With summer right around the corner, and everyone finally getting a chance to get out for the first time in over a year, many are looking to get loose and have fun with no apologies whatsoever. If you’re one of those individuals looking for a good time and some beats to jam to, look no further than New Jersey-born 21-year-old pop/dance songwriter and producer, Ruff.
Ruff, who is one of the up-and-coming talents in the genere of pop/EDM and dance, kicked off his catalogue in July 2020 with ‘Self Sabotage‘ alongside MIKEY C & Lila McKenna on Australia’s Teamwrk Records. The track achieved over 300,000 streams on Spotify and support from Will Sparks.
In October 2020, he released his follow up single ‘Without It‘ alongside Robbie Rosen via Killabite Media. February 2021 saw the release of an energetic dance flip of the Justin Bieber classic ‘Love Yourself’ alongside Chicago based vocalist Diffrnt gaining support from R3HAB.
Rejoining forces with Robbie Rosen on “Reasons” with rising star Mercedes in tow, the ever-evolving orchestral dance-pop crossover sound of Ruff continues to touch fans around the globe, with a boatload of releases to come for this budding artist in 2021 and beyond.
With “Reasons” set to officially drop May 5th, I catch up with Ruff as we talk music, working with Rosen and his future projects that are in the pipeline.
- Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. First off, can you introduce yourself to our readers? – Of course, thanks for having me! My name is Nick and I go by Ruff in the music world. I’m a 21 year old dance/pop artist from New Jersey with a passion for what I do!
- Have you been exposed to music your whole life? Is there a moment that you remember when you knew you wanted to pursue music as a career? – Funnily enough not particularly, my whole life from 1st grade all the way up through to freshman year of college has been pretty much strictly sports focused. However, during my sophomore year of high school, a buddy of mine showed me the Chainsmokers set from Ultra on YouTube and immediately I was hooked and right then and there was like “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life”. It wasn’t until the spring of my freshman year of college when I decided music and the overall Ruff brand was superseding sports and I had to pick one, with that one being music!
- Where does the majority of your inspiration come from? – I try to pull inspiration from a little bit of everything in my daily life as well as my past; whether that’s the music I listen to, nature when going for a walk, my current emotions or past feelings, it all melds together to create this “bubble” of inspiration that is constantly there for me to pull from.
- Which would be your dream festival to perform at and why? – They’re all amazing but if I can only pick one then it definitely has to be Ultra since that festival has played such a massive role in inspiring me to jump into this genre and industry. What truly makes Ultra special is they don’t limit it to just one location but take it worldwide every year which is something super unique and amazing. I’d love to be a part of one day!
- You recently released your single ‘Reasons’ alongside American Idol finalist Robbie Rosen and you’ll be unveiling an acoustic version shortly. How did the collaboration with Robbie come about? – Robbie is one of the most talented singer-songwriters I’ve ever worked with and this is actually our second release together. We wrote a few tracks and ideas together back at the start of 2020 before the pandemic had even started, one of them being “Without It” which was released back in October and then with “Reasons” we brought Mercedes on board for a duet which is something I’ve always wanted to work on since it allows for the lyrical story to be told from more than one perspective.
- What’s the story behind the single? – It’s always been a “bucket list” item for me in my songwriting journey to take on a duet and have the story of a breakup be told from both sides, with those sides basically coming in with wildly different perspectives as to why it ended. There is certainly a lot of truth behind the lyrics in “Reasons”, pulling from experiences of being on both sides of this in my past, but to really bring it to life, myself and Robbie approached it from the perspective of putting ourselves in the mindset of a screenwriter creating a movie rather than just a song to paint a visual picture in the listener’s mind.
- Can you tell us a little more about the remix competition that is currently underway for ‘Reasons’ and how our readers can enter? – Of course! I teamed up with the awesome crew over at SKIO music for a remix contest involving my track “Reasons” and so far it has been crazy, with over 100 entries with 2 weeks still to go. To enter, all you have to do is go on Skiomusic.com, hit the remix contest tab, download the stems, and cook up a banger!
- Can we look forward to any more music from you in the coming months? – Oh yeah, there is a TON of new music coming soon that I am so excited about. Expect some collabs with some insanely talented producers and vocalists from all over the world in the next few months!
- What advice can you give to up and coming producers? – Never give up. It sounds simple in theory but there are going to be times where you will face rejection, negativity, and just feel down overall; it happens to all of us but the most important piece of that equation is making sure you look that adversity in the face and stand up to it instead of letting it hold you down. We all struggle at times and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, just keep working hard!
- Thanks for your time – do you have any final words? – Don’t be afraid to swing by my Instagram @ruffmusicofficial and say hello, I answer everybody who reaches out!
Special thanks to Ruff and Maddie Eastman from Get In PR for their help, time and assistance during the interview. Photos courtesy of Get In PR, and used with permission.