For Ryan Star, the fire has officially started.
His new single, "Start a Fire," the up-tempo, hard-charging pop tribute to youth and desire, is quickly climbing the charts, thanks, in part to some remarkable hometown love.
"WPLJ started playing the song and it just led to so many people connecting to it," Star says, adding that the station began playing the song even before it was set to be released. "It's not the end-all, but it does send out the message to a lot of people, 'Watch this guy.' "
Of course, Long Islanders have been watching the Dix Hills native for years, in the band Stage and more recently as a solo artist, with the release of his excellent "11:59" (Atlantic) album this year.
But for much of the country, Star is brand new. He made his mark nationally this year with the single "Breathe" and seemingly endless touring.
The work has paid off, though. "It took 'Breathe' six months to and it's taken 'Start a Fire' three weeks," Star says.
And the touring will slow down for the holidays. "The best thing about playing these New York shows is that it ensures that I'll be home," he says. While he's off the road, Star and his band will even set up a rehearsal space in Dix Hills where Stage used to practice.
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"I know I have a long way to go," he says. "But now I feel like the little engine that could."
After a pause, Star laughs before adding, "I'm the little Long Island Rail Road engine that could."
Star plays the WPLJ Holiday Bash at Best Buy Theater Dec. 15.
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