Benue State-born artiste, Ruby Gyang is known for her soothing vocals, distinct style of song writing, and confdent charisma and mixes the musical genres of Soul, Tribal house, Reggae, R&B and AfroBeat to create sound that brings pleasure and easy delight to the ears. Ruby is incredibly passionate about child development, art development and gender advocacy. She also hopes to one day to establish a foundation that support the allround development of the girl child. Signed on the Chocolate city musical group that houses other artistes that includes MI, Ice-Prince, Dice Aile, Koker, and Jesse amongst others, Ruby in this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, takes us on a ride into her musical sojourn among other issues. Enjoy…
When it comes to the music industry, for decades now the men have dominated; what do you think Nigerian female singers can do to take the center stage or at least take care of recognition aspect?
We need to work extremely hard. We need to be more active on Instagram, we need to take charge of our business and we need to understand laws about the music industry. I think that you are only limited by how far you think you can go and that has really helped us.
What do you think of women that think they would rather sell sex or go half naked?
There is certain genre of music that this is expected, and that is in the pop world and the competition is fxed. So sometimes, there are things you do to catch fun. I can say I understand the reason why they do that because of the aspect of music they are into.
Can you go back to that extent?
No. Luckily for me, I don’t have to. They focus on our gift; if you cannot sing, don’t show up. If you can’t put fun, don’t show up. It is really about your skill, that is, what you can do.
With several female artistes doing your kind of music, how do you intend to be more relevant trying to make your own kind of music?
For me, it is actually being more business minded, it is not so much about the music. For me, it is going along with my own brand, going with the value of my brand and making it so visible. I am talking about a lot of business. I’ve been reading on music business for the past years but have come to understand that what can take me further is understanding the business of music itself.
Talking about your voice, did you build it or its natural?
I have not always sounded as good as I do. I learnt that the voice almost got sour because the more you exercise, the better it becomes. I walked to the voice coach who has helped to develop my voice; also God made me to sound better.
Why are you sticking to this genre of music because it’s not the most popular in Nigeria?
It is not the most popular yet, you know it’s new. It is a new sound, even the present Afro pop stayed up to twenty years and this sound is not up to that yet but I love what I do; it’s what I grew up listening to, I’m trending with the path am good at and I understand that it’s a soul style but it has a long lifespan.
As an artiste, what has been the most challenging factor over the years for you?
There is acceptance of my music; it’s just that it’s not on massive market so we are not getting attention musicians like Olamide, Tiwa Savage are getting because the market is very different. I think the greatest challenge has been getting people to see soul as a genre of music and accepting it, the fact that we don’t have a lot of events that cater to the diverse music sound. There are very few that appreciate my type of music and they appreciate you more when there is live music performance.
Speaking of friends, they drink, they smoke; do you partake in any of these?
I don’t. I tried smoking once but it was a disaster and I left it. Besides, drinking is terrible on the voice, so I don’t do that.
Who encouraged you then to smoke?
Nobody actually, it was a disaster anyway so I don’t encourage anybody to that.
What was growing up like?
I grew up in Zaria, Kaduna State, Ahmadu Bello University to be precise. Both my parents worked there. I have nobody actually, it was a disaster anyway so I don’t encourage anybody to that.
What was growing up like?
I grew up in Zaria, Kaduna State, Ahmadu Bello University to be precise. Both my parents worked there. I have fve siblings and I have a million cousins, so it was just a large family life. It was built on music, fun, God, food, fghting, loving and it was actually great.
Can you tell us about food and food sharing?
Because we were in the north, we ate some northern food likes Fura, Tuwo-Shinkafa. I am from Benue State and Tiv by tribe. Pounded yam was very important as at then, my father eat it every day. Yam was very available, so we ate it with lot of meat, and we enjoyed that so much. I could remember we didn’t cut our Okro, we pounded it because it’s very long and really nice.