Rising country singer/songwriter and The Voice alum Ricky Duran has revealed exclusively with Sounds Like Nashville that his next single is a song called “Selfish Love.” The track, set to be released in the coming weeks, tells the personal story of Duran’s “move from Massachusetts to Austin, Texas.”
“At the time I had to make a difficult decision based on what was best for my career. Leaving the security of my family, friends, and paid shows in Worcester was tough, but I knew I had to do it in order for me to feel fulfilled,” Duran shares with Sounds Like Nashville exclusively.
“This song is about taking a huge chance on yourself. This industry is a tough one where if you want to be moving forward, you always have to be available to move and sometimes that decision can seem selfish to the person you are in a relationship with and can make you feel awful,” he reflects. “But there’s also something really freeing about hitting the road with nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
In December 2020, Duran released his heart-rending ballad, “She Closed Her Eyes.” The autobiographical tune, penned solely by Duran, pays tribute to his late mother, Odette Duran, who passed away from cancer two years ago.
“She gave me her hand / Told me to love again / Said son live the best life / A life that you can / I promised I’d try / Said you don’t have to worry / Then mama closed her eyes / Yeah mama closed her eyes,” sings The Voice’s season 17 runner-up in a verse. Sonically, “She Closed Her Eyes” also showcases Duran’s raspy yet velvety soulful vocals, reminiscent of acts like Chris Stapleton and Anderson East.
Sounds Like Nashville also got to speak with Duran recently about “She Closed Her Eyes,” shooting the personal music video, his late mother’s advice to him and what’s next in 2021. Check out what he has to say below!
SLN: Can you tell us the story behind “She Closed Her Eyes”?
I started writing “She Closed Her Eyes’ about two years ago. My mom had just passed away after a long battle with cancer. I was devastated. At the time I was trying to stay positive, it’s tough to see any light after being beaten down by a loss like that. The verses to this song came out pretty instantaneously when I sat down to write it. I think they emotionally capture exactly how I was feeling at the time. But I thought it was important to include another emotional aspect besides just a memory and the pain of losing someone. I wanted people to hear this song and connect with it and come out more resilient. There’s something to be said about taking a loss and being able to get back up and continue on your own path.
SLN: The fan response to the track brought the track to the Number One spot on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. What does it mean to you to have a song resonate that way?
I was so honored to see this song hit Number One 1 on the iTunes Singer/ Songwriter charts. Especially a song this close to me. I feel like I took a risk with this song because it’s so personal to me and if it didn’t resonate with my fans I would have been let down. I’ve received so many messages from fans sharing their own personal stories of loss and hardship and how this song is helping them through it. That alone is more gratifying to me than seeing my song chart.
SLN: The video for this track is obviously very important to you as it was filmed at your mom’s home. Can you talk about why that was the perfect location to film?
I knew the music video needed to show my personal connection to the song. That’s why I decided to fly up to my mom’s old house in Massachusetts. I have so many memories there, and I felt like it was the most appropriate location for the video. My favorite part of the video is always gonna be the spliced up home video footage. It gives almost a “The Wonder Years” feel for me, and I think it really hits home and creates some sort of nostalgia that most people can relate to.
SLN: Did your mom ever offer any advice in pursuing a musical career? What’s something she told you that you took to heart and remember to this day?
My mom was always supportive of my interest in music. The last couple years of her life were tough. I had planned on moving to pursue my music career in Austin, Texas. But [with] my mother’s condition, I just couldn’t leave her. She knew what I had to do and encouraged me to move and continue with my music career after she passed. One of the last things she said to me was “live the best life that you can” which is part of the lyrics to “She Closed Her Eyes.” I think when things get real for people, we start seeing what actually matters in life. I’m not after music for quick fame and fortune. I’ve been doing this for a bigger picture. I just want to do what makes me happy and fulfilled.
SLN: You’ve been working hard on new music – what can fans expect from the new EP?
I’m beyond excited to release my EP later this year. I’ve been in the studio tirelessly working on these tracks. I can’t wait for my fans to hear what I’ve been up to. Fans can expect some deep rooted emotional tracks and some feel good songs decorated with some raging blues solos. I’m excited to get some feedback upon its release.
While you wait for “Selfish Love” to release next month, check out “She Closed Her Eyes” above, and other releases from Duran below.