I’m doing really well thanks. I’m very excited at the moment and full of positivity and good vibes as I’ve finished my album -which is very unique as I draw from all the musical influences in my life growing up from dancehall/ragga, old school hip-hop, my Sri Lankan roots and underground hip-hop/popular music.
2) Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Late Nights”?
Late Nights is a real mash-up of dancehall/ragga sounds and hip-hop and establishes and shows my Sri Lankan heritage too through my lyrics and traditional sari costumes and dancers. The music video is set on a housing estate where I grew up and shows a typical summer’s BBQ party in London. You see kids playing basketball and games on the court and neighbours and friends hanging out at the BBQ sipping drinks and eating. Then later at night, the party turns into a house party with me on the Mic and the DJ spinning tunes. This is typically how I grew up and Late Nights is about partying and hangin’ out late into the night!
3) Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I would say I wanted to show people how I grew up and what the vibes were like. Kids, neighbours, friends all got together and everyone would bring their chicken, veg, rum, vodka to the BBQ to fire up! The mood was cool happy, fun and music was the centre of it- and we would party late into the night with DJ’s and MC’s.
4) How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
It was very simple as we turned up with our old bikes, DJ speakers and crew and just set up a BBQ on the grass just like we used to and people on the estate knew me from growing up there. It was a very relaxed vibe. I wanted to show the contrast of having traditional Sri Lankan dancers in colourful saris dancing on a basketball court with me also dressed in my traditional Sri Lankan jewelry and outfit. I wanted to show people where I came from originally but that the way we grew up we teamed the traditional Sri Lankan outfit and jewelry with Nike sneakers! I actually directed the video too as it was important to me to capture the reality of it all and show my upbringing and roots and introduce me Ruby T as an artist to the world out there.
5) How was the recording and writing process?
I recorded this track with a producer in London who has done a lot of dancehall and ragga. Yes, of course, he’s Jamaican ☺ We sprinkled a bit of my Sri Lankan, US and UK hip-hop and a ragga/dancehall vibe into this track. It’s got a unique sound as a result. I’ve had great feedback about it. Bless Up!
6) What role does Sri Lanka play in your music?
Huge role would say. My lyrics, my sounds and things that affected me growing up in difficult times in the bloody civil war are all things I include in my music. It’s who I am or a part of who I am.
7) How has your upbringing has influenced your writing?
Times were tough for Sri Lankan Tamils during the war and me and my family were extremely affected as were most Tamils. We had to flee the island and lots of Sri Lankan Tamils became refugees in countries like the UK and other European countries. This definitely influences my music. I also grew up in a gritty part of South London where the underground music scene was something I embraced and was passionate about. My time living in LA also influenced the type of tracks I wrote. My track ‘Loungin’ is definitely an old-school West coast hip hop track. I’m just a mixed bag of sweets! Treats for everyone !LOL!
8) Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Well my album is now finished and this is my first release. I’m really excited about it as I recently completed a tour of Asia and performed a few of my tracks to live audiences on TV as well as venues and the response has been really heartwarming ☺ Having written all the tracks on my album and produced a lot of them too-it’s like bearing your soul to the world and when people love it you get this warm glow inside! I can’t wait to share my other tracks soon with you guys…
9) Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Still pondering on that one but will let you know for sure!
10) Any plans to hit the road?
I’ve just completed my tour of Asia and that went really well. My live Music TV performance in Sri Lanka was a highlight and I was so touched by the response I had from my peeps☺
Performing live is such a buzz and I love it. I’ve been doing it since I was young in the underground clubs in London so for me it’s like the best place to be: on that stage entertainin’ and bringin’ my A-Game…
11) What else is happening next in Ruby T’s world?
Well, I’m still shooting a few more music videos for my tracks and prepping for the big release. When you love what you do -you can never keep still! My mind is exploding with new beats and lyrics so I may record a few more tracks too-even though my album is done…