Singer songwriter and visionary Ruth Lyon returned on July 23rd with vivid new single ‘Fast Food’. Stopping by MoggBlog to chat all things music, Ruth shares her thoughts on changes in the music industry she’d make and what’s the best advice she’d give to her younger self.
Do you prefer performing live or recording, and why?
I think performing and recording use completely different sides of an artist’s personality so it’s hard to choose but I don’t think there’s anything in the world that compares to performing a banging show. I like recording because there is so much control and room for experimentation, collaboration and expression in the details. However, for me performance is all about spontaneous electric connection – the connection between musicians, the connection between you and the crowd, the crew and everyone pulling together to create a totally magic atmosphere. I think I learn a lot about myself from performing and this year has been really tough not been able to tour because I realised that playing live is a huge part of my identity. It totally floored me, having to cancel everything but I think we’ll all appreciate it so much more now, like we really know what we have to lose after this year. Hopefully things are looking up on that front anyway!
If you could change about the music industry, what would it be?
I would love to see the music industry become more accessible and inclusive. Music has the power to bring people together, to help people overcome adversity and exclusion. If we let barriers continue to exist it means that music becomes elitist and only for certain people so we need to make sure that nobody is left behind for artists and audiences. It’s something that I’m passionate about as a disability activist. Growing up, I wish I had been able to look up to one disabled artist role model that I could identify with but there were none and it I think it can make young artists feel like they’re not welcome in the industry. Diversity shouldn’t be something that is a box ticking exercise but it should be at the forefront of how we involve our music industry because sharing experiences, elevating voices and showcasing diverse talent is crucial for the music industry as the creativity of people with different experiences is what keeps music exciting.
What’s the best advice you’d give to your younger self?
Learn to listen to your own instincts and never let anyone make you feel ashamed of who you are. You are going to have to be stronger than most people you know to get through what life throws at you but trust that you’ve got it in you. You have an important job to do that won’t always be easy and you will end up fighting for your space but don’t be discouraged as people do start to listen and you’ll see things get better. Building a community is going to be really important so you’re going to need to learn how to accept help and lean on your pals more than you imagine. Music will become your lifeblood and a huge part of your identity so crack on, shut out the distracting noise and get writing!
What’s the music scene like where you are from?
Although I grew up in real rural Yorkshire Moors and will forever be a Yorkshire lass at heart, I have been living in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England for the last 10 years. It is a wonderful place to make music. Everyone supports each other and shares each other’s work. It’s a proper creative hub and we have a fantastic network of musicians, visual artists, writers, film makers etc so it is possible to run a whole project just using local talent which is something I think we should be dead proud of! For many years there has been this gravitational pull on anybody doing music to need to head down to London but as a proud Northerner, it’s really nice to see that changing and more people celebrating their local scenes. I love it!
Tell MoggBlog viewers about your latest release! What’s the inspiration behind that?
It’s called Fast Food and it is about doing what you want to do – being unapologetically you! Over the last year, I morphed into these strange characters taking on different personas, discovering my green fingers in my backyard, delving into DIY, spending a huge amount of time in the bath and getting all dressed up just to drink pink fizz on my couch covered in takeaway boxes. I think everyone did right?! For me it has been fantastic to have that space to do what I want…no pressure. It’s the kind of tune you want to bop to but it’s also about unlearning the societal pressures of how we portray our fake, perfect lives on social media and warped beauty standards. I loved making the video in my living room bringing all these characters to life and generally getting a bit weird! There’s so much beauty and creativity in imperfection and I just want to celebrate that.