At the tender age of 23, newcomer Ruger has been blazing a trail for himself in the Afrobeats game. Making his musical debut in the form of EP, “Pandemic”, the young artist has been making waves and shaking the table ever since then. Nigeria is the place he calls home, and there’s clearly something in the soil over there, as it has given birth to some of the greatest Afrobeats talent like Burna Boy, Davido, and now – Ruger.
But what sets Ruger apart from the rest? Well, it’s simple – he’s fresh meat. Firmly within Gen Z, Ruger is able to tap into the phenomena that captivates our youth – take red flags, for example. Ruger’s new single is a sardonic take on red flags, and how we might jump through hoops to justify overlooking them. Coupled with an equally vibey music video, Ruger goes through a revolving door of interchangeable girls – who at one point all lament, “Ru baby this ain’t you. You’re not the sweet guy I once knew.” Suffice to say, we’ve all been there.
At the same time, the nascent Afrobeats artist unveiled “Asiwaju”. It hooks you with a repeated beat, which then bursts into pure chillness. Earworm guitar melodies and toe-tapping syncopated drums underpin Ruger’s cascading flow – and all together makes for a track that we can’t stop hitting replay on. These two releases are without a doubt fuel to the already blazing fire, and we had the pleasure of sitting down with Ruger to get some insight into his artistic process, and whether or not he’s the real red flag.
Head below to check out our illuminating interview…
Ruger, congratulations on your new tracks, Red Flags and Asiwaju. How did you celebrate their debut?
I slept throughout the whole release day! I also watched movies and ate lots of food.
Let’s start at the beginning, tell us about your journey to becoming the musician you are today. Did you always want to make music?
I’ve always loved music. But early on in my life, I never imagined I’d be doing music as my main career. It wasn’t until my last year in high school when I decided to focus on music, and I thank the most high for where I am now!
Where do you draw inspiration from when writing music?
I draw inspiration from my life experiences. I think it’s easier that way for me because I get to express my feelings at any given time, on any beat. That’s why I’m always confident in the studio – then I let God crown my effort.
If you had to describe your music in just a couple of words, what words would they be?
Melodious, energetic, relatable and toxic!
At just twenty three years young, you’ve attracted a lot of attention and quite the fanbase across Instagram, TikTok, youtube and further. How does this feel?
I feel so good, and I feel so heard because these platforms have made it easier for my music and my personality to spread. It’s a good time to be alive.
You’re currently touring the globe, how’s it going? What have been your favourite stops on route?
To be honest, every city has its magic. I love each and every country I set foot into ‘cause my fans get to see me physically. Most of them are seeing me for the first time, and I love how that makes me feel because the energy is unmatched.
Let’s talk about your new releases. The lyrics to “Red Flags” and “Asiwaju” feel quite nuanced. Can you unpack these songs for us?
It’s a whole lot. “Red Flags” talks about the bad signs most people see or notice in a person they are getting into a relationship with but ignore, then complain later because they feel they can change the person. “Asiwaju” is just about my lifestyle as Ruger now. I’m saying I’m ahead of them and nothing can stop me.
The music video for “Red Flags” is set against a London backdrop, what role does London play in inspiring you to write music?
I recorded “Red Flags” in London around September this year, and other songs that’ll be on my debut album. “Red Flags” was produced by TSB. I really enjoyed all my sessions in London because London has a particular swag that just influences your sound whenever you’re recording.No cap! Ask any artist and they’ll tell you this.
In your new track “Red Flags”, you quip on relationship dos and don’ts, asking the question as to whether you might be the red flag? What did you learn about yourself and about relationships whilst recording this single?
I just learnt that I can’t commit to any girl at this point in my life and I should never lie about it. I need to be more open and truthful about this, with any girl I come in contact with – from the get go.
What’s the verdict? Are you the red flag?
What can we expect from you next? Any big plans in the works?
My debut album next year.
Head below to take a look at Ruger’s two new singles, “Red Flags” and “Asiwaju”…