THANKS to Ruby Randall…
for talking about her single, The City, and what the story behind the track is. I ask which albums are most important to her and whether she has any goals to achieve before this year is through – she talks about a brief move from Canada to Spain and why she has relocated.
I ask Randall which aspiring musicians we need to follow closely and whether there are any gigs booked; if she has any advice for artists coming through; whether there is a special musical memory that sticks in her mind – she ends the interview by picking a cool track.
Hi Ruby. How are you? How has your week been?
My week has been a bit wild. I’ve just moved from my home in Canada to Almeria, Spain. I’m here for nine months teaching English to high school-age kids and learning Spanish. I also really wanted to slow my life down and take some time to do the things that I’m always longing to do while in the city - making music being one of them! I’m a social worker back home in Toronto, so don’t get as much time as I’d like to make music.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself please?
For those of you who are new to my music, my name is Ruby Randall. I’ve just recently released two new tracks - The City and Loaded Man - under my own name. I played in a band called beau for a long time in Toronto and this is my first solo release since the band’s split.
The City is your latest release. What is the story behind the song?
The inspiration behind The City actually has a lot to do with my current move to Spain: I was feeling a bit resistant to Toronto’s pace of life. I was always feeling like I wanted to move more slowly and that I was only scratching the surface of things because I felt pulled in so many directions.
I was also really aware of how easy it was to keep myself distracted in a big city and how this sense of distraction kept me from being fully present, or landing on the depth that I so often crave from life. Since moving to Spain, my life has been substantially slower. I live by the sea. Nature just moves more slowly and gives you the opportunity to do the same.
What sort of music did you grow up around? Did you have a varied upbringing?
I grew up around a lot of Canadian-made Folk music, perhaps unsurprisingly. My parents played a lot of music made by their friends. My mom also loved Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams. Every time I hear these women, I’m reminded of my mom cooking in the kitchen and the house being calm. My dad loves Bluegrass and played in a Bluegrass band. I still remember the words to most of the songs that his band would play.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of this year?
By the end of 2018, I hope to begin to learn how to produce my own music. This is a big task! A lot of my pals who are really good at producing their own music have been at it for the past decade. I don’t expect to be a master by the time I’m done in Spain, but I’d like to have a handle on the process so that I can at least make demos with fully-realized ideas to take with me into the studio.
Is there a special musical memory that sticks in the mind?
The last show that my band beau played was really special. Perhaps, because we knew it was our last. We had a full house and my family and all my pals were there. We played a great show and the energy in the room was just really wonderful. It felt really good to be ending our time together as a band on such a high note. It actually felt a little bit like something was just beginning and, interestingly, it was the ending!
If you had to choose three albums that mean the most to you, which would they be (and why)?
I always find these questions really hard to answer! The three albums that mean the most to me... mmm….
Perhaps Land of Talk’s Applause Cheer Boo Hiss. Although, honestly, I love each of their albums. This album was just the first one that I fell in love with. Liz Powell, the frontwoman of Land of Talk, is a really good guitar player and I’ve always admired female artists who are both incredible singers and really good at their instruments.
Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball; because it was played in my house for my entire childhood and immediately makes me feel at ease.
I still know all of the words to Destiny’s Child’s The Writing’s on the Wall, so this is my third choice. This album reminds me of how good I felt in my skin when I was twelve.
If you could support any artist alive and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
If I could support any musician alive right now, I might choose Sharon Van Etten. I love her music a lot; it’s so painfully beautiful. Or Land of Talk or Feist. I also might choose someone like Maggie Rogers, because her music is so much fun and I feel like we could be pals. Haha.
My rider would just be full of yummy snacks. Cheese and crackers, olives; salami, fresh fruit and mango juice. Yum.
What advice would you give to artists coming through at the moment?
My advice to any new musician would be to do your best to be kind to yourself. Putting what you have made out into the world can be hard - it makes you really vulnerable. Do your best not to compare yourself to others! This can be especially hard with social media. Stay connected to own relationship with your creativity - why you love to create things and what feels good about sharing what you make with others.
Can we catch you on the road very soon? Where are you heading?
I have no tour dates coming up. I’m going to spend the winter writing music in Spain and working on some recordings I made in Toronto before leaving.
IN THIS PHOTO: Noname
Which new/rising artists do you recommend we check out?
New artists that I recommend you check out: Noname. She has a new album out called Room 25, but I especially love her older album Telefone. Also; La Force just put out a self-titled album that is so good. TBT, Lucky One and Mama Papa are my favourite songs off of La Force’s new album. Merival and Anna Wiebe are two of my good pals from Canada who make beautiful music and sing with me on many of the tunes on my upcoming E.P. Check them out!
IN THIS PHOTO: Le Force
Do you get time to unwind away from music?
I have recently set up my life so I get a lot of time to make music. Prior to coming to Spain, I didn’t have a lot of time outside of my day job to even make music, so this feels like a special treat to myself. Music is not my full time gig, although I would feel lucky if it was! Currently, I unwind by swimming in the salty sea, cooking, and spending time with one of my best pals, Maya, who lives in Spain with me. She’s magic.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose any song (not one of yours) and I will play it here.
Can you play TBT by La Force? I can’t get it out of my head!
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