Born in the rural Devonshire town of Totnes, British singer/songwriter Ryan Keen's warm, acoustic sound drew instant comparisons to contemporaries Ben Howard and Ed Sheeran. He initially pursued a career in other parts of the industry and enrolled at Westminster University to study Commercial Music. Here things changed drastically after the death of his friend and fellow student in the final year of his course. The sudden nature of this loss shocked Keen, but it eventually became the catalyst that drove him to begin writing music. He partnered with producer Josh Friend of Modestep and self-released an EP in early 2010, and later that year won a competition that took him to the 2011 industry showcase SXSW in Texas. The following year Keen was invited on tour with up-and-coming songwriter Ed Sheeran, but was dealt a horrific blow when he severed tendons in his right hand in the lead-up to the dates. Against all odds he, along with his physiotherapist, managed to mould a cast that allowed him to play guitar and subsequently he went on to complete the tour with Sheeran. His continued fight and determination saw him regain full movement in his injured hand and he went on to duet with Newton Faulkner, support Leona Lewis at the Royal Albert Hall, and embark on a nationwide headline tour in 2012. His self-funded and recorded debut album Room For Light arrived in 2013. ~ Scott Kerr
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