Founded deep in the hills of Laurel Canyon by Ryan Gruss in 2021, Yurt Rock is the number one destination for musical creation featuring the world's greatest musicians. Here's the story of how it all started.
Ryan's journey in the music business began after graduating from The Berklee College of Music in 2000 with a degree in Musical Performance for Drums, and then moving to New York City to begin his "career" in the real world. He applied for a job at Atlantic Records and he soon found himself at their headquarters, spending his first week filling in for employees and answering phones in different divisions of the company, including the marketing and legal departments. One of those phone calls was from a female asking to speak with the President. Ryan asked for her name and she said, "tell him it's Jewel". "Jewel...?" Ryan asked, trying to get a last name before transferring the call. "Yes. JEWEL", she sternly responded. Ryan was not aware that she was on Atlantic, and not a fan. Apparently, the feeling was mutual. But the story goes on...
It was during his second week at Atlantic when Ryan was approached by the HR department, asking if he was interested in becoming Ahmet Erteguns' (the legendary Founder and CEO of Atlantic) assistant. His mind was blown and he instantly accepted the position.
This began a mentorship between Ryan and Ahmet, helping him with everything from listening to demos from potential artists and taking notes, to arranging meetings with current and former Atlantic acts like Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, and Robert Plant. The executive office suite was unlike anything Ryan had seen before. There was a private chef (this was in a time when major labels were still flush with cash) who would prepare anything you wanted, and Ahmet's office, bigger than most NYC apartments, was literally a museum of music history memorabilia. Ryan suddenly had a front row seat at the top of one of the most influential labels in the world, eating lots of free Foie gras, and the experience would provide the perfect springboard into the music industry. Little did he know, that springboard would soon shatter into pieces.
After leaving Atlantic Records in 2004, Ryan joined an up and coming indie rock band called The Rinse as their drummer. The band was quickly signed to a management deal by legendary producer/manager Peter Asher. Ryan was suddenly on the other side of the music world, now pursuing a career as a professional drummer. Crazy things were about to happen. Like that one night in San Fransisco with Robin Williams...
The band toured the US and UK, opening up for bands like Maroon 5 and playing to bigger and bigger audiences. However, the music industry was suddenly in a financial crisis, with streaming and digital downloads crushing the revenue of all of the major labels. The music industry was falling apart and Ryan was right in the middle. After 4 years of playing with The Rinse and a deal with Columbia Records vanishing into thin air, Ryan decided to change career paths and began working in the Digital Asset Management world, designing and operating digital distribution platforms for companies like Nickelodeon and Revlon.
A job offer from the innovation firm Continuum brought Ryan back to Boston in 2008. Finally, with a decent salary, Ryan and his wife moved into a house with a basement that had room for a studio (this was never possible when living in a tiny apartment in NYC). In 2009, Ryan started a blog where he would come home from lunch everyday and record a multitrack drum loop in Logic. In the evenings, he would then write a blog post detailing the inspiration behind each groove, and post the Logic Sessions as free downloads.
It was when music tech blog, Create Digital Music, featured an article about the Logic Sessions, that Ryan suddenly found himself back in the music industry, this time as a producer for producers, creating loops that captured a more "human" feel than anything else out there.
In 2010, Ryan launched The Loop Loft and began recording other musicians and treating it like a record label, providing the artists with royalties from the sales of each loop pack. Word began to spread amongst the studio musician community, and a roster of legendary musicians like Omar Hakim, Joey Waronker, Matt Chamberlain began to form and quickly grow.
For the next 8 years, Ryan continued to organically build The Loop Loft, adding more artists and content on a weekly basis. Partnerships with companies like Ableton, Native Instruments, BandLab and PreSonus were formed. Guitar Center also began to sell products from The Loop Loft. The company was now the top-selling source for loop and samples, generating millions of dollars of revenue each year. It was a career and a company that Ryan had never dreamed of or anticipated, but he had finally found his musical North Star.
It was in 2018 that Native Instruments approached Ryan about acquiring The Loop Loft. It was this acquisition that brought Ryan to Los Angeles, where he moved to Laurel Canyon and became the head of sound content at Native Instruments, creating products like Butch Vig Drums and producing other instruments and effects with artists like Daru Jones, Eric Krasno, and Jesse Carmichael.
Ryan left Native Instruments in 2020 and formed Yurt Rock, literally inside of his Yurt studio in the hills of LA. But with the COVID pandemic grinding studio work to a halt, Ryan decided take the time and move his family to Nashville, a place that many consider the music capitol of the world. It was time for a fresh start.
Ryan immersed himself into the Nashville Studio scene, and soon began producing the top session musicians in town including Rich Redmond, Marcus Finnie and again joining forces with Daru Jones, who had also recently relocated to Nashville to join Jack White's band.
With dozens of the world's top musicians, Yurt Rock has quickly become the ultimate source for producers, engineers and songwriters seeking not only loops and samples, but also custom BATTERY/MASCHINE kits, Ableton Live Packs, Logic Sessions, multitracks and much more.
It's been a wild ride over the past 22 years for Ryan, going from working at Atlantic Records, to touring the world as a drummer, leaving the music industry and then coming back in through an unexpected side door, being a producer for producers.
What does the next 22 years hold? Plenty of exciting collaborations and productions with more legendary artists, custom plug-ins and a new music platform, all designed to improve the workflow and inspire music makers around the world.
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