A Conversation with Rubita

April 17, 2020

Before the world went into lockdown because of COVID-19, we caught up with the talented singer/songwriter Rubita. Initially planning to release her debut album after putting out her third single “Cold South” and then embark on a tour, the artist has instead decided to put that on hold and replace it with the single “Sexy.” 

Check out the interview below.

Congratulations on the release of your single “Cold South” now this is the third single you’ve released off of your upcoming album “Distinctive Thrill” is this going to be the final single before the album’s release? 

“So we’re going to drop one more and then we’re going to release the album in April. So the new single will probably be about a month before the album comes out. Normally I think it’s three singles and then an album but we thought we’d just go one more because we couldn’t decide which singles to release.” 

As a songwriter you just keep getting stronger and stronger with each release has your songwriting process changed from when you were just starting out? 

“I guess for a lot of these songs on the album they’ve been songs that I’ve written over the last few years, so it kind of changes each time with the songwriting. It seems to be different each time I do it. I have been pretty lucky in that a lot of the musicians I have played with on the songs have been pretty awesome, they’ve definitely made everything sound a lot cooler. Sometimes it just kind of depends on what has inspired me at the time. I think a lot of these songs I did actually write while I was living in Dunedin, as a student. The next album after this one will probably be very different. All of these songs I have been pretty closely attached to them for a while so it’s nice that they’re finally getting released and that people can hear them. 

In “Cold South” there is quite a prominent brass section. When you’re collaborating with those musicians how does the composition of those sections come about?

“With that song the saxophonist when we were jamming with kind of played around on a few things and then we realised that for that song we wanted it to be a nice gradual build. Because the saxophone is so dominant to create a nice build we couldn’t really bring it in until later in that middle section where it kind of goes all a little bit hectic. When we were recording it the saxophonist’s brother came as well, they’re actually my cousins. So, he came in with his clarinet and it just sounded nice having the soft little melody at the start. Because the clarinet is actually quite different. I don’t really know much about brass but the clarinet is a woodwind, and is closer to the flute than a saxophone. It was really fun playing around with those instruments because they’re quite unique and we can do a lot with them as well which makes them sound quite cool. 

You’ve said that “Cold South” is about your traumatic experience of feeling stuck between a dream and a reality, I was wondering if you could elaborate on that a little more?

“So, my final year of studying in Dunedin was quite hard because of human relations, flatmates and it gets pretty cold down there and I feel like some people turn a little bit crazy in the cold sometimes. It’s kind of a representation of how things in that final year just a little bit chaotic and I went through some things with some people that weren’t very nice sometimes in a way it almost felt like reality was the nightmare and sleeping wasn’t. So it was almost like I didn’t want to be in reality because it wasn’t that great of a time. 

So obviously the song is about Dunedin is it kind of like a love letter to an unpleasant period? 

“Yeah, I guess so. I mean I love Dunedin. I guess the nightmare is one person making things very unpleasant and another person who was saving you in these traumatic times and bringing you out of them. So it’s a contrast of the nightmare-like reality and the nice times of escaping from that.”

 And are you working with the same director who did “Let Me Know?”

“Yes, that’s right. So I approached him about doing a stop motion video. So, it’s going to be very fun, which is probably a good way to describe it. So we just did it in a weekend. It involved so many photos and a lot of props used to create some pretty cool scenes. It will be very different to the last one. I think it will be very enjoyable.” 

So who is the producer on the album? 

“So, a guy called Scott Newth who is actually from Hamilton and when I moved back home for a while I was actually working part-time in this music studio and he was working there. I showed him some of my stuff and he thought it was pretty cool. He’s usually the sound engineer in the studio but he’s gotten more into the production side, he’s really good. He’s definitely a purist in that he likes an analogue desk, nice classic clean sound.”

How many tracks have you recorded? And how long is the album going to be? 

“The album is going to be twelve tracks and three of those songs are actually from the E.P. and are already released and that is just to give those songs new life for those who haven’t heard them.” 

Are you going to release it physical form also? Or is it going to be digital-only? 

“I think I am going to release it in physical form. I’m going to talk to “Holiday Records” they are a new vinyl pressing in Auckland that has just started up. I know one of the guys that started it, so I might have a chat with him about it. I might just set it up so people can pre-order them and if I get enough interest then I might press some vinyl.”

You’re going on tour over the summer as well are you excited for it? 

“Yes, definitely! We’re kind of just doing a couple of shows so it’s just one up in the Coromandel and then a couple of dates in Wellington. But I am currently in the process of booking a South Island tour because I think it would be awesome to go back there so that’s probably going to be after the album release, I’m hoping for May.” 

Are you going to be teasing some new songs over the tour as well? 

“Yes, definitely. We will be playing lots of songs, probably all of the songs from the album. We’ve been playing those songs for a while so it will be nice to finally get them out and then start some fresh material.” 

What does the rest of 2020 have in store for you? 

“So release this music video and then do one more single before the album, release the album and then do a tour down south, hopefully, book in more festivals for next year over the summer and maybe do some more recordings.”

Check out Rubita’s latest single below,

You can stream Rubita’s music here 

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