June 21, 2018

RuthAnne Interview for Carbon Copy #26

By Nathan Best In Carbon Copy, Interviews

RuthAnne, is an award winning  singer and songwriter. She began her career at the tender age of 17, crafting songs for other recording artists. In 2007, she wrote the smash hit “Too Little Too Late” for pop songstress JoJo. That year she won the ASCAP Songwriters “Best Pop Song” award. From there it was uphill all the way as she created hit after hit. RuthAnne penned chart toppers such as  “Work Bitch” for Britney Spears which was declared RIAA platinum certified, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?’ & “No Control”for One Direction, “Misbehavin” for Pentatonix, ‘In the Name of Love” Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha, and many more.

Last year, she co-wrote almost half of Niall Horan’s debut solo album “Flicker,” including the US #1 hit “Slow Hands” and the Maren Morris duet, “Seeing Blind.” She also lent her voice to “Love’s Just A Feeling” from Lindsey Stirling’s 2016 Billboard #1 Electronic/Dance album, ‘Brave Enough’, produced by Zedd as well as a ‘Fifty Shades Darker‘ soundtrack feature with her song “Pray”, which reached #5 on Spotify’s global viral chart.

Hailing from Dublin, RuthAnne was weaned as a child on Irish Celtic folk music. She always sang from early childhood. As she grew up into a talented 8 year old singer she began writing songs. Telling stories through song got her through her teenage years. She would perform in school productions and sometimes at local karaoke bars where she would win free drinks for her parents. As she grew to womanhood she was inspired by artists like Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys. As her talent evolved still further, she managed to cleverly fuse her rich Celtic folk music heritage with her soulful bluesy side, in turn developing a singular style that is mesmerizing to listen to.

In her recently released debut single, “The Vow”, RuthAnne sings of timeless love and promises kept after everything else is gone. 

RuthAnne’s vocals are passionate and earnest. Her delivery is flawless. The power of her strong soulful phrasing is evident as it swells with emotion before gracefully falling, nuanced and reverent. You can see the sun rise and set. The wind blow and the waves crashing against the shore. The Vow touches the heart in every way as RuthAnne sings the lyrics,”The beauty goes. The money’s spent.  Everything else fades away. Your are my constant”. As her soulful harmonies build to their crescendo, we all become believers, faithful witnesses in a cathedral built of love.

In the end, The Vow is a promise and a prayer. A hymn and an anthem, and ultimately a proclamation of undying devotion.

I had a chance to do a delightfully candid one on one interview with RuthAnne. I found her to be full of passion and grace, with a genuine love for music! She is certainly destined for stardom and you will no doubt  find me at the front of the line waiting to see her perform.

Download/Stream “The Vow”

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1. Hi Ruth Anne. Welcome to Carbon Copy! How are you doing?
I’m good (Nathan)! How are you?

2. Fantastic! Let me tell you first of all that I’m a huge fan especially after listening to your new single, The Vow. I really really love it.
Aww, Thank you! I appreciate it!

3. Tell me a bit about your family and where you grew up.
I grew up in Dublin city, in not the best area. Very middle-class family, grew up poor as my dad had to retire early due to illness but the one thing I love about my childhood is that I never knew we were poor, my mum did such a good job keeping us entertained and I never knew we were struggling till I was older so I always felt like I had everything I needed. I just remember always singing and dancing and making up songs, my family would always bring the sing- song to every event. I loved my child- hood

4. Your voice is so soulful! All the lit- tle nuances. It was magic! And I’m not just saying that. I really and truly love it!
Thank you so much! That means so much to me!

5. You’re more than welcome! How did you come up with The Vow? Can you give me a little bit of insight?
Okay, so The Vow was actually the last song I wrote for this album. I did a year of writing. And I had been in a really bad place when I started the album. You know I was living in LA and not very happy. I was getting fucked over by everyone. All these Hollywood men and these celebrity flings. I was feeling like I really didn’t know where I belonged. And I came back to London and I started writing the album. As soon as I start- ed writing the album, It went from heartbreak to hopeful for love again. And then The Vow happens when I
basically had been experiencing a lot of men in my life. Kinda of making me feel like they just wanted me for sex. Right. And these days that’s kind of the way a lot of relationships are going, like very casual dating.

I had this one guy in my life. We were kind of like best friends. And he would always call me just to see how I was. He was so consistent. He always showed up when I needed him. and I hadn’t had a relationship like that in a while that like involved in romance. It was like this amaz- ing friendship. and I woke up after talking to him, I had been saying to him, He’s an artist too and he’s like amazing at love songs, and I never write love songs cause at the time I made this album I didn’t have love in my life. So, I was like, I really want to write a real love song but I can’t force it. It’s just not happening, and he said to me you know, “Don’t wor- ry about it. It’s going to happen for you.” And that night I woke up at 5 in the morning and I wrote most of the lyrics down. I think I was thinking about, he wasn’t saying, “When we’re eighty we’re gonna be in Irish pubs together singing songs. My parents had just become 43 years married. and I was thinking of that and the words just popped out. Honestly, at 5 AM, I don’t know where they came from.

I walked into the studio the next day and I said to the producers, “Look I’ve just written the cheesiest lyr- ics I’ve ever written. I have no idea if they’re any good. I don’t write love songs. I don’t have a fucking clue. I’m good at heartbreak” and they were like, “Read them out to us.” So I read them. I was like, When time is up and the sun has died…they were like..”That’s amazing! What’s it called?” Cause normally I always have a title. I didn’t have a title and I was like I don’t want to call it I Love You. So anyway I left the title for a while. Then I was like. I want to write really Irish Celtic melodies but also soulful because I’m from Ireland, I wanted it to be an Irish Celtic feel. Honestly the melodies flew out and the song was written in like 45 minutes because I had all the lyrics done.

6. Wow! That’s incredible.
I know. It was a really crazy quick one. And I remember listening back and saying, “this is called The Vow.” They were like “Would you not call it You Are My Constant or Constant?” No, it’s The Vow. Cause it’s a hymn. It’s a prayer to someone that you want to hear on your wedding day. It’s something you say to your best friend. It’s like a commitment. A vow to someone that you’re going to be there through all this stuff.

7. Like a promise right?
Yeah, it’s a promise and for me, that meant it could be a promise between friends. It could be a promise be- tween and mother and a daughter. It’s a love song for every type of love and I needed a type of song like that in my life because I was experiencing love on a different level then I had before and so I sent it to the guy, my friend who kind of inspired it and he was like, “This is so wonderful”. And he was so happy with it. And when we were producing it, I decided to strip the production away and make it very vocally driven, so I started singing those harmonies. And I felt like this is the best first impression of me because it incorporates my Irish Celtic side plus my soul side which obviously as you go through the al- bum I’m a lot more soulful, but I wanted to start with the Celtic acoustic soul.

8. I love that! It gives me chills! So nice! so very nice!
Aww, thank you!

9. So that really answered that question for me.
Sorry. I talk a lot.

10. No no! Don’t apologize! That’s what interviews are for! So what I would like to know is when you first began, did you consider yourself a writer or a singer first?
A singer! My first words in my baby book were I sang. My dad would lift me above his head and I sang the We’re Walking in the Air, Snowman song. That was my first. I sang it la la la-ing it. In tune! It’s like first words, the Snowman song cause I sang it. so, I’ve always been a singer first. And writing became a tool for what I was going through as a kid.

Also, I was watching East Enders, Coronation Street, and Beverly Hills 90210 and I would write songs about those stories cause I didn’t have many stories of my own. My parents would sit me down and go “Is everything ok? Who lied to you? Who are you talking about in these songs?” And I was like “Oh you know. East Enders.” But honestly, I was a storyteller. I just wanted to tell stories. So I always was a singer first and then a songwriter. And It’s just become like hand in hand now.

11. People, like fans, will listen to your songs and think everything is about you, and autobiographical when really songs can come from different places. True?
Oh, one hundred percent! It can come from all different places. A lot of times for me, when I’m writing for my project, it’s definitely my life to a T. If you sat for a dinner with me and I told you all these stories about all these Fuck Boys, you would listen to the record and go “That’s about this one and that’s about that one. When I’m writing for other artists, a lot of times I’m telling their stories. and their stories can come from a lot of different places. It may not be about them and they just might want to write about this today and they might want to write about that. So it’s kinda cool that I get to do both.

12. You’ve written songs for a lot of famous artists. Were those songs penned exclusively for them or were they songs you had previously writ- ten that were up for grabs that you presented of both?
Actually both. Sometimes the songs are written for the person with the person in the room. Sometimes they pick them, like “In The Name of Love” wasn’t written for Martin Gar- rix & Bebe Rexha. It just happened to fall into their hands. So it’s kind of like all different ways. Which kinda makes it exciting cause you’re oh this is cool. You don’t always know who’s gonna sing it.

13. Even though you may not have a song earmarked for a particular artist once they record it, its like, it was always theirs. They make it their own.
Yes. Yes. They make it their own.

14. Very cool! so When you write a song for an artist and it becomes a hit, do you immediately become their best friend?
No. No. Not at all. Sometimes we haven’t met. I didn’t meet Britney Spears and I wrote one of her hits. So sometimes you don’t even meet the people. Bebe Rexha and I are friends. I’m friends with JoJo. We’re not best friends. But I actually am good friends with Niall Horan. that’s a real friendship, for sure. Definitely the more you write for someone. I’m best friends with Third Story. What it is it’s the albums I’ve written a lot on. The more time you spend with some- one, the closer you get. Sometimes with that one-off song, you don’t get enough time with each other to kind of become friends but you’re cool and you hang out for the day and it’s nice or whatever. But projects that I wrote a lot of the album like with Niall and Third Story, they become your real friend because you’re with them way more.

15. I was just wondering sometimes if you write a hit song for someone, they know you’re the reason that all these people are noticing them. You make people really stand up and take notice of what they do. And that’s the reason they would want to be your new best friend.
People always say to me, “Have you had any bad experiences with the people you have written with but hon-estly the people know you’re there to help them get a song for them, they don’t tend to be rude or a diva-ish to writers. I’ve not had any bad experi- ence because they come in the room. They’re just normal people. You’re there to help them get something so they’re not gonna be like “Oh fuck you!” They’re not going to be mean to you. They’re going to be quite nice. But honestly, I’m a real person. I don’t like any fake friends, so with me, it’s like I get along really well with you and we naturally become friends. It’s a natural thing. And then there are people like JoJo. We get on really well but don’t text each other all the time and don’t see each other. But if I see her out or if we meet up it’a like real and it’s great to see her. These artists most of the time are very busy peo- ple so it’s not always like you’re best friends but you have respect for each other. It’s a respect thing.

16. What is your favourite song you have written for someone? That may be a hard question.
Ohhh ….. Too Little Too Late, I mean that was a great one. It was my first one. It meant a lot to me. It start- ed my whole career. So definitely it’s a very special one. And I love when people say. “Oh that got me through a breakup. That got me through this and that” also In the Name of Love really speaks to me because I had been going through a lot of stuff in the industry. That came out and it really helped me to see people’s re- actions all over the world so it was pretty amazing. so that is one that is
definitely really special. But they are all special in their own ways. I love all the songs I wrote for Naill, with Naill. I just performed Seeing Blind with Niall, the duet I have with him on his album at the Flicker World Tour in Dublin

17. I was wondering what your song- writing process is like. You kinda touched on it earlier. Do you have to be alone? Does the music come first? Do the lyrics come first? Are they simultaneous?
For me, kinda like what happened with The Vow. It’s either from a title… so like In The Name of Love came from the title. In the Name of Love, I had that in my phone. So I normally start with a title or a full- on lyric. Like The vow I had to go in and do all these lyrics. So for me the lyric is very important because I can write melodies all day. And I do that too. I write melodies and then we lyric them. But I find it so much easier when I have the lyric or I have the story or the concept of what I’m try- ing to say. Cause then the melodies come and the lyrics come at the same time, and that’s when it’s really magical. Like I have a song on my album about me stalking my ex-boyfriend and finding he’s trying to play me. Because I knew what that story was it was like the lyrics all came out at the same time. I had the title and it was like Bam! It just comes out. So for me it’s important to know what story I’m trying to tell.

18. So let me ask you about performing.
Oh, I love performing! Performing is where I… I’m a storyteller. I think I think I’m a comedian, but I’m not. but I love telling stories. I love the banter between people and interact- ing with people. I love entertaining people. I love making people laugh. I wanna make people cry. I want tears. So I love performing. It’s so much fun. Seeing the music connect with people live.

19. Do a lot of your fans write to you and tell you how your music has affected them?
You know what? Because The Vow is my first release, a lot of fans who have been coming to my shows like my private shows, have been coming up to me after the show and saying “I’m going through that song.” or “That song is me.” Honestly, that means so much because it’s about the con- nection. also with The Vow, we did a sneak peek of it on Irish radio last week. I had a guy contact me who is getting married today actually. And he was like “We would love The Vow as our first dance song. It connected with us both. We’ve been together 20 years.” so I sent them a special rough version because it’s not out yet. and they are using it today. Like that type of thing is so special.

20. That’s fantastic! That was very sweet of you!
Yeah. They were very happy. And performing the song with Naill, I got a lot of his fans messaging me and commenting Like ‘I Iove that song you wrote! You were great!’, so the support honestly has been amazing and I am just so excited to have the music come out just to connect with people because, for me, my album is about connections. I want to con- nect with people. I want people to see themselves in the songs and have the songs help them get through all of the things all of us humans go through all the time.

21. How did you get the opportunity to write for other artists?
When the JoJo song ‘Too Little Too Late’ that I co-wrote went global that’s when I started getting the opportunity to be in the room with artists

22. Tell us about your personal style of dressing and are you a lover of fashion?
I do love fashion, I’m more of a high street gal with designer tendencies like I love Chanel handbags and de- signer shoes and any type of state- ment jacket or kimono but other than that I’m basic. I like jeans or over- sized T-shirt’s/hoodies as dresses.

23. What would you like to do musically that you haven’t done yet?
Write or Collaborate with Bruno Mars, Damien Rice, Ed Sheeran or Beyoncé.

24. Do you consider yourself a hopeless romantic?
Yes, I’m absolutely a hopeless roman- tic I have gone through so much with men and still put my heart out there every time cos I believe in that true love and I’m a rom-com film fanatic haha like The Notebook and The Hol- iday are firm faves. I would like those stories to happen in my life!

25. Can you tell us, in your eyes, what’s good and what’s bad about the music industry?
Hmmm, how honest should I be? Haha, I’m gonna tell you the truth. What’s bad is that it’s a business and sometimes music and business don’t see eye to eye and these days it can get about numbers and popularity instead of about talent and artistry…. also, unfortunately, albums aren’t selling and so it’s a lot more com- petitive to write the radio singles and songwriters are getting the least paid from streaming and struggling to be songwriters full time…..BUT the good part. Music is more accessible now than ever, it’s a great time for independent and indie label artists as they’re new and great ways to get your music heard and seen. Artists are fusing a lot of genres right now which is making it feel like there are no rules and a good song will find its audience more than ever.

26. Besides music what is your favourite way to relax or unwind?
I honestly love to get in PJs and have a chill and food day, watch movies, eat, chill and just be with friends chatting

27. Lastly, if you have any funny stories or subjects you would like to share?
I don’t know if this is funny or sad but one of my songs ‘take my place’ I wrote about stalking my ex on In- stagram like deep stalking like all night in a rage and finding out he was banging a playmate…We all do it I have no shame admitting it!! But I look back now and laugh because as a girl from Ireland it all felt so Hollywood and they met on the set of a Pitbull video!!! It makes me chuckle now to think about that now so I guess now everyone will think I’m a psycho haha I’m really not we just all have that one guy that gets to us like that…I’m all better now though…no more deep stalking….for now, haha!

28. Thank you so very much RuthAnne for talking with Carbon Copy! I love your energy and talent. I’m now a fan and will follow your career ever so closely and continue to get lost listening to your wonderful songs and amazing voice!
Thank you so much (Nathan)!!! I really really really appreciate the support 🙂

Words by Nathan Best for Carbon Copy Magazine