RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST RUTA DI
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Music is like breathing to me – I can’t live without it.
Introduce us to your musical history.
I started playing classical music on the piano when I was 6. When I was 13-14 I got my first guitar and got really into it. I was studying jazz guitar at Music Conservatoire and later Music Academy. After that, I got into singing and songwriting. Now I do both – play guitar and sing and just recently released my second album Yellow Summer.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I am not a very big fan of conspiracy theories however I find it difficult to believe that Epstein committed suicide.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?
Sandbag for training.
What useless party trick do you have?
Break an apple in half with my bare hands. I can also move my little toe independently.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
I have a few memories coming to my mind – one is when a guy from the audience was scatting along a guitar riff from my song that he heard for the first time. Another – when someone gave me a napkin with a my portrait saying ‘You’re amazing’ during the gig.
What was the worst experience on stage?
In 2017 when I was playing near Borough Market and London Bridge attack happened. I was looking through the window while singing and I saw lots of people running in panic and I realised that something is really not right. Then someone ran in and told us that there were stabbings and shootings. We locked ourselves in the venue and hid upstairs. The whole evening was very chaotic.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I used to be a sleepwalker. Now I just sometimes speak during sleep.
If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe it?
A groovy, warm, and spontaneous collection of sounds that go through your ears (do aliens have ears?) to your heart.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I think the fact that it’s difficult to put me into one genre. A lot of people told me that they never heard anything like my music before and it’s very unique. I think I also stand out amongst other musicians because of my virtuosity and dexterity on both guitar and vocals.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most?
The war in Ukraine.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
I don’t have one favourite song. All songs are dear to me.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?
I’ve just released my second album Yellow Summer. It’s an eclectic album that incorporates a combination of jazz with elements from soul, classical, pop, folk.
You fill find songs like ‘Say’ (one of my crazy ideas) with over 50 vocal tracks and double bass; retro-soul ballad ‘Cold Way’ with guitar arpeggios and swirling organ; groovy jazz tunes with catchy hooks ‘I Like Both Of You’ and ‘Perfect As It Is’; a fusion of spoken word and jazz in ‘Beginnings’; and ‘Endings’- a jazz tune that incorporates elements from folk and classical music.
Yellow Summer was recorded with top class jazz musicians – pianist Al MacSween ,double bassist Daniel Casimir, drummer Eric Ford, double bassist Jakub Cywinski (‘Say’) and flutist Lucia Viola (‘Perfect As It Is).
I put a lot of love, hard work, and thought into this 41min 19s of music and I hope you will check it out!
Talk me through the thought process of the album.
After I released my first album Hooligan, I felt quite inspired and wrote new songs fairly quickly. The idea to use a Lithuanian poem in the first track ‘Beginnings’ came to me a bit later. My main goal was, to be honest and try new things in this album.
What was the recording process like?
The recording process was very complicated – we were recording in the summer of 2020. Because of the pandemic, a lot of musicians left the UK and I had to look for new musicians to play with. In the end, it worked out great. We had one a half rehearsals, and then we went to the studio where we spent 3 days together. I’m lucky that I had a chance to play with such great musicians, I think results and music speak for themselves.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album?
The biggest learning curve was a song called ‘Say’. I had a crazy idea for the arrangement – I ended up with 50 vocal tracks and a double bass. Because I’ve never done anything like that before, it took me a lot of time and effort to find the sound I’m looking for. The whole process of recording and editing which I also did by myself was a great learning experience too.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No, I wouldn’t.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
To find people in music industry who could help me to reach bigger audiences. Write songs. Experiment and try new things.