As most 15 year-olds are preparing for their permit exam or gearing up for their first prom, London-born and Australian-raised singer-songwriter Ruel has been creating major waves in the music industry with his mellifluous voice and ridiculously catchy pop/R&B tunes.
Ruel received his first piece of professional success at the tender age of 12 when Grammy-winning producer M-Phazes, who has worked with the likes of Eminem, Logic, Kimbra, Zara Larsson, and KYLE, found himself stunned by a demo from an intriguing, unknown artist. He fell further into astonishment when he realized that this luscious and developed voice belonged to a boy who hadn’t even reached his teens yet. Since that fateful moment, the hype-train has been moving forward with fury, as Ruel continues to garner the attention of industry heavy-weights such as producer S1, KCRW’s Jason Kramer, Grammy-nominated Khalid, and the legendary Elton John, who described his voice as the “most amazing voice that I’ve ever heard from a male singer.”
Ruel’s father began shaping his musical taste at a young age by sharing the work of many soul, blues, and jazz greats, leading Ruel to draw inspiration from artists such as Stevie Wonder, Dave Brubeck, and Amy Winehouse. These influences are strikingly apparent, as his sound is laden with nostalgic R&B-Gospel infused textures, funky with a neo-soul twist, and dance-inducing with classic pop flair.
His journey as a songwriter began when he picked up his first guitar at age eight, since then this old soul has been creating a surplus of melodies and lyrics far beyond his age. Ruel explains,
“All my songs are about personal experiences. Songwriting helps me get through things, feelings that I don’t understand myself. When I write about something, it helps me figure it out in the process. But I want people of all ages, whether they’re 15 or 50, to be able to relate to my songs.”
Ruel flaunts his impressive songwriting chops in his debut EP, Ready, released June 15, 2018. The EP contains previously released standouts including “Younger,” “Don’t Tell Me,” and “Dazed and Confused,” and presents two new songs. R&B banger, “Not Thinkin’ Bout You,” explores an all too familiar sentiment of being unable to get that certain person out of your head. Powerfully emotive, pop-ballad “Say” showcases the young artist’s impressive vocal range, and is likely to leave you feeling a bit misty by the end. The EP as a whole is a testament to the bright future of pop music, as it is rich with an array of genres, contains a diverse range of relatable lyrical themes, and hosts a number of guaranteed ear worms.
You can check out Ruel’s debut EP below but consider yourself warned: these infectious tunes are guaranteed to get stuck in your head for year and years to come.