The third single to follow polyphonic tender hit, L.O.V.E., and subsequent Scandipop-influenced bop, Honey Bee, Bristolian artist RVBY marked July with the release of the mesmerising, dear-diary heartache tune, born from sessions with producers Toby Scott (Call Me Loop, Louisa Johnson) and Freedo (Zara Larsson, Little Mix). The track explores RVBY’s feelings for someone oblivious to all the signs – “Call me friend and keep me hanging on,” she sings, as elongated vocals pang heartache through the chest of the listener. Now, with the accompanying music video, RVBY fans have the full picture.
Tinged in a stylish, noughties filter, the video makes overt references to classic Brit cinema hit, Bend It Like Beckham (2002) and the adrenaline attached to its sporty love-triangle story. Harking back to her own experiences on the pitch – before she leaped into her musical career – a football-kit-clad RVBY manoeuvres around grass, training with teammates. Distracted by the coach, with whom she shares lingering, flirtatious glances, RVBY seemingly shoots and scores – until the developing love story takes a sharp turn.
“This story comes from a personal place; something I’ve experienced more times than I’d like to,” RVBY, real name Ruby Donadel, confesses. “It’s about someone you see a lot, and you’re together a lot,” she continues, “they’ve always shut me out – you get nothing from them.
“I longed for this person to know how I felt, but there was no way I could have ever said it to him without jeopardising something important – and things getting complicated. So, I wrote him a song.”
Reflected effortlessly in the nostalgic music video, RVBY envisions it as a ‘short film’ with undertones of sisterhood: “I wanted to incorporate the meaning behind Hanging On as a video in a way that was fun, collaborative and inspiring for women.”
RVBY’s experiences indeed inspire an incredible slow-burn hit that’s made for lip-syncing and crying in the mirror with friends at 3.00am, and hearts clutched in hands. RVBY adds that, although there’s no happy ending to the story, “that’s okay”, and she “wants everyone to know” that it’s okay.
As one of three new singles ‘lined up and ready for release’ (also from sessions with Scott and Freedo), the video for Hanging On follows RVBY’s busy schedule, which includes plenty of ‘high-profile’ performances like Dot to Dot Festival and BBC Introducing’s Abbie McCarthy, for a Karma Club event. As the pop music arena opens its arms to RVBY’s unique Bristolian perspective, she’s got no difficulty opening the flood gates in return: “I can’t wait to share it all.”