The Hackney singer on her angry break up song and dancehall raves – plus the debut of her new single
In the August issue of Dazed & Confused, we asked the funk-influenced bass producer Roska to select his favourite newcomer and he picked out Ruby Goe as his one to watch. We spoke to the sultry Goe about the full-on video for her track 'Badman' where she was buried alive, her love of Shazam! - and premiere her ace new single 'Sq1'...
Ruby Goe doesn’t make music videos by halves. Fresh from vomiting treacle in her previous clip, “Get On It”, the first shot from new single “Badman” sees her buried alive and bloodily gnawing on animal remains. “It’s really raw and honest,” the Hackney girl says of the video, which was shot in the biblical Cyprus desert. “I was angry! When you break up with someone it can be really physically devastating. Why the fuck would I just shake it to some green-screen graphics?”
“Badman” is the song that should send Ruby stratospheric when it’s released this month on her own label, Goe Music. It’s a majestic, dub-tinged midtempo jam with a killer opening line – “I’m a losing fighter / Ear bleed Tyson” – and a snarl to her soulful delivery of lyrics aimed at “some arsehole I used to go out with”. Pop-production maestro Andy Chatterley is on hand to give a bright sheen to the bassy postbreak-up vibes. “Although my album is very rhythmical and dancey, it’s also got some beautiful melodies and big, soundscape-y songs,” Ruby says of her debut, coming 2013. “Working with classically trained musicians encourages you to explore what chord changes can really make someone cry.”
But the root of her sound can be traced back to countless nights spent getting down and dirty at London dancehall raves. “Shazam is my best friend!” Ruby laughs. “If you’re out at 4am and everyone gets up on that tune, you have to take note! It’s just education. I mean, if you’re a writer you’re gonna read a shitload of novels.” A Londoner to the core, she took inspiration for “Get On It” – her debut – from the legendarily sketchy 149 bus through Dalston. “Oh my god!” she gasps. “I’ve been on public transport in Egypt and Mali, and there’s nothing like the 149!” But be warned – when she sings about getting “on it” she’s not talking flashing her Oyster card, a point she reinforces with the immortal line: “He’s gonna leave me walking like Bambi”. But let’s be honest – haven’t we all been left walking like Bambi at some point? Ruby roars with laughter. “You’d better fucking hope so!”
Photography by Pedro Koechlin