Words with Ruby Confue
It's been just under a year since Ruby Confue claimed the Coffee Music Project London 2017 title with a dazzling live performance. In between writing new songs, shooting music videos, performing on the Coffee Music Project stage in New York City and at festivals like Glastonbury, she has also begun recording her debut album.
We caught up with the fast-rising star to reflect on her Coffee Music Project experience, her fascination with words, challenges facing emerging artists and details of her upcoming performance at the Coffee Music Project London 2018 Final on 18 April 2018.
To those who might not be familiar with you or your work, who are you and where are you from?
I am an experimental, urban, jazz vocalist and performer - your sister from Planet Earth, currently residing in London, UK. I am fascinated by words, the voice and the power they give us to communicate.
It's been almost one year since you won the Coffee Music Project London 2017 competition. Tell us about the experience and any highlights from the last 12 months.
Since winning the competition I have co-produced and released an audio and visual for “Dooboo”.
I also performed at Glastonbury Music Festival, amongst others over the summer. We performed in one of the greatest cities in the world NEW YORK! With thanks to you guys at Coffee Music Project, Project Waterfall and the coffee festivals, businesses and individuals. Thank you! Lots of performing!
It's been a wonderful year of developing my live act. I've also done interviews on Radio BBC Wilshire, Soho Radio, Reprezent Radio and collaborating with Treble Clef on Trumpet Boom which Mr Jam premiered on Radio1Xtra, Saturday night prime time radio! New music is constantly in development. Which brings me to the present, 2018 where I am set to release my debut album in November this year! I am so excited to get a catalogue of my work out there for people to stream, play, share, listen and hopefully enjoy.
Did New York City live up to your expectations?
New York was realer than I ever imagined. We get caught up in this glamorised, shiny almost cartoon character-like idea of New York, but when you get there, its real, big, bustling and gritty - like London but on steroids.
There's a greater purpose driving The Coffee Music Project. What does Project Waterfall mean to you?
Being a part of the competition demonstrated how music and charity projects can work in perfect harmony. Project Waterfall is an authentic charity donating one hundred percent of proceeds to the coffee growing communities that need it. No man, woman or child regardless of background or geography should go without access to clean drinking water. This is the project's mission and I support that in its entirety.
It is a wholly collaborative process between the Coffee Music Project, the independent coffee companies that take part in the coffee festivals and the fantastic charity, Project Waterfall.
When and why did you decide to venture into music?
I come from a musical family. My granddad was in a band back in the late 80’s early 90’s and they used to jam at my Nan’s. I’ve always been surrounded by music and performance art. My mother and I used to sing what we’d call ‘kitchen operas’ growing up, singing sentences instead of talking them. Apparently I was singing Elvis’s ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ age three.
In 2014 a friend of mine from university, Ramaseez asked me to put a vocal down on his track ‘Don’t You Forget’. A year later the same producer who was in a band with my granddad heard the track and asked if I would come and record on a new project he was developing. That was three years ago when we co wrote my debut single ‘Baby 126,’ from then onwards the buzz I got from the creative process of lyric writing and creating vocal melodies has been incredible and I never want it to end.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing emerging musicians?
Knowing where to reach out, how best to invest your time. Knowing who is going to take more than they can give with unrealistic reward. The road I am on has just begun but no doubt I will face some tough challenges along the way.
As a musician, what's the best piece of advice you have been given?
Write YOUR truth because everyone else’s is already taken. There is no depth, no three-dimensional life behind falsehoods. People will like and listen to your lyrics and music if it is you, unapologetically you.
Name a few of your favourite acts right now..
Anderson Paak. IAMDDB, Mahalia, NAO, Princess Nokia, Ray Blk, SteffLondon, Cardi B, Jorja Smith.
When can we expect new music from you?
I am set to release my debut album in November this year!