Reuby was asked: “What do you hope to have achieved at 19 years of age?”
Well, it seems local singer Reuby (real name Reuben) was asked that question by a fairy godmother when he was younger – because at the tender age of 19 he already has a full-length album out! The doe-eyed teen is currently a student at LaSalle College Of The Arts, and if his album is anything to go by, the arts institute should seriously consider preparing some space for him in their alumni galleries.
Reuby’s eponymous debut album is a self-assured and self-titled affair. The 10 tracks provide ample opportunity for his gritty vocals to make its point, and his timbre is one instantly recognisable.
Organised by his label, Warner Music Singapore, Reuby’s first press conference was concise, charming, and comfortable. Held at the Barber Shop at The Arts House, the venue was the just right for the event, with members of the media cheerily perched on bar stools.
Hosted by Sara Wee from local band 53A, Reuby dived straight into the questions, the first of which was about his chosen moniker. His stage name appealed to Reuben with its “catchiness”, and also because it bore resemblance to his given name. His biggest musical influence (and he didn’t hesitate when answering this… we sense a fanboy) is the British alt-(but-then-grew-too-popular-)rock band Coldplay, along with his mother, who he claims helped him with one song off the album.
When asked about how he managed to get himself signed to a record label at such a young age, Reuby related this uncanny story: He didn’t plan to. He was originally just an accompanist in his friend’s audition, tasked to play the guitar and provide backup vocals. But after hearing him sing, Warner signed him instead.
A good chunk of wisdom for stars-to-be: make sure your band doesn’t upstage you during your big break.
He also expressed interest in exploring other genres of music, saying “music is a huge world, a huge universe” and he is “always interested in the new and unique”. Keeping his options open is definitely a good thing… can we expect an EDM album next?
His debut single “My Sunshine” (which he would later perform) was bound to raise eyebrows with its familiar, evergreen chorus. He addressed this by saying he wanted a sample that would capture people’s attention, something that would make people sit up and wonder “I know that song! But who’s singing it?” DAMN RIGHT IT WORKED, YOU LITTLE GENIUS.
Veteran singer-songwriter Corrinne May is Reuby’s artist of choice when asked about which local act he would be most keen to collaborate with. Host Sara Wee then asked about his sombre track “Because You Love Her” and how he managed to write such an intense song at such a young age. Like the old soul he really is, he humbly and subtly distanced himself from the compliment by revealing that he “draws inspiration by putting himself in the shoes of other people”. He also joked about how the slow-motion video for the song was made possible by recording the visuals at double speed. #MovieMagic, y’all.
He rounded up the press conference with a live performance of three of his songs from the album: “My Sunshine”, “Free”, and the reeeeally high “Because You Love Her”. Watch his performance of “My Sunshine” here:
Reuby is indeed one to watch among the local music scene. Armed with swoonworthy good looks, a decent voice, and a down-to-earth personality, Reuben can definitely blaze the trail both local and abroad. Sure, his songwriting still reveals some kinks that need smoothening out, and his (whitewashed, brand-new) social media links need a lot of work, but with his good attitude there’s literally nothing he can’t overcome.
Need us to prove this point? Just look at this foetus video of him we found from 2012 where he was busking in public, breaking his set to thank passers-by. Reuby is genuine plus he’s willing to learn… and that will definitely get him far.
Buy Reuby’s debut album on iTunes here.