During the past year, we have been through many emotional highs and lows as we have watched the seasons transform before our very eyes while being confined to our homes. This feeling is what fuels singer Ruti’s new EP “All At Once”. Radiating chill summer vibes, the four-track offering – which features Ruti’s soulfully dreamy vocals and ethereal beats – takes us on an introspective tour of the seasons, with the singer’s soul-baring lyrics guiding the way.
When asked about her latest project and the season-inspired tracks that feature, Ruti explains: “I think that I feel really different in each season so each track is trying to recreate the atmosphere I feel like I’m in or reminiscing. For example, the track Daylight is the winter exert. It’s the moodiest sounding production-wise and lyrically more vulnerable for me and sad. Like a lot of people, I struggle through winter mentally. Don’t get me wrong I like the winter. It’s the longer times of darkness that seem to affect me. The track still has a strong beat that you can dance to though, I think I needed that.”
While this EP – which offers us two unreleased tracks – is set to put Ruti firmly on the map, she has been making waves for a while now. With the summer-infused and guitar-drentched track “Close to You” having been taken from the EP and released last year, none other than Tyler, The Creator caught wind of it and became an instant fan – so much so that he took to Twitter to sing Ruti’s praise. You may recognise the singer’s face from the hit TV show The Voice, which saw Ruti gain a vote of confidence from living legend Tom Jones and excel in the final where she was crowned as the winner. From her status as a celeb favourite to her bluesy vocals it is clear that Ruti is stardom-bound, and we personally cannot wait to see what she does next.
Check out our interview with Ruti below…..
Hi Ruti – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
I’ve had lots of ups and downs since the first lockdown. I think initially I felt like I had to be super creative and productive, which meant I burnt out really quickly. I realised that I should just be creative when I am feeling it, not forcing it and making myself more anxious. I feel freer now to just create when I want. Of course, the lockdowns have inspired some songs and I’ve taken the opportunity to push my production skillz as that is something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve had the chance to connect with some musicians that are based a bit further away over zoom – that has been an unexpected opportunity.
How has growing up in Essex influenced your music?
I think that although my sound hasn’t necessarily been influenced by Essex, there were always so many opportunities to perform growing up. There’s always an open mic going on in some pub and there are lots of local festivals that give performance opportunities to young musicians. There’s a really cool little music scene down here and such a variety of sound. It’s been awesome to connect with local creatives.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
When I first became interested in music I was listening to voices like Emeli Sandé and Adele. I think vocally you can hear they’ve inspired me from a young age. I love music from Lianne La Havas and Laura Mvula and it’s been inspiring for me to see these incredible black women perform and compose. There are so many other artists that have inspired me along the way and continue to do so. But, these are the main ones I’ve come to realise.
How would you describe your genre?
My go-to words to describe my music are ethereal, groovy, floaty and dreamy. Sometimes I would just use one of those words to describe a song, sometimes it’s all of them at once.
Congratulations on your EP “All At Once” – how did you come up with the name?
Each of the songs on the project are inspired by a season, so the EP for me is like those seasons happening “All at once”! Easy!
Each track on the EP has a season in mind, which is really beautiful – what are the inspirations behind it?
I think that I feel really different in each season so each track is trying to recreate the atmosphere I feel like I’m in or reminiscing. For example, the track Daylight is the winter excert. It’s the moodiest sounding production-wise and lyrically more vulnerable for me and sad. Like a lot of people, I struggle through winter mentally. Don’t get me wrong I like the winter. It’s the longer times of darkness that seem to affect me. The track still has a strong beat that you can dance to though, I think I needed that.
Your track from the EP, “Close to You”, caught the attention of Tyler, The Creator last year, which is insane! What was your reaction?
Well, I was still in bed when it was all happening so I woke to my sister running into my room shouting “You’re on Tyler, The Creator’s story!” I was just like no I’m not. I have no idea how he found my song or music video, but he tweeted about it with a few other up and coming artists. He actually dm’d me too, it was so mad! It genuinely makes me laugh now, because I don’t even know how it happened!
And you had your break on The Voice and actually won the seventh season, how do you think your life has changed since then?
I definitely would be where I am now if it wasn’t for The Voice. It just really helped me get my foot in the door. After The Voice I had a few months left of my A-levels left and after that I was straight in with my music career, I was very fortunate that that happened to me. It’s of course been difficult at times, but I feel like I’m finding my feet and finding my people. I’ve got such a great support network and I have the chance of meeting awesome musicians all the time.
And you were only 18 when that happened – how much have you honed your sound since then?
Initially, even though I could still try out some things, I felt like I had to rush the process of figuring out what my sound was. Since starting my career, I’ve found out what I like and what I want to put out there and learnt how to put these things across to the people I work with as well. I’m still honing my sound now. What I like is changing and will change again. It doesn’t really matter what people are expecting of me and what box people put me in. It’s still recognisable of course, it’s still me. But I am allowing myself more space for my sound to evolve now. I think it’s all about how my confidence in myself has grown.
How cathartic was it for you putting together the EP?
This next project is my first EP since becoming independent. I’ve been able to release a couple of tracks from the project as singles and adding a couple more to complete felt satisfying. Like it’s the announcement of a new phase in my music. And I always feel a bit of relief when something is released, I don’t have to do anything to it or worry anymore.
How does it feel releasing music at such an uncertain time? What do you hope it brings you listeners?
It has felt strange sometimes, because after releasing there’s no live aspect. I haven’t been able to see the connection my audience has with the new material. But I still receive a lot of support and feedback online. It’s at least some sort of interaction. It gives me something to look forward to as well! I’m hoping that releasing new music during this time gives people a break, a bit of a breather. Being able to just relax and listen and not think about everything that has, is or could happen. I hope it brings good vibes to the work from home soundtrack.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Just being able to perform in front of an audience again. However big or small. I love it!! And playing with other musicians, getting a band back together! I’m buzzing for it. I have so many new ideas and things I want to try. I know I’ve got a lot more in me so I’m looking forward to more growth.