Hi Rupert, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been good, considering what this year’s thrown at us all. I know a lot of people have struggled this year and it’s been tough. I’ve tried to keep positive and tried to make the most of my time when the world seemed to stand still for a while this Spring/Summer.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Normal People”?
Well this song came to me during lockdown. The song is most definitely inspired by the recent BBC TV adaption of ‘Normal People’, but the song is also a reflection of my personal relationship, the ups and the downs and how sometimes you can doubt yourself, your decisions, and how you treated that person you love. But despite it all you find the courage to fight for the relationship and make it work.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Certain events over the last year or so in general definitely inspired the song, and describe the feelings I was going through when I started writing the song. The words came to me fairly quickly and felt very natural. The pandemic put the brakes on everything. It made me realise what’s most important in life, without all the usual distractions which surround our lives. Apart from the basic necessities, in the end what we missed the most and needed the most was our family and friends. Suddenly we weren’t able to see those loved ones for months on end.
Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?
We were planning on a music video but it got a little delayed…story of the year really! But it will get done and I hope to get it released in the coming weeks following the singles release at the end of October.
How did the recording and writing process differ from your last album?
Writing-process-wise I suppose I spent more time living with the songs before recording them in the studio. Pre-pandemic I’d write a song and get it recorded and turn it around fairly quickly…but this time round I’ve taken more time and I think it’s been hugely beneficial in terms of what we’ve created and the end product.
Who’s influencing you at the moment?
Another positive I took from lockdown was I actually listened to a lot more music than I normally would and discovered more great music! I’ve been enjoying a lot of Bon Iver, Luke Sital Singh, Harry Styles, Arlo Parks, Holly Humberstone, Lana Del Rey, Charlotte Day Wilson, Lumineers, Michael Kiwanuka. I’ve been drawn more to the chilled vibes when it comes to the music I’ve been listening to over the past 6 months in particular. It’s certainly inspired my writing, but it’s also been good for my soul. With so many stresses circulating us right now I’m just trying to be a little more zen and rolling with the punches and trying to look at the positives as much as possible! You just need to keep on keeping on!
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Most definitely! This year I started working with the great production duo of George and John at Homefire studios in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. I recorded some cool covers of Springsteen’s “Dancing In the Dark” and Backstreet’s “No Diggity” with the guys just before and in the midst of lockdown (the latter being both remotely and in a socially distanced recording sessions) and following the great work on those songs and the positive response to the tracks on social media and streaming platforms, I decided to work with the guys on these new original tunes. “Normal People” is the first single from what I think will be a 4/5 track EP I plan on releasing in Spring 2021. I’m really excited to get the next few songs out into the world and be as proud of them as I am of “Normal People”.
What else is happening next in Rupert Stroud’ world?
More singles and an EP release between Jan-April and keep working on writing/recording and releasing music in a more consistent manner. I used to be gigging week in week out all over the UK playing original shows, private gigs, functions, festivals and events…so to go from playing around 100 shows in a year to them all disappearing and being rescheduled means I’ve changed focus with regards to my time and had the space and opportunity to focus on being creative, and also looking to the future of my career and how I will continue to fund what I love – which is writing recording and eventually performing these songs live. It looks as though there is going to be some uncertainly at the beginning of 2021 and how the Industry is going to recover from this year is still up in the air. But as soon as the green light is given for things to return to normal, I’ll be running back to the stage. Andin my personal life I got engaged to my partner Fiona – she actually sings backing vocals on this new song too!