Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics
American band Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics unveiled their new single “Call Out My Name” on February 16th.
Inspired by the likes of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Etta James, the band introduced their southern soul music with their debut album “It’s About Time”, released in 2012. The record received great acclaim from major outlets in the US and led the band to share bills with Erykah Badu, the XX, Gary Clark Jr., Animal Collective, Feist, and Kendrick Lamar among others.
Their southern soul music signature designs an authentic combination of old meets new which creates a great music identity, revealing Velle’s soulful vocals and the band’s amazing instrumentation.
The Atlanta-based group’s new album “State Of All Things” is set to be released end of April 2018.
“Call Out My Name” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourself. What’s your story?
My name is Ruby Velle and I see myself as a multi-passionate creative, but most know me as the front woman of Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics, our badass lil’ soul band that comes from ATL, GA!
When did you start feeling connected to music?
At an early age, I was exposed to multiple genres by family members and on vinyl records. My parents used to play Paul Simon, Marvin Gaye and Joni Mitchell in my crib, so I guess the answer here is from the moment I could hear.
What was your favorite musical memory growing up?
My aunt June and uncle John, who set the tone for me to become a creative and shared with me many of my favorite musical artists, used to have a jam session in their front yard/farm in rural Canada ( I was born in Toronto). So one day around the age of 10 perhaps, I rehearsed, I labored over and I delivered “The Wall” by Pink Floyd. It was an exhilarating rush that I somehow wouldn’t feel again until high school while learning Italian Opera for soloist competitions.
Tell us about your first experiences in the music industry. What got you into music? What did you learn from these early experiences?
My first goal of music was just to be on stage once. I had some great mentors at the time and they encouraged me to meld my classical/choral trained voice into the voice that I WANTED to create. I knew back then, that a ‘style’ was not something everyone had but I’ve felt the blues, soul and roots/classic era music in my bones since youth, so it seemed natural to become a blend of old and new. This premise has started me on a musical and visual journey that’s been evolving into beautiful expressions that seem to be cathartic for fans and myself.
When gave you the confidence to pursue music as a career? Was it a difficult choice to make?
Music has always been a part of me, and my family allowed me to express myself by writing poetry, singing in chorus, which eventually evolved into songwriting and musicianship. It was not a difficult decision per say, but learning all the in’s and out’s of the music industry, record labels, etc has been challenging. As far as confidence, I think this is also an ever evolving thing, if you are human. However, I believe confidence is made with four ingredients: resilience, patience, practice and time.
How would you describe your sound?
Vibey, electric, poignant and conscious southern roots band. We are probably too large a band for our own good, but all eight of us enjoy a solid wall of sound when we play live. We love creating soundscapes that are an authentic blend of old meets new. Cee Lo always says “Instant Vintage” and I believe that phrase defines our sound well.
When and how did you meet your band?
I eventually moved from Canada to Florida and attended University of Florida. It was there I met Scott Clayton and Spencer Garn (my fellow co-producers/bandmates), and we – along with some other amazing musicians – started playing venues in and around the state. We quickly learned that Atlanta, GA had more opportunities for us to create albums in home studios – in those days what seemed more affordable. We moved to Atlanta around 2007.
In your opinion, what makes a good band?
Communication and gratitude make or break a band. Yes, communication on a live show without even using words, and equally important as face to face talks behind the scenes. A band is a family and family reaches out to make sure all eyes stay level on each goal. This isn’t an easy path, heck just scheduling rehearsals can take a chain of 40+ emails, but we try our best to keep everyone in the know as we release the works we are so grateful to have made with them. I have said and will say again, COMMUNICATION IS CREATIVITY.
Could you tell us about your new single “Call Out My Name”? What’s the story behind it? Who did you work with?
Absolutely - I’d love to share this with you. “Call out My Name” is a timeless love adventure in a song, motivating the listener to love above all else, so we knew it had to be released around Valentine’s Day in the US. This track with the Soulphonics has weaving horn lines and gang vocals declaring endless vows. Between the lyrics I wrote and the arrangement created by Scott, Spencer and the rest of the Soulphonics, there’s this surreal ebb and flow to match any relationship experience.
What is your goal for this new single?
We have found great exposure through landing on streaming playlists, with a collective of like minded musicians, so I would like to see “Call Out My Name” on a classic love song list, or greatest love song list if we are going to aim high. What’s great is that we’re two months away from the release of the album and already it’s feeling REAL!
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I have various influences spanning many genre and era’s, and the bandmate’s I’ve worked with all have various and wild influences. There are simply too many to list but I’ll try a few here : Otis Redding, Etta James, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, Ani DiFranco, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, D'Angelo, Led Zeppelin, Johnnie Taylor, James Brown, Minnie Ripperton, Patty Griffin, Portishead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Luther Allison, Queen, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix. You see how all over they are!? It’s really amazing that we found soul as the common denominator even!
Could you tell us a little about the music scene in Atlanta. What makes it special? Any local artist you’d like to recommend?
The music scene in Atlanta is special because the artists are not afraid to be real people. We all, for the most part now - help each other, support the shows and try to find ways to collaborate. Across genre’s I’ve been able to learn so much by watching my friends shine, like Matt Lambert (All The Saints), CLAVVS and BOSCO. I always recommend the music of Adron, Jason Collier Music Project, Kevin Scott, and of course music coming from the studio we created 'State of All Things’ in Diamond Street Studios!
What would be your definition of music?
I’ve heard music be described as the only thing that can enter one’s self without any permissions. This is POWERFUL as I am a believer in all energy. So music is resonance that is universally accepted if we are lucky enough to feel and hear it.
Why do you make music? What keeps you going?
I make music and write songs to be a small part of a movement surrounding conscious music. I certainly express myself through writing love songs, but there is far more of a focus to utilize these gifts to give voice to a generation that is seeking a better way forward. Since we are a blend of new and old, our music unifies and THAT is what keeps me going. I’ve always believed in what the Soulphonics and I have created together, even when that creation slowed, it was only to add a certain flavor or note to our co-creation.
What do you want to accomplish in this world? How do you want to be remembered for?
This is too large a question and mostly I’m still figuring it all out, so I’ll tell you when I get there!
What’s your purpose?
My personal mission is to spread love and higher vibration through sound and through the first instrument, the voice, and hopefully to have a whole lot of fun doing it. The band’s mission is to pave the way for independent bands like us, to feel freedom of expression versus the grip of an industry less focused on making quality music. To let it be known it’s ok to take time to create what really matters.
I’ve always been fond of this quote by my shero, the fabulous spirit warrior Maya Angelou, so I’ll cite it here as my sentiments: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”.
Connect with the band: