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INTERVIEW: Faith Evans Ruch

Hi Faith, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi! Thanks for having me! I’ve been doing amazingly, actually. Life has been pretty sweet to me here lately.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I’m Yours’”?

“I’m Yours” is the leading track on Lessons in Falling and was recorded alongside the rest of the album at historic Royal Studios in my hometown of Memphis, TN. The song was co-produced by Kevin Houston and Ryan Peel. The opening energetic “cha cha cha HEY” made it a top pick to open the record with and the horn lines are probably my favorite part. In fact, I actually imagined those horn lines as I was writing the song and wrote a lot of the structure around them.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

“I’m Yours” was written on my parent’s dock on the bay in the gulf of Lower Alabama. It was a cold morning in March and I’d arrived the night before. I’d had a fight with significant other at the time the previous evening and thought that his reason for being upset was silly and petty so I’d been hardheaded and wouldn’t apologize, standing my ground that he was being “over sensitive”. I felt bad for leaving mad and for having too much pride to accept and admit that sometimes it’s more important that you hurt someone you love than whether or not you think it should have hurt them. So I took my guitar and went down to the dock and wrote “I’m Yours” as a love letter to him to apologize and let him know how much I really adored him.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Making music videos is probably one of my favorite parts of the job. I was acting long before I was singing (at least publicly) so the opportunity to get to put that passion into work with my music is always a great time. I love being on set and shooting. With that being said, I definitely have plans to shoot a couple of videos for this record, but I honestly haven’t decided for which songs yet. I have a few in mind but you’ll just have to wait and see what I narrow it down to for now!

The single comes off your new album Lessons In Falling – why did you take so long on releasing this material?

Well, making an album is time consuming and it’s very expensive when you’re funding your own work, so we knew upfront that this record may take time to release, but we weren’t anticipating some of the obstacles I met along the way. I recorded the first 3 singles off the record in December of 2015 and released them over the course of 2016 to keep my fans engaged and bring them new material while we worked on funding and recording the rest of the album. We had finally nailed down a target release date for the spring of this year but just before the last recording session I endured a devastating breakup that left me wondering if I had it in me to finish an album that had started as a love letter two years prior. Shortly after that I was hospitalized with a life threatening case of meningitis. During that time I was met with the struggles of being placed on medical bedrest away from my nursing job and regular pay check for over a month, had to cancel some of our in and out of town summer shows, and had to manage paying medical bills while also trying to finish an album. I honestly almost gave up on the project. It was just so much happening at once. However, my long time producer and friend, Kevin Houston, convinced me not to throw away all the work we had to put into Lessons in Falling(originally titled “Mercy”), and to find a way to make peace with the record and finish it. With the support of my family, friends, band, and my two supportive producers, I was able to finally release the record this month. Better late than never, right?

What’s the story behind the title?

This album explores the experiences of falling in and out of love. It’s something we all do and all go through. What I have found in my own life most importantly defines these experiences is how we handle them and what we learn from them, or “how we choose to fall”. I mentioned that I had previously named the record “Mercy” and it was sequenced to be a love letter. As I was coming to terms with how to change the album in accordance with my own life changes (my music is unapologetically very personal to me), a friend of mine had a daughter in ballet class and she was telling me about how she had been concerned about her because she kept randomly falling down. Come to find out that the little girl was learning in ballet class how to “fall gracefully”. I immediately thought, “Oh my God… is this not what we strive to do in the face of pain and hardship and heartbreak? We all go through these ups and downs, but what really matters is how we handle it; how we take the blows of the inevitable falls.” That’s when I knew how to make peace with my album… I rearranged the tracks and I named it “Lessons in Falling”. The closing track “Thank You” summarizes this sentiment perfectly.

How was the recording and writing process?

This was the first time I’d ever gone into a record writing for it rather than putting it together with already written material. A few of the songs were already completed when we went into the pre-production planning phase, but the vast majority of the songs were written towards the theme of the record. I knew I wanted a lot of soul and a lot of horns and we nailed it! With that sound in mind, Kevin suggested that we take this record to Royal Studios (home of legendary Hi Records-think Al Green and Ann Peebles) because you can’t walk into that place and not get soaked in soul. We cut the first 3 singles over a day there and recorded the rest of the album live in-studio there in February of this year over a 3 day period (fun fact: we were actually in the studio on my birthday). We then did horn and background vocal overdubs as Jim Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch in Coldwater, MS and went back to my old stomping ground, Music+Arts Studio, back in Memphis for mixing. The album was mastered by Kevin Nix at L. Nix Mastering.

What role does Memphis play in your writing?

I think it would be hard to be brought up here and not have that reflect in your music. After all, Memphis is music. I’m a 4th generation Memphian so I grew up on the sounds of my town. From blues, to soul, to rock and rockabilly, to classic country (we are in the south), I’m a Memphis girl through and through from my deep love and appreciation of fine BBQ to the multitude of sounds you’ll find pleasantly fuse in the delta on this record.

What lessons did you get to explore on this record?

It was more than just an album concept. This record saw me through some of the best and then some the hardest and lowest times of my life, and in a sense, it made me a stronger person. “Lessons in Falling” forced me to learn how fall down with grace and how to pick myself back up, though not always with ease, and place myself back higher than where I last fell from. I made this, it made me better, and nothing and no one can ever take that from me.

Any plans to hit the road?

We released this record just kind of right before the holidays which is a busy time for me with family and my nursing job (holidays are work days in the medical field and I’ve been a labor and delivery nurse for 7 years), so right now I’m playing a lot of local shows but on my days off I’m working on booking late winter/early spring dates on the road so I can visit all my out of town fans and bring them the new record. Stay tuned for date announcements!

What else is happening next in Faith Evans Ruch’s world?

Right now I’m thinking ahead about music videos, tour dates with plans to extend outside of the south and southeast this spring, and hoping to actually get back to the UK with this record. I was fortunate to tour England in the spring of 2015 with my last EP “After It’s Said & Done” and I fell in love with the country, so getting back across the pond is probably the biggest goal on my to-do list right now. In the meantime, you can find me delivering babies by day and playing music by night here in the 901 while I raise that money for all these exciting big plans. What can I say? It’s a damn good life to be living.

More on Faith Evans Ruch:

Facebook | Website | Listen to Lessons In Falling

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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