Singer-songwriter Ruby June is a down to earth young lady from Cape Town. Her music is a combination of indie-folk and rock, with an added flavor of her own style. She is a huge supporter of South African music and draws most of her inspiration from artists like Majozi, Karen Zoid, Freshlyground, to name a few.
She has just release her debut EP ‘Reflect’.
Tell me about your music background?
“I come from a very musical family. Growing up I was always surrounded by musicians (my mom playing the piano, my uncle and brother playing the drums, as well as other family members who can hold a decent tune).”
“My mom used to play the keyboard at church and I remember tagging along to band rehearsals and having a wonderful time listening to the band arrange the songs and play together. My mother also took me to shows and really cultivated a deep love for music in my life.”
Why have you chosen the indie-folk/rock genre?
“It’s interesting, because I love a wide variety of genres, from rock and punk, to pop, metal, jazz and even classical music. I guess indie-folk/rock is what came to the forefront once I started writing my own songs and forming my own ideas. The one thing I love about my EP is that every song really just is a different expression of my sound being put on display: there’s something for everyone.”
Tell me more about your album; the theme, intention?
“I’m one of those real soppy artists who likes to see a deeper meaning behind every song, rather than just entertaining people (although I love doing that too). I like to be honest when writing – people can always tell when you’re not being sincere.”
“When deciding which of my songs should make it onto the EP, I really just picked the ones which I thought people would be able to relate to most and which show off my diverse style. But I really had to think hard about how I would tie all of the songs together, and what it is that takes it from being a collection of songs to being an album.”
“That’s where the name of the EP “Reflect” came in. I think with all things it’s important to be able to see where you’ve come from and where you’re going: to reflect on life in general and where you see your life heading. Your life is made up of all kinds of different ingredients; maybe your family values, your ethics or your faith shape your worldview, and ultimately those things put together are the reflection of who you really are. Hopefully it makes you someone who is loving and caring towards others around you.”
Which one song off the album best defines/describes you and why?
“I’d say it’d either be Beautiful or Sleepy Sailors, but if I HAD to choose, I’d probably go with Beautiful. I wrote Beautiful after watching a hectic video on women who had been victims of rape, to encourage those who had been through similar situations.”
“A while ago I was still playing with a friend of mine who at the time was my bassist, and when I shared the song with him, he broke down in tears. When I asked why he had reacted so strongly, he replied saying that he could relate to the song on a deep emotional level. I was shocked to learn that guys as well as girls often have scars that run deep which need to be fixed. I have a few stories like this of people really being touched by the song and that’s really what I want, for people to be blessed and healed of past hurts, for them to know their worth and realize that they’re beautifully and wonderfully made!”
What inspires your song writing?
“I generally write songs when I can’t deal with certain situations or I need to express myself in a creative way. I think more often than not I write songs from the perspective of those who can’t write for themselves. I love to put myself in someone else’s shoes and imagine what they’d be feeling. I find you get the most interesting songs and stories that way.”
If you could work with anyone; producer, musicians, etc – International and Local, who would it be and why?
“I could really get stuck on this question! I think the musicians I admire the most in South Africa right now are Majozi, Gangs of Ballet and Matthew Mole. These are people who I really resonate with in terms of what they stand for and what they believe in, plus they’re fantastic musicians and songwriters! I was absolutely blown away by a show Majozi did a while ago at Aandklas in Stellenbosch, by the manner in which he conducted himself on- and off stage. It’s great to see the hard work these people put in.”
“An international artist who I’d love to work with/meet would be Daughter, who writes the most honest lyrics I’ve ever come across. Another would be Canadian band Half Moon Run who are constantly pushing boundaries and Jamie Cullum who basically took jazz and made it his own. I love people who think outside the box.”
If you were trapped on a desert island and could only take one album with you to listen to, what would it be and why?
“Hmm, probably “Reflect” by Ruby June!”
“All jokes aside though, there are some albums that you could just listen to over and over again, which contain songs that will stick with you for life… My ultimate must-have album would be “Chasing the Sun” by Karen Zoid which contains some of the best music and songwriting that this country has ever seen! “
Plans going forward; up and coming gigs, etc?
“I’ve got a music video for “Dance With Me” coming out very soon! Hopefully that’ll get people excited and it’ll encourage people to see what I’m about and what the rest of my music sounds like. As for upcoming gigs, I’m just taking it one step at a time. At this stage I’d really like to be playing more gigs with my band (Behan Croeser on drums and CJ Duckitt on bass) as I’m more often booked to play solo acoustic shows, rather than band gigs. But I feel that my music REALLY comes alive and gets exciting when we get to work on the arrangements and create atmospheres together. Hopefully we’ll be able to play more festivals next year and even add another member to the band. I’d also love to film a couple of live videos of the band together in studio!”
Stream the EP via SoundCloud for review purposes.
Reflect is available for purchase on iTunes