Popping Up: Ruth B
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Beyonce and Katy were once unknown, too.
Ruth B hopes to make the leap from social media sensation to pop star with debut EP The Intro (due November 27). The 20-year-old, who enjoys a massive following on Vine, got off to a flying start when self-penned/produced ballad “Lost Boy” went viral earlier this year. She released the track independently and watched it soar into the top 100 on iTunes — a feat that caught the interest of all the major labels.
The Alberta, Canada native subsequently signed with Columbia Records and they are now giving her touching Peter Pan-themed anthem a proper push. I recently caught up with Ruth to learn more her journey from Vine favorite to accomplished singer/songwriter, and learned the real meaning behind her breakthrough hit. Get to know the rising star a little better by watching an exclusive video introduction (we have the premiere below) and check out our latest Popping Up underneath.
HOMETOWN: Alberta, Canada.
FINDING VINE: “Initially it was just an app that I would scroll through and occasionally post little weird vids of me and my friends or family,” Ruth reveals. “I didn’t think to sing on it because the idea of trying to capture a song in six seconds didn’t even seem real at the time.”
FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC: The talented newcomer has been singing all her life. “It wasn’t something I was taught to love,” she confides. “I genuinely can’t remember a time where I wasn’t completely obsessed with singing and music in general. I’ve always loved writing stories. I could sit in my room for hours and write fictional stories. I had never really thought to put the two together — storytelling and singing — until ‘Lost Boy’ came about.
THE EVOLUTION OF “LOST BOY”: “When I initially posted the ‘Lost Boy’ vine there was no song,” the Canadian explains. “It was just some words I threw together to a catchy melody. Once I saw the reaction to the vine I thought, ‘Maybe I should turn this into a full song.’ So I sat down one day and wrote the song.” She wanted there to be more to the track than the cast of children’s classic.
“I made sure that it wasn’t just about Peter Pan, fairies and pixie dust,” Ruth continues. “I figured that some people were going to listen to it, so I wanted to make sure it had a message. Something that people could take away from it. Everyone gets lonely and everyone needs a friend. You’re bound to feel lost at some point in your life. It’s a universal feeling.”
SIGNING TO COLUMBIA RECORDS: “Once I put the song on iTunes, a lot of different labels started reaching out to me via email,” the vine sensation reveals. That’s not exactly surprising when you consider that the ballad reached the top 100 on iTunes with no promotion. However, she was stunned. “It was so insane to me! In the end it was Columbia that I liked the best and that understood me and my vision the best.”
A NATURAL: “I wrote and produced the EP myself,” Ruth says. “I think for me writing is a very intimate process and in a sense I’m always writing now. I don’t really sit to ‘write a song.’ It’s always going on in my head. ‘Lost Boy’ was the first song I had ever written, but now I have about 14 songs under my belt. But I’m always coming up with ideas and always documenting my experiences.”
ON SHAWN MENDES: “Shawn started from Vine too, so I love watching him kill it!”
HER INFLUENCES: “My favorite artists are Lauryn Hill, The Beatles, Carole King, Grouplove, Adele, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran,” she lists. “That’s a few of them. The one thing all my favorite artists have in common is they are all storytellers. Something that I try to incorporate in my music.”
Listen to Ruth B’s viral hit “Lost Boy” below and download her debut EP The Intro drops November 27.
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