When Ryan Fine graduated from University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music and moved to Nashville to pursue his dreams, he had no idea he'd be releasing his debut EP during a pandemic.
"This is such a weird time to be a musician," Fine said. "As soon as it happened, I lost all my regular work playing as a performing musician."
To make ends meet during the pandemic, Fine founded Fine-Tuned Custom Songs. Starting at $50, Fine crafts custom songs for clients who provide the details.
"It's been keeping me safe from other people but also I've been working on my craft," Fine said during his WCPO Lounge Acts performance.
Fine says he has written over 150 custom songs so far.
But Fine has not abandoned his own voice. His debut EP, "Square One," is out today. The four-song EP is somewhat of a concept album that chronicles the life cycle of young love through bad dates, budding relationships, and heartbreak.
Soaked in pop sensibility, Fine says the EP was inspired from his own experiences.
"'Square One' was literally an idea I had the same night as a horrible date I went on" Fine said.
While his EP presents a feel-good pop experience, Fine showed off his more nuanced performance skills for his stripped-down solo performance for WCPO Lounge Acts.
Outside on the patio at Northside Yacht Club, Fine performed all four songs from his EP and discussed his experiences as a young musician during the pandemic.