Australian singer, Ruel recently stopped by in Malaysia for the promotion of his extended play, “Ready”.
It was a pleasure to hear him perform tunes of the EP and hear his rendition of hits like “Call Out My Name”. Unlike any average 16-year-old, Ruel has been busy working his music career since he was 14.
In fact, he has achieved quite a bit in a short span of time in the music industry. One being the proud owner of the ARIA Music Award for Breakthrough Artist last year, while the other being praised for his artistry by no other than singer, Elton John.
Thanks to our friends at Sony, we got the opportunity to speak to him while he was in the country. During our catch-up, we spoke about his time in the music industry so far, his experience on tour, and what’s next for this promising artist.
Welcome to Malaysia Ruel! Considering it’s your first time here in the country, what are you looking forward to experiencing?
Thanks! Erm it’s really just the show to be honest. Just to see how the Malaysian fans are like. They seem pretty crazy already.
By the way congrats on your first EP. What was the biggest challenge making it?
Thanks! Erm probably knowing when to put it out. It was three years in the making. We had like a whole other EP ready to go out with a whole different songs. But it just felt bad because it didn’t feel like they were good enough. So we held off and I am happy we did what we did.
When you were 12, you wrote “Don’t Tell Me” that speaks about the frustration of having your feelings dismissed due to being very young. Have you personally experienced a similar incident in the music industry?
Erm. A little bit. I feel like especially going into meetings, people don’t expect me to speak. They expect my manager to speak for me which kinda gets annoying. But I kinda like it when I can probably step up and talk about me, myself and they kinda don’t see that coming.
Speaking of the industry, you started your career when you were only 14. Do you fear that you might lost out on some regular teenage experience?
Very, very rarely. I feel like I made the most of my childhood like from zero to fourteen. I feel like the rest is pretty overrated. Cause this is the part where everyone goes to parties and I was never really into that. So I am happy that I get to do what I want.
You’ve achieved quite a lot since you first started. What else would like to accomplish next?
I just wanna play bigger shows really. I wanna make more music. Put more music and get a bigger fan base so I can do bigger shows. Yeah, that’s what feels good.
What has been the most difficult thing about your job so far?
I think not really knowing when you’re going to get a break. ‘Cos I always kinda set aside 2 weeks where I do nothing. And the next 2 weeks is completely filled with something else. So I feel like it’s very rare, you never know when it’s going to stop. I mean it’s great that I love my job but sometimes when you get burnout, you need a break.
As you said, you’ve toured a lot for the promotion of this EP. Do you have any pre-show ritual?
Erm, I don’t really have proper rituals. I just do vocal warm-ups. I also drink a certain type of manuka honey and vanilla and caramel tea, a really weird tea that taste awful. But it’s really good for your voice and I have one of them before every show. Yeah, handshake with my band and I go up.
You joined Khalid on his tour to countries like Australia and New Zealand. What have you learned from him? Did you pick up anything?
Yeah, definitely. It was two and a half years ago but I definitely learned a lot on that tour. It was a huge experience for me. He’s an incredible artist and it’s a good relationship. So it’s cool.
Is there any possibilities for a collaboration?
Maybe in the future. Yeah, definitely.
Speaking of collaboration, you were invited by Julia Stone for a writing session. How did that go?
Ohh that was so long ago. I knew her because my manager is really good friends with her and I met her before. Yeah, we write some really cool songs. I totally forgot about that.
Were they released?
Maybe. No, they haven’t been released yet. There were two really good songs. She’s great. She’s so much fun to write with and I supported her and Angus on their tour in Australia which was really a fun tour. They’re good people!
You are no stranger to compliments. Elton John recently expressed his admiration for your artistry in an interview. How was that feeling like hearing about it?
Yeah, that was incredible. Very, very surreal. Just hearing him talk about me and wanting to meet me.
Did you grow up listening to his music?
A little bit. Yeah. My parents always played his songs around the house. I was obsessed with “Crocodile Rock” for like 4 years of my life.
Before we let you go, can you tease us on what’s coming next? A new album or an EP? And how it’s going to sound?
I just finished my second EP and that will be coming out soon. Album, next year.
The sound is definitely different. I feel like it’s definitely lot more in line with my influences. Feel a little bit more mature just because I feel like I had a lot more creative direction in the writing sessions and knew what I wanted more than ever.