In our second instalment of Artist Spotlight, we have singer-songwriter: Rue. We first caught Rue on Soundcloud with her release 'Misbehave' - which hooked us with it's reminiscence of old school RnB tracks from the late 90s. But that was 2016, and this year, Rue has already released a new track entitled 'How It Feels' which uses Frank Ocean's End as its foundation. We had a chance to hear from Rue and her plans for domination in 2017. Go on, have a gander.
Who is Rue?
A poet, a songwriter, a singer… I like to think all these things are just different mediums I use to help me tell stories. A story-teller. Sort of like Roald Dahl but on 808 beats.
How did you get into music?
I have always sang and written songs for as long as I can remember! I used to write songs with my little brother and make up games to go with the each song. When I realised that it was an actual job, I knew that’s all I wanted to do. I started writing and recording when I was a teenager and I guess now, I just have a clearer understanding of the type of artist I want to be and how I want to proceed.
We first heard Misbehave and loved the vibe - what made you decide to make that kind of music?
I didn’t really decide to make a particular type of music – it just happened! I guess the music that I make is influenced by what I listen to so it makes sense that it comes out the way it does. I make music that I enjoy. I’m still getting used to the fact that other people like the music that I make too! Misbehave was written in 30 minutes one bank holiday Monday in 2016, sitting in my room, in my feelings about something. I just wanted to write a fun song. I tend to write about relationships in my music but for once I wanted to write about something not so depressing ha!
Who did you listen to growing up?
Kanye West! I am a College Dropout stan. I was really into hip-hop. I loved music that had a narrative. I also grew up listening to a lot of Bob Marley because of my parents. I remember when I was a kid, my mum would play all sorts during the journey to school. They would play everything from Tracy Chapman, UB40 to Oliver Mtukudzi. I think their love for music when I was growing up really influenced me. I was exposed to an eclectic mix of music.
Seeing as we are all about speaking things into existence, who would you like to collab with most in 2017?
You know who I would really love to collaborate with? Malick IV! I discovered his music not too long ago and I cannot get over how great his EP ‘Steez Daddy’ is. I’ve been listening to a lot of UK music and there are so many talented people doing their thing!! I am excited for everyone this coming year. It’s an amazing time to be young, black, British and making music! I think I relate to a lot of things he talks about in his music. It’s just a vibe. ‘Ghosts’ is currently one of my favourite songs I’m listening to. Ray BLK is also someone I would love to collab with. I would love to write a song for her. She’s sick!
Now how did your newest track “How It Feels” come about?
I joke with my friends that ‘How it feels’ is my Adele – ‘Someone like you’ moment. That song was pushing past my ego and admitting I was hurting type of track. I started writing the song in August but only finished it in December 2016. My friend Manny then literally wrote his verse the day before our session after I vented to him about what the song was about. I knew that this song would not be complete unless Manny was on it. I imagined how sick it would be with him on it and he exceeded my expectations. It was also the last track of this trilogy I was playing around with last year called ‘The Collection: About Summer.’ Kevin Gani, who is an old friend and also part of Penhouse Music group who have produced for SNE and so many other prominent artists, produced ‘How It feels.’ Kevin is like my music soul mate. Whenever I have an idea in my head he brings it to life! Also, Shout out to my engineer, David Mene of Profonic Studios. He puts up with me and my nit-picking every time. I put so much pressure on him with this song!! haha
What is 2017 looking like for you musically? Is there an EP on the cards?
An EP definitely! That is the plan. But I want to take my time with it. When I finally release a cohesive project, I need it to be a perfect representation of me as an artist, at that time. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I am my own worst critic so I need to get my shit together and start working on it. But before that, I am planning to release more music in a trilogy format similar to ‘The Collection: About Summer.’ I want to have more fun experimenting with different sounds before I tackle an EP. I have so many ideas in my head about blending my poetry and music together so I’m looking forward to 2017 being the year I do that. More music, more poems, more performances, more fun!
Finally, what do you define as success?
As cheesy as this may seem – success to me is living the best me. Doing things that make me happy, making other people happy and being able to make my family proud. Of course I have big aspirations of being a big time songwriter/poet and being able to live off my art, but I think all that doesn’t matter unless I am happy and proud of the person I am/become. I make art because it somehow makes me feel complete. There is this insatiable need to create. So I think as long as I continue to push past any self-doubt and anxiety, and just give this thing my all, that is success.
Huge thanks to Rue for taking the time to speak with us about her love for music and plans for 2017. This year about to be lit, Amen.