RUEN has been talking with me…
about her debut single, Bad Behaviour, and its background. I ask her whether there will be more material to follow; if there are new artists we should be backing this year; what it is like working with Palm Bay Music – I ask whether RUEN thinks female artists are being overlooked.
She is a producer and musician so, with that in mind, I ask why she transitioned from behind the microphone to step out-front; what gigs she has in the pipeline; whether her childhood household was a musical one – RUEN talks about ambitions and aims for the rest of 2018.
Hi, RUEN. How are you? How has your week been?
I’m good. A little tired, as I’ve just adopted a little puppy - but it’s been a great week, thanks!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure thing. My music has been described as early PJ Harvey-meets-Yeah Yeah Yeahs after a heavy night out sleeping with your ex.
Bad Behaviour is your debut single. Can you tell me about the background and how the song came together?
I wrote part of the song ages ago and then stumbled across it before Christmas last year whilst going through voice memos on my phone. I thought to myself: ‘Hmmmm; I actually quite like this…why didn’t I do anything with it?!’ I then brought it to a writing session and the song developed from there.
It’s about someone in an abusive relationship that keeps going back.
The track is quite Jazz-tinged and smoky. Was it a fun track to put together?
It really was. I actually ended up using most of the demo takes and then added to it later down the line. I love the break after the chorus - I had fun looping it over and over in the studio and jamming guitar ideas over it.
Will there be more material coming along? Can you reveal what other singles are in the pipeline?
There is, yes! My next single is due to be released in June and, following that, there will be a couple more singles.
What is it like working with Palm Bay Music? Do you get a lot of creative freedom and mobility?
As one of the founders of Palm Bay Music, I wanted to create a home for the music I was making - and so I set up an Independent music label. It’s been quite an exciting venture; we already have a second artist we are working with and are planning to release more music later this year.
You are a producer-turned-musician. What compelled the decision to embark on your own music career?
I’ve been very musical from an early age and was always playing in bands growing up. I think there was a point when working with other artists where I was thinking: ‘this is really cool - I wish it could be my song’. I really enjoy the production side of music as it can be so creative. I started co-writing for the first time last year and then thought to myself: ‘I love these songs; I’m going to have a go at self-producing and then release them’.
Female producers and artists are relatively overlooked and under-promoted. Do you think this is a problem that needs correcting?
I think it’s more about people’s awareness than a problem that needs correcting. The music industry has always been very much male-dominated, especially form the recording side of it, but I think more women are now speaking up and making themselves known.
The rise in social media has provided a platform for women to speak more about what they’re doing and, through this, I think they are gaining more recognition and people’s awareness and perceptions are changing.
Which musicians influenced you to take up music? Who are your childhood heroes?
I grew up with watching my mum play in bands and was always taken to her gigs. I think that got me into playing music, initially. My parents’ music was an eclectic mix of Folk and Heavy Rock; so there was lots of Queen, Deep Purple; Van Halen and Led Zeppelin when growing up.
When I started buying my own music, I was listening to a lot of Muse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs; PJ Harvey, Incubus and Placebo.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
You can, yes. I’ll be at The Finsbury in London on 3rd July.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
That’s a hard one to answer! Musically, I’d love to do some more writing and start recording some new music. I already have a few new ideas that I’m ready to take into the studio. I’d also love for my music to reach as many ears as possible!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I worked with singer-songwriter Kimberly Anne recently on her album project and we recorded a track at Konk Studios in London. That was pretty cool. Such an iconic studio and seeped in so much history. It felt really great working there.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Oh, wow. Well, as a new artist myself, that’s a tricky one! I guess I would say keep writing songs. I think we can get so caught up in everything else that is involved in being an artist these days such as being you own manager, accountant; label, booking agent, social media manager etc. that we forget that it’s all about the music we make.
So, yeah… just keep writing - it’s all about the songs.
IN THIS PHOTO: DIDI
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I always make sure I get downtime.
When music turns from a hobby into a job, I find it’s so important to do non-musical things to wind down. I like to go walking and I often take long walks along the beach, which also often end up with sitting in a pub with a pint. I love reading and have a strange obsession with crime dramas - Netflix is my go-to at the moment. I enjoy watching Luther.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I came across this band on Spotify called BLOXX and I’ve been hooked! Their song, Curtains, is currently on my regular listening list