Ryan Gonzales aka Gonzo was born and raised in South Bay, Los Angeles, California. He first began singing when he was a child and at age fifteen, he started playing the guitar. Listening to motown, classic rock, oldies, salsa, r&b, and soul growing up, Gonzo’s music base was introduced by his father. “My father gave me a good music foundation as well as inspiration to become a music artist,” says Gonzo. As well as his father’s interest in the music scene, watching his friend’s band in high school perform is what inspired his to pursue a music career. The type of music Gonzo creates, he describes as “roots reggae trance.”
In July 1st, 2011, Gonzo released his first album, ‘Irie State of Mind,’ with Fortunate Youth. With Fortunate Youth he is also credited with two national tours, both in 2011, where they supported Tribal Seeds and a tour promoting their single, “One Love.” “Being with Fortunate Youth was such a success and learning experience, I was able to accomplish every goal we made as a band” says Gonzo.
In 2012, Ryan Gonzo began working on his first solo album as an independent artist. The album ‘Rocksteady,’ with its release on December 25th, 2012, showcases his hard work and creativity. ‘Rocksteady’ was described as being a “soulful sensation” and he has been called the “Sade of Reggae” by E.N Young, the producer of the album at Imperial Sound Recording Studio. ‘Rocksteady’ brings everything from island vibes to roots reggae. When asked about the major inspirations on the album, Gonzo replied “really being myself and not having any limitations to my writing inspired me to do an album, as well as all the music I've been listening to. I give most of my inspirational credit to Rick Haze because without him I probably would not have had my fire fueled and come out of my shell. When I got in the studio and recorded "Choices" and "Dub in the kitchen," I realize I needed to get back at it.” This debut solo album has opened the doors for much more to come and has given Gonzo the tools for the next album.
In October of 2012, Gonzo joined the band Beyond I Sight. Roots in Peace, a studio company that consists of two of the members, were involved in the creation of two songs off ‘Rocksteady.’ With the cd release/debut show on January 12th, 2013, this collaboration brings exciting new music to the scene. There are many album releases and national tours being projected for the future.
Gonzo has had the honor to share the stage with bands such as Groundation, Toots & The Maytals, The Green, The Wailers, Rebelution, Iration, Pepper, The Dirty Heads, Natural Vibrations, and Tomorrows Bad Seeds.