The musical career of RuthAnne began at the age of seventeen, but she has been singing since she can remember and wrote her first song at the tender age of seven. “I just kept writing and writing,” she said. “Then my Dad entered one of my songs into a songwriting contest in Ireland and I won! I was in the paper and through that a manager found me. He was managing Mark and Danny from The Script at the time, who were in LA, and he took me there to develop my own music. By day three I was co-writing the JoJo song ‘Too Little, Too Late'”. And that, is how it all began.
Other notable feats have since included Britney Spears’ RIAA platinum-certified ‘Work Bitch’, and One Direction’s ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’. But it’s her fusion of folk songwriting with real stories and vulnerability that is at the core of our interest with RuthAnne.
“For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to sing and write songs,” she continued. “It always felt like my career even though I wasn’t getting paid for it as a teen [laughs]. I was always doing it though. It was my escape. My way of dealing with everything was writing and singing. Even just in my house, so the fact that I get to do it professionally now is beyond a dream.”
Many new artists begin covering songs, but this wasn’t an option in this story. “For me, songwriting is so important,” she said. “Having my own stories, and my own lyrics, is such a big part of who I am as an artist. So the singing and songwriting just come hand in hand. I feel like the cover route is more suited for artists who haven’t quite found their voice or lyrical perspective as a writer yet. I do love hearing beautiful covers though, it’s another way of being creative.”
We spoke about how she would describe her sound and style, and she replied saying that if Lauryn Hill and John Legend ever had a baby, I would get my answer. It’s soulful, substance fuelled pop music. With sprinkles of Irish folk music in there of course.
Speaking of the Irish influence, we went on to speak about ‘The Vow’, which at the time was her newest single. It emcompasses her Irish Celtic roots, as well as soulful R’n’B influences; “Being able to fuse both these elements in a song is something I’ve been trying to do for a while, and I feel like I finally got it right with this track.”
‘The Vow’, like many, is about the journey of life you take with someone. “It’s that person in you life who is your constant. Always there to see you through the good times, and the bad. It’s the person who loves you unconditionally.” The story behind the track stems from personal experience. “I had just had a conversation with a male best friend of mine who I had some dating history with, but we now have this great and genuine friendship. He was talking about how we would be singing in pubs together when we were 80 and I thought of my parents who have been married for 44 years, and all they’ve been through.”
When she woke up at 5am and wrote the lyrics down, she was in a trance. “I brought it to my producers, Future Cut, the next day and they loved it. The melodies just came out so fast and it was honestly a beautiful, magical process. It was authentic and real, and those are my favourite songs to write…”
“I’m a pretty open person,” she said when I asked her if writing music is therapeutic in terms of speaking words she might not otherwise be able to say. “I don’t normally have a problem saying what I need to say, but I think professing love to someone is something I do find easier to say in song. It’s scary to be vulnerable.”
Real stories, real music. That is RuthAnne. “People can relate to my songs and see themselves in them. They’re written with a perspective that’s not based around sex or the body, or being sexy for someone. They’re about the true stories of human relationships and say that it’s OK to be vulnerable. It’s OK to talk about the real shit, and just make people feel something. The best advice I’ve been given is to make good art. No matter what is happening, rich, poor, in love, broken hearted, just always make the best art you can.”
You have to trust in yourself. “We spend so much time comparing our journeys or rushing to be where we want to be. We get frustrated when it’s not happening the way we planned or in the time we planned it. Through these pieces of advice I’ve learnt to work hard and trust the process cause what is meant for you won’t pass you be. Relax and enjoy the journey. Trust it.”
You can download and stream ‘The Vow’ here.