By June 28, 2019Featured, Features, Music


Talks inspiration, missing home and his sense of style.

Photographer: Jake Hateley // @jakehateley
Stylist: Taija-Leorelle // @taija_leorelle
Interview: Lynn Moyo // @meliimoet
Talent: RUEL // @oneruel

“I could be so tired, insanely sick, just feeling absolutely down but as soon as I get on stage and I’m front of a thousand or two thousand people I just switch”

With an ever expansive taste in music coming from his father’s formative years in London, RUEL got an early start in the game with writing music from as early as 12. Later getting the validation he needed to pursue his dreams in the form of praise from music legend Elton John after the release of his “Don’t Tell Me” single, RUEL has since gone on to release popular tracks such as “Younger” and “Painkiller.” PAUSE sat down with the rising talent to find out what’s next…

Shirt – Calvin Klein 205w39nyc, Trousers – OAMC, Shoes- Converse Golf Le Fleur

So you’ve been singing for a while now, but when did you actually discover that you can sing?

I probably starting getting lessons when I was like 9 or 10, that’s when I thought like, this is fun. People say I can do it so you know I’ll start putting some work into it. But I was like 9 or 10 years old so i didn’t really know what was happening. Then I started writing music when I was 12, and I put out my first song, and that’s when I realised that I could do this as a career. That this could be possible.

When was the moment that you knew that this was a definite career choice for you?

Probably when “Don’t Tell Me” my first single came out and like Elton John kind of find out about it and he was giving me praise about it, and I was like Oh Okay. This could work out.

What was that like? Elton John giving you praise?

That was insane. That was a very surreal moment. I remember being at school and my manager texted me some audio and a video of him talking about on his radio show, and he’s announcing the song and talking about me, and I was just freaking out by myself, in my locker room. It was insane.

And then life changed from there?

Pretty much yeah. That happened, and more people started picking it up, and Zane Lowe wanted to use for the Beats Studio Three campaign, and it took off.

You wrote your first song at 12 years old. That’s pretty impressive. What inspired you to write music that early in your life?

I mean, I just love music and I’ve loved it for a pretty long time. Since I was born, I’ve been listening to music and my dads a big music nerd as well. So I’ve always just wanted to do it myself, and I actually wrote songs when I was 8 or 9 years old but looking back on them now, they’re funny because they’re really terrible. But when I got the opportunity to write with someone who’s an actual professional writer, and I knew some of the songs he’d written, I was just like yeah, let’s do it.

What was your biggest influence, musically, when you were growing up?

Well, my dad played a lot of Stevie Wonder, he played a lot of Bill Withers, Amy Winehouse, a lot of old Amy stuff and James Blake. He actually put me onto Kendrick when Section 80 came out, and I just thought that it was really cool that my dad listened to Kendrick. He just knows everything about pretty much all genres.

So you were born here in the UK, then moved to Australia. What was that transition like?

I don’t really remember moving, but I do remember the first time coming back here and I just like yeah, this is like my second home. I mean, I love London so much and I’ve got a lot of family here and so many friends so I really love it.

Do you feel like the move impacted or inspired your music at all?

I don’t actually remember living here much, I remember like just coming here for holidays. My dad lived in London for like 20 years, so he probably picked up alot of his music taste here, which probably impacted me.

Coat- Alyx studio , Tshirt, Shirt & Trousers OAMC, Shoes – Converse Golf Le Fleur

Where do you live now?

Still in Sydney.

And you’re touring.

Yeah, I really don’t live anywhere. I’m barely home. It’s pretty crazy.

So you travel a lot obviously, which would you say is your favourite city to play in?

It’s probably the most crazy in my hometown of Sydney, just because that’s where I’ve got the biggest audience. I’ve sold out two Sydney Opera Houses like a few weeks ago and that was the most insane thing that’s ever happened in my life, and that was by far one of the best shows ever. But I really like just European fans, because they’re hype but they’re kind of chill when you meet them in real life in find because in Australia it’s like not many artists go to Australia so when someone does, everyone is like “oh my God” and it’s crazy. But like over here in Europe, most artists come over here so when you meet them it’s more chilled and they kind of don’t want to scream and jump on you.

What’s craziest fan story that you can share?

It’s weird just walking outside my house and going around the road to the shops and someone wants to get a photo. But the craziest experience was in New Zealand actually where a fan, they were bringing like gifts and stuff for the show at the meet and greet, and this girl gave me this box. It looked like they would be a ring or necklace inside, and then I opened it up, and it was little bag, and kind of like a chain or a piece of string so I kind of pull it out and there was a huge tooth on it. And it was fresh. I just had no idea what to do with it and she was standing there like ” yeah, it’s my tooth” and I was just like “errr Thank You.” And put it away as fast as I could, but yeah that was the weirdest thing a fan has ever done.

So your latest single, “Painkiller” is streaming like crazy right now of course. And you have another EP coming out as well. What’s the inspiration behind “Painkiller” and the EP?

So Painkiller, I wrote this like last year November with a good friend of my Sarah, who I also wrote “Younger” with. And the night before, I had a writing session with her and I was just really missing home because I’d been away from home for like three months and I just started writing things that reminded me of it. Then I came to the session next day with a few melodies and these lyrics, and she was like oh this is really cool but I feel like we can make this a little bit vaguer and relatable to any person. To me, it’s just about missing home.

Coat – StaffOnly, Rollneck – Calvin Klein 205w39nyc, T- shirt – Visual, Trousers – Ambush, Shoes- DR marten

You also dropped a video alongside the single as well.

Yeah, yeah. So the video, that came along very fast. My creative director Jeremy came up with the treatment, and he directed it, and he kills every time. The music video is just about being at home, even if it’s like my home is tearing me apart because there’s like a toxic chemical in the air, but I don’t really care as long as i’m in my own bed or in my own room you know.

Because home is where the heart is.

Yeah, yeah yeah.

What do you think is the best thing about being an artist in 2019?

Free stuff, [laughs] I’m kidding. Erm I’d say just being on stage is probably the best. You just get this feeling and this sense of adrenalin that nothing else can really match up to it, it’s literally like a rollercoaster. It’s just so much love in the air, and when fans give you energy and you give it back and they give it back, it’s just crazy transactional energy every time. I could be so tired, insanely sick, just feeling absolutely down but as soon as I get on stage and I’m front of a thousand or two thousand people I just switch, not like into another person, but I feel just instantly feel like I’m on top of the world. It’s crazy, honestly, it’s so weird.

Glasses – Giant Vintage, Top – Berthold, Trousers – StaffOnly, Shoes – Converse, Jacket – OAMC

I mean there are already fans camped outside the venue waiting for you, in the rain and cold right now. What’s the feeling like?

I don’t think that’ll ever become normal to me. And I don’t really want it to become normal to me either. When I hear about people doing crazy things for me, I appreciate it and I think it’s the most amazing thing ever. I love that. I don’t know, but I never really want to think about it too much because I don’t want it to get to my head. I don’t want to start believing it so yeah.

Who would you want to collaborate with music wise, and if you ever do a collaboration fashion-wise, who would it be with?

Music wise, I love Frank Ocean. He’s my favourite artist. I still listen to Nostalgia Ultra as much as I do Endless and as much as I do Blonde. Something about his voice and lyrics get to me every time. I’d just love to see him write and see him work, and see what we could do together.

Fashion wise, I would love to collaborate with Converse, just because I only wear Converse shoes, like the One Star’s and the Golf le Fleurs. It’s such as simple shoe, and a blank canvas to do what you want. I wore these Cons to the Billboard Music Awards with a suit and it works.

When it comes to fashion, who would you say has had the most influence on your style?

Probably Tyler, The Creator. I’m a huge fan of him, his music and everything he does. Golf Wang is incredible. He never really does anything wrong fashion-wise, like everything he puts out, everything he wears is just so crazy and is always different so yeah, probably him.

With someone like Tyler, The Creator, whose style we’ve seen evolve and transition over time. Do you feel like your style has done the same?

Of course, when I started I had no idea what fashion was. When I started doing music I just listened to my manager, and my manager hasn’t got the best dress sense. But he was like just put on a bomber jacket, a flat cap and you should be sweet, and I was oh okay. But when I started getting to know what I want and getting to wear what I want, I’m just really starting getting into it. And I’d also love to start my own fashion label one day, I’ve already got some ideas and stuff like that, and I’ve got a little book where I write all my ideas and drawings.

What’s the fashion scene in Australia like?

It’s pretty non-existent, to be honest. Everyone just wears boardies, flips flops and you know.

Boardies? What are those?

Swimming trunks, I switch between my English and Australian slang. But yeah so, it’s always like really hot over there and because fashion usually comes from cold weather so you know. But Melbourne is a little better, and there are so many stores over there aswell, it’s still like there but there’s not much to really say about it compared to Europe or the states or Asia. Asian fashion is my thing. I love Japan, I’ve been there like four, fives time now and it’s just wow, so good. I always just buy so much stuff, it’s so expensive but it’s so sick.

What would you say is your favourite thing about Asian fashion?

I don’t know. it’s always quite oversized which I’m a big fan of, I always like oversized stuff. And I like the earthy tones, I’m not wearing earthy tones at all right now but it’s what I usually wear.

So how would you describe your personal style?

I don’t know. I wear different stuff all the time. I don’t really have a set style but like one my of favourite things to wear is classy sort of streetwear, so not just full hoodies but I do like suit pants and stuff like that. I tend to tuck in my shirt every now and then.

If we were to raid your wardrobe now, what designers would we see the most?

You’re going to see a lot of Golf Wang, a lot of Golf stuff in there. I’ve bought like two expensive things, I bought and Off-White sweater and a Balenciaga sweater for my birthday last year and the year, but everything else is like thrift stuff. I’ve got like six turtlenecks that I’ve got from thrift stores and I wear all the time. So mainly Golf and those two expensive things. Mainly because it’s hard to have so much suitcase space when you’re travelling

What’s one outfit that you regret wearing?

Probably my first ever time I was on TV, actually it was an award show in Sydney and I would have just turned 13. This is when my manager was dressing me and I wore this huge white t-shirt that went all the way down to my knees and was like real thin, and then I had a black shirt over it and I was wearing like a chain and a black flat cap, and my hair was like going down over my face. I looked like a moron, and because I had no idea at the time, I just like yeah. Looking back now, I’m like “what was you doing?”

You were also at Kanye West’s Coachella Sunday Service show.

Yeah. That was crazy. I was at Coachella performing with SG Lewis, a UK artist because I had a song coming out with him and we premiered it there. So I got these VIP passes, artist passes to the Sunday Service, and we were like standing there and it was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life and probably the happiest I’ve ever been. Watching Chance go up and do that verse of UltraLightBeam, and that’s one of my favourite songs so I just started crying. My Creative Director, Jeremy, he was with me and he bought the merch, and the merch looked a lot like the choir outfits, so he put it on and when everyone was leaving, they were all leaving in a line and they were like singing and dancing, he snuck in wearing the merch and pretending he was part of the choir and just went straight through to Kanye’s caravan, like backstage area. There were like 10 security dudes just standing there but since they thought he was part of the choir he just went straight through and he comes out with all this YEEZY merch, it was crazy. That was a very crazy experience. It was beautiful.

So with all things considered, from writing your first songs at 12 to all the things you’ve done until now, what would you say has been the biggest achievement so far?

It’s really crazy, something crazy happens every few weeks and things just keep kind of stepping up but I reckon the ARIA award was when I was like “oh damn”, I feel like I’ve actually proven something to the industry. I got the Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the ARIA’s last year and I was the youngest person to ever to do it so yeah that was probably the craziest thing, so to have that in my bedroom is cool.

What are your future plans now? What’s next?

I just want to write an album now. I’ve done so many singles and I’ve finished this EP coming out in a couple of months, man I just want to have a full proper body of work now, that’s what I’m aiming for in the next year really.

Follow RUEL on Instagram

Join the discussion 2 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.