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GETTING OLDER
WITH RUTH B

Four years after the release of her last album and six years after the song which changed it all, ‘Lost Boy’, Ruth B is back.

Ahead of her second album Moments In Between being released, we caught up with Ruth B. the soulful voice behind the song with over 600 million streams on Spotify, ‘Lost Boy’.

It’s been four years since her last album and Ruth is “really excited” for this new project to be out in the world. Having started the work on this album prior to the pandemic, like most of us Ruth found herself returning home to be with family, leaving the United States for Edmonton, Canada and making the choice to finish the album at home.

“I feel like I lived maybe the closest I ever have with my own music just because it was all I really had for all those months,” Ruth tells tmrw, “but I think it just made the experience so much more special.” Ruth’s family supported her all the way when it came to recording at home: “My brother ended up buying me this like sign for my door that said, ‘stay out and be quiet’, just because it’s hard when you’re trying to record and there’s like people living their lives right next to you.” she laughs.

But the process felt very different from that of her first album, pandemic aside. “My first album felt really like there was a lot of pressure behind it, just because I was following ‘Lost Boy’ and a lot of people say your second album is like the one where you feel the most pressure, but for me it was definitely my first.”

Ruth took her time with this album, she lived life and used her new experiences to feed into her songwriting, “I made it a point to just live and travel and meet people, and hang out and have experiences that just are relatable and live like everyone.”

But that isn’t to say that this album was a walk in the park, when asking Ruth about the songs which were her favourite and her hardest to push through she states, “I think my favourite song on the new album is ‘Spaceship’. That was probably also one of the easiest to write, I just sat there and wrote it in like 30 minutes, and it was one of those songs that kind of wrote itself.”

“And then in terms of the hardest one to push through, I’ve always said ‘Die Fast’. I’d started it years ago, and when I did, I was very married to the idea of being this slow ballad, and then eventually when we started producing it, it kind of evolved. It took me some time to figure out if I liked it or not. It just made finishing it a little tougher, but eventually I really did fall in love with the evolution it made in its production.”

And we’ve fallen in love with it too, ‘Die Fast’ is a very ‘different Ruth’ but still inspired by some of her favourite artists including, “Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder and The Beatles”. We wonder, who would be Ruth B’s dream artist to collaborate with? “You know, I probably would say right now Chris Martin from Coldplay”, she answers, “I’ve just been on a Coldplay kick recently, plus, they’re probably my favourite band after The Beatles, who are my favourite band of all time. His writing, his voice, everything. Just so great. ”

She’s also incorporated some of her Ethiopian heritage into her music, through the way of storytelling, “I think that the Ethiopian music I grew up listening to subconsciously has had an impact on the music I make. When I revisited it as an adult, I realised that it’s really rich in melody and there’s a lot of storytelling that goes on in Ethiopian music so I think that’s something that I’ve always tried to incorporate into my own music.”

Alongside this album Ruth also worked on a single in response to the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Called ‘If I Have a Son’ Ruth talks about raising her future son/daughter in a world where they are seen as Black first and all the things she hopes to instil in them as young people. 

She later performed it on The Kelly Clarkson Show with the Harlem Gospel Travelers. When we asked her about the performance Ruth said, “ Writing it was a really therapeutic process and then I told everyone when we did decide to put it out that I probably didn’t want to perform it ever, unless I don’t know, it felt right.  It made sense to me to shine some light on it and it’s a hard song to sing but it’s for me probably one of my most important that I’ve written.” 

Outside of music Ruth has been enjoying TikTok, as a child of Vine (RIP) she says, “It took me a while to get onto it, but I think when the pandemic first started and all you could really do is be inside, I definitely wanted to check it out and it definitely grew on me.” 

Just as we’re finishing up our chat with Ruth B, we ask if she had to offer up a single word to describe this new album, what would it be? “Honest”, she wistfully tells us, “This album is all written by yours truly, and very much connected to my everyday life. I wrote about things that I didn’t write about in the first album just because I think when you’re older, you’re just more available to be that much more honest.”

Listen to Ruth B’s ‘Moments in Between’ here.

Words by Sabrina Fearon-Melville

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