Nicholas Dominick Ryan (born 1949 in Dublin, Ireland) is an Irish music producer, recording engineer and manager for the musician Enya. He previously managed the Irish group Clannad, the band with which Enya first performed. In 1982, when Nicky Ryan left Clannad, Enya followed him. In the video documentary Enya - A Life in Music, Enya states that it was Nicky who first had the idea of layering Enya's voice, thus creating Enya's distinctive style. They now have their own studio, Aigle Music, in Dún Laoghaire.
Nicky Ryan currently lives with Enya's lyricist Roma Ryan. They currently reside in Killiney, Ireland, and have two daughters, Ebony and Persia. Enya lived with them briefly in the north-side suburb of Artane when she first departed Clannad; she now lives in Manderley Castle in Killiney.
In his essay for the Collector's Edition of The Very Best of Enya, Nicky mentions having entered a song contest in his youth for which the prize was a visit to meet the Beatles (one of his favourite groups). He won, with a rendition of Glenn Miller's 'In The Mood', but never claimed his prize, since he could not afford the fare to England to see them. Shortly after finishing school, Nicky worked as a teacher at St. Mary's School For Deaf Girls, near Dublin. He began experimenting with sound engineering, attempting to create a way for the deaf children to 'hear' music.
From Hi-Fi sound, 1990: ‘I designed a speaker while I was there, to try and introduce as much bass as I could into the sprung floor of the girls’ dancing room,’ Ryan explained.
‘In order to dance, the children needed to feel as much bass in the floor and in their chests as possible – particularly in their chests because as soon as they can feel that, they know what the rhythm is doing.
‘What I came up with was a speaker design based on the lower end of a pipe organ. It was an upright speaker consisting of a 14in square box, about six feet tall, and about six inches from the floor – with a 12in speaker facing upwards, and a three inch port below that.
‘And it worked very well,’ he said. ‘The floor shook – and the kids danced away, as they were entitled to.’
In the Seventies and Eighties Nicky was highly regarded as a live sound engineer working with artists such as Gary Moore, Planxty and Christy Moore. He was introduced to Clannad by their then-manager Fachtna O'Kelly. He joined them as a sound engineer in 1975. O'Kelly left Clannad in 1976 to manage the Boomtown Rats, and Nicky Ryan became Clannad's manager. He invited Eithne to join in 1979, shortly after she finished school. Nicky and Eithne left Clannad in 1982, shortly after the completion of their album Fuaim.
- "Hi-Fi sound interview with Nicky Ryan". Enya Book of Days. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
- Nicky Ryan - The Official Website
- Nicky Ryan's complete discography
- Enya Lyrics site
- Nicky Ryan discography at MusicBrainz