Forward” comes from RYAL’s upcoming EP of the same name. Forward will detail RYAL’s life story – growing up in a society that didn’t accept him as an openly gay man, the struggles of immigrating to a new country, the confusion over establishing himself as a man, and the unimaginable pain of losing his mother to addiction. The project, expected in Fall 2021, aims to take this promising and dynamic new singer to the next level, establishing him as a stunning unique voice in the pop landscape.