Ryan Socash, born in Illinois, USA in 1981, grew up in a time when “content creators” were simply referred to as “artists”, and it could be argued that his life took a similar trajectory; from an artist to a content creator.
Ryan’s passion for creativity was the key factor behind his decision to study photography at the Columbia College in Chicago. Photography, he felt, could be a perfect companion to his lifelong passion for music by supplementing sound with a strong visual message.
It was also at Columbia that he started working as an assistant to a legendary jazzman, William Russo, which proved to be a crucial formative experience for the young musician. Russo’s almost obsessive attention to detail, not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of visual presentation further reinforced Ryan’s conviction that the sonic and visual realms would become increasingly integrated.
Year 2000 brought the release of the first, critically acclaimed album of Ryan’s fine arts project, “Let Me Introduce You to the End”. It might come as a surprise to those who are familiar with Ryan’s later work that the first album—“The Hands of Hope”—was recorded and produced primarily as an electronic duo.
In the following decade, Ryan Socash released three more studio albums, “A Love of the Sea”, “A Voice from the Mountain” featuring Czesław Mozil on accordion, and “Of Ghost” with a guest appearance by Przemek Myszor from Myslovitz. During that time, the project toured extensively around Poland and the USA, performing over 200 shows and blending music and photography with Ryan’s early attempts at documentary filmmaking. The visual style of those performances is reflected in his first photography album, “Times of Growing Grimmer”, published in 2005.
It was also around that time when Ryan Socash began visiting the country of his grandparents, Poland. What first started as a curiosity visit became an important part of Ryan’s life and he ended up giving up most of his personal possessions and moving to Poland in 2005.
In 2012 Ryan Socash started working with the National Polish Radio as a host of an internationally-focused interview series, “Socash and the Stars” broadcasted on Polskie Radio’s World Radio Network and as a co-host of a morning radio show, “Bed and Breakfast” on Polish Radio 4. He also became one of the cast members of successful online programs “Pollywood” and “Socash” produced by Wirtualna Polska, one of the biggest Polish web portals. Additionally, his experience in the music industry led to a cooperation with Piotr Rogucki and COMA in the capacity of a PR Consultant, coordinating the release of their 2013 album, “Don’t Set Your Dogs on Me”.
All those experiences brought Ryan to a conclusion that—in the nearest future—most Internet content will be centered around video, which is why he started building the foundation for the Polish branch of the international MCN, Mediakraft Networks. Having started as a small one-man startup out of his living room in a Warsaw district of Ochota, Mediakraft Polska quickly evolved into one of Poland’s biggest multi-channel networks with over 100 million monthly views. What made Ryan’s creation different from his competitors, however, was that the company’s primary focus was on creating original video productions. Currently, original video content produced by Mediakraft.TV includes, among other assets, an education channel “Topowa Dycha” and a comedy channel “Ponki” and accumulates over 30 million monthly views. Additionally, Mediakraft.TV has delivered over 300 advertising campaigns for the biggest clients on the Polish market including Tiger, L’Oreal, Pepsi, Monolith Films and many more.
Currently Ryan Socash works as the Managing Director of Mediakraft.TV and the host of “Kult America”, his own online program devoted to exploring cultural identities of the XXI century. The program, among other formats, includes interviews with influential people, such as Robert Biedroń and Rabbi Michael Schudrich. “Kult America”, being a spiritual successor to Ryan’s previous artistic endeavours, became his primary platform where art, photography and documentary filmmaking all come together to create content formerly known as “art”.