Ruth B on fame, social media and 'writing songs that matter'
Edmonton-born pop singer nominated for bevy of Juno Awards including artist of the year
Ruth B started out as a star on the social media site Vine with 2.2 million followers. Now, she's a star. Period.
The Edmonton-born pop singer won breakout artist of the year at last year's Junos, thanks in large part to her hit song Lost Boy, and she's nominated for a bevy of Junos this year — including artist of the year.
But despite all the newfound fame, the 22-year-old whose full name is Ruth Berhe lived with her parents.
Ian Hanomansing, co-host of CBC-TV's The National, sat down with Ruth B in Vancouver's Vogue Theatre to discuss her humble beginnings, her meteoric rise and "writing songs that matter."
Watch the interview below, or scroll down for excerpts:
IH: What has it been like over the past year after Lost Boy was released?
RB: It's been amazing. Thinking back then, I don't even think my album was out yet, so that time I was just really excited to get more of my story out there and have people hear what else I had.… It's been such a great journey and I've really enjoyed getting out on the road and performing and just watching people experience my album for the first time. It's been fun.
IH: Did you have a "pinch me" moment?
RB: Every night I would go up [performing on tour], the kids were singing the songs with me. I never get used to it. I think it's so crazy because I wrote most of those in my room with the idea that no one would ever hear them. To have people sing them with me was pretty surreal.
IH: You were a teenager posting six-second videos on Vine... it turned into Lost Boy, an international hit.
RB: Music was always in my life and I loved it, but it was always my secret and Vine kind of helped me expose my love for music to the rest of the world. If it weren't for that, I don't know if I'd be here.
IH: It's incredible that a kid from Edmonton can make videos in her bedroom and then get — how many people follow you?
RB: It was insane. In the beginning, it was thousands every day. I think social media is so cool for that reason because I don't think there was really any other way of me getting my voice out there.… Edmonton is not the biggest city.
IH: You seem so — you are — poised. Does anything make you nervous now?
RB: Oh my god. I get really nervous. But I think it's just experience with performing. I've been doing it a lot now over the past couple years. You definitely get used to it, but I just try to enjoy everything and have fun with it. The nerves are there but I've learned how to control them.
IH: What's your goal? What do you strive for?
RB: So many things. But I think in terms of my music, it's to make sure that I'm always saying things I believe in and writing songs that matter. I never want to put something out just to put something out. I want to believe in everything and hopefully make someone's day a little brighter or make them feel less alone.