RUE - ‘Ivy’s Kid’
(official GIRLSNEEDMUSIC blog post)
(TURN SOUND ON )
RUE is a British Zimbabwean poet, songwriter and singer based in London. She has found a balance between poetry and music, drawing influences from various genres to form her own eclectic sound and voice. She would describe herself as a storyteller. The end of 2016 introduced us to RUE, the singer, with the release of a compilation of songs titled 'The Summer Collection.’ This was aptly followed by ‘The Winter Collection’ an audio-visual project in 2018. Her debut EP 'IVY'S KID' is out soon.
To find out more about RUE & her new debut EP ‘Ivy’s Kid,’ read the full Q&A below:
Hi RUE, thank you for talking to us today, and giving us an insight into you and your music! So, lets start with your new EP ‘Ivy’s kid’ which is going to be released very soon - can I ask if there is a particular meaning, or concept behind it?
The running theme of Ivy’s Kid is this idea of Home, and what that means to different people. For me, I realised that home is the people in my life. The project explores the idea of people being places. I first started thinking about it when my mum passed away 2 years ago and realising that she was home, to me.
During that time of reflection, I started to think about what home meant to me now that she is gone. That manifested into Ivy’s Kid – each song being about different people that feel or have felt like home. Whether that be friends, romantic partners and family. And of course, the name, Ivy – that’s my mum’s name. I am Ivy’s Kid, and this is my story, so to speak.
The album cover is lovely btw! I remember you talking about your album cover at your music launch; could you briefly explain for those who didn’t attend the launch?
Thank you! The concept was created by Afra Zamara ︎@afrazamara (art director), Somayeh Jafari ︎@so__mi (album photographer) and myself. We had a meeting one morning in Hackney, and I was telling them about the EP, and we came up with the idea of having my mum’s ornaments as main fixtures in each photograph. As the theme is Home, it needed to feel like that, from the music to the visuals. So the blue background is inspired by my grandma’s house in Zimbabwe - which is painted in this Baby Blue colour. Each picture has its own link to my home, and the EP cover itself is a more stripped down version of the other pictures we took but I think it works well. It was important that we had continuation in all visuals including the videos, not just the pictures.
At the moment, you have released both tracks Traffic and Running from the Ivy’s kid EP, could you tell me briefly what both of these tracks are about? I remember you mentioning how traffic was about an ex….
Ha! Yes, Traffic is about an ex. Not one particular one, but I guess I would say a type of girl that I was used to dating… or liked to date. It’s that common story of being with someone that’s ultimately bad or wrong for you. But Traffic explores that narrative in the sense that we are both toxic. That girl is neither the villain or hero. We are just actively existing in the chaos and enjoying it for a moment – regardless of what my friends or other people might say.
Running on the other hand is a grounded song. It’s a moment of self-reflection. After all the chaos that has ensued and searching for home in the wrong things or people, Running is a moment to literally stop running away from your problems, and confronting them head on. It’s one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written. I usually sometimes shy away from writing about myself, in a direct manor, but this is just pure and brutal self-awareness, which wasn’t easy to do. It took me 7 years to finish this song.
So Traffic is about a girl you dated; as a black queer woman, how was it coming out for you? Did you go through any difficulties or struggles?
I’m fortunate that I don’t have a dramatic coming out story. In fact, I never really had to come out to my immediate family. They just knew. That’s how it should be. I have people around me who don’t have it quite as easy, and it’s a shame that it has to be a thing that causes so much angst.
We agree too that it’s shame its made into a big deal. Now, coming back to your music - we love the spoken-word/poetry you use in your music; do you do it your spare time, or is it just something you incorporate in your music?
Poetry was in fact my entry in to music. The first paid gig I did was a poetry gig and it was the best £5 I ever made! I have been performing and working professionally as a poet for a few years now, and I love it. I like to incorporate the two as it’s one in the same but it’s also nice having the option. Where I could feel restricted with structure and time, poetry gives me the freedom to expand, and write in a longer form. It’s just different ways to express myself.
Lastly, we are really excited for Ivy’s kid to come out, especially after listening to you sing at your music launch – when is the rest of the EP due to drop & what shall we expect from the rest of the EP – is it going to be a similar vibe to the recent releases?
Really glad you enjoyed the launch and thank you for coming! I will be hosting more Ivy’s Kid nights in the near future. The EP is out around the end of november, and I’m just excited for people to hear it in its entirety. You can expect some cool ass beats, live instruments, poems, songs about love, loss and freedom!
To listen to more of RUE, here are her latest tracks:
Watch the full music video for ‘Traffic’ by RUE:
To contact RUE: ︎