While Mondays have the potential to be nothing short of mundane, artist Flower Face is here to fix that with her new track “Sugar Water”. Chaotic in nature, the track is a synth-infused display of experimental music made right as the artist, also known as Ruby McKinnon, lends her other-worldly vocals to production that jolts between genres and frequencies, resulting in a tune that promises to take listeners on a sonic journey.
Speaking on the single, the artist explained, “This song is very different from anything I’ve released before. It’s a lot more pop-esque and upbeat. I wanted to make a music video that would match that because I’ve never had a song whose sound would match a really bright, fun video like this one. The idea for the video came to me when I was thinking about Dance Dance Revolution, which I had as a kid and played every day, as well as Karaoke Revolution, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, all those early 2000s music-based games. The song is about being so infatuated with someone so much that you ignore all the warning signs because it feels so fun and exciting. So I thought it would be cool to have me performing the song in this video game world where I’m failing miserably, but I don’t even realise it until the very end when it suddenly hits me all at once. Just like that kind of relationship.”
Upon the release of her new single, the artist got candid with Wonderland about her upcoming album and making music out of her bedroom. Head below to enjoy the interview…
Hey Ruby, how are you? How has this past year been?
Hey! I’m doing well. I’m in Montreal right now, everything is closed, and it’s very cold, so I’ve been staying in a lot. The past year hasn’t been easy, there’s been so much back and forth with the restrictions and lockdowns, trying to plan tours and then realising it isn’t possible to plan things in a world that’s so uncertain. I’m looking forward to when the future feels a little more real.
With everything that happened during the pandemic, was your creativity affected?
It definitely was. When we first went into lockdown, I really thought I was just going to be writing music and making art 24/7. I definitely had some times where I was crazy productive and got some work done, but there’s been a lot of laying around hopelessly and feeling like there’s no point in doing anything when the world is like this. But then I signed with my label, Nettwerk Records, and suddenly had tasks and deadlines and people to answer to which made it a lot easier to stay productive, even if I’m not feeling very creative. There’s always something to work on. That helped make my self-directed work feel more important and like it’s a real job for once.
How did you first get into music? What sparked the interest?
My parents put me in piano lessons when I was around five or six years old. I grew up doing classical piano. They wouldn’t let me quit, even when I would whine about practising and doing recitals. I’m so glad they pushed me because it really built the foundation for my love of music. My dad worked in radio, so he would always show me cool music and take me to see bands I liked. I was a tween fangirl through and through, and I think that’s really what inspired me to make music myself: the idea of being to someone else what those bands were to me. Inspiring people, making them feel seen and heard and understood. I started writing songs in a serious way when I was 14 and releasing them on Bandcamp. It all grew naturally from there.
You started off your music very DIY in your bedroom and without any industry guidance or label to help; what was this time like? Did you face any challenges?
It is a very different experience. For many years I didn’t see music as a real career path, it was more just something I did for fun. But after my song “Angela” got some traction online, that changed. I started to actually make a living from streaming and merch sales and all of that. There are pros and cons to being a musician in the digital age, but I’ve found the internet has worked in my favour for the most part. I got really lucky with the way my career developed organically. Before I had a manager and label working with me, I would just release music when I felt like it and do absolutely no promotion whatsoever. Now, we have a whole album release timeline, single release dates planned out, music video premieres, schedules for pretty much everything. It’s very different, so it takes some getting used to, but it feels a lot more focused, and having a team behind me makes things so much easier. It helps that everyone at Nettwerk is wonderful and fully understands and believes in my vision.
And now you’re dropping your new single “Sugar Water”, talk us through your mindset approaching the single?
This song is very different from anything I’ve released before. It’s a lot more pop-esque and upbeat. I wanted to make a music video that would match that because I’ve never had a song whose sound would match a really bright, fun video like this one. The idea for the video came to me when I was thinking about Dance Dance Revolution, which I had as a kid and played every day, as well as Karaoke Revolution, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, all those early 2000s music-based games. The song is about being so infatuated with someone so much that you ignore all the warning signs because it feels so fun and exciting. So I thought it would be cool to have me performing the song in this video game world where I’m failing miserably, but I don’t even realise it until the very end when it suddenly hits me all at once. Just like that kind of relationship.
What do you hope people will take away from your music?
If someone listens to my music and feels seen and understood, then I feel like I’ve done the best I can do as an artist. To express something that maybe they felt but never had the words for, I grew up finding so much comfort and recognition in the lyrics of artists I loved, and I just want to be able to give that back.
Who would you say inspires you?
So many people! I think it’s important to take inspiration from a multitude of sources, and I find little pieces of inspiration in everyone I know. Everyone has something to offer. My friends and family all inspire me for different reasons. Same with artists – musicians, filmmakers, painters, dancers. I try to take in as much as I can – all the time.
What are you most excited for in 2022?
I can’t wait to finally release my new record, The Shark in Your Water. It’s been a long time coming. It’s been four years since my last one, and it’s been two years since I recorded this one! Because of the pandemic, everything was prolonged in such a frustrating way. This record is so significant for me, it has songs from as far back as 2015 like “Back to You”, it was my first time working with a whole production team in a big studio, and it has this incredible cinematic sound that I’ve been wanting to achieve since I started making music. There is still a lot of the classic Flower Face sound on there for the fans who have been supporting me since the beginning, but it also has some very new sounds that I’m really excited about. I also look forward to touring, but I don’t want to jinx it because everything has been so up in the air. But I’m hopeful!