Never one to back down from a challenge, Van Slooten has always taken a hands on, do it yourself approach to making music. A self taught guitarist, pianist, drummer, vocalist, and recording engineer, his roles are ever changing and expanding. "I get that from my dad", Van Slooten says. "Growing up, he was always tinkering around with something, or building something from scratch. He wasn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and challenge himself. It absolutely inspired me to do the same, it still does."
Those efforts have not gone unnoticed, as the aforementioned album "Victory March" was voted 2013 Album of the Year by PerfectDuluthDay.com, a nationally recognized blog based out of Duluth. In addition to that, Van Slooten was 1 of 4 finalists in the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra's 'Bridge Sessions' competition in the fall of 2015, where classical musicians collaborated with mainstream artists and bands. Paired with concert master and lead violinist Erin Aldridge, the event inspired them to continue working beyond the competition, as Erin has become a member of Ryan's backing band.