Aussie pop star Ruel ‘can’t wait’ to play new songs for PH fans
Australian pop star Ruel didn’t really know what to expect when he first played a gig in the Philippines four years ago. But it turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences he has had in his burgeoning career.
“I didn’t know anything, so I was just excited and looking forward to coming and seeing what the fans were going to be like. And it was an incredible experience that left such strong memories,” he said in a group interview organized by Sony Music Philippines.
“It was amazing. The response to the show was incredible,” he said of his 2019 concert at Teatrino in Greenhills. “Everyone was so loud and loving. It was like, I didn’t know people could do that. I had people over who listen to my music. It was so cool… such a cool feeling.”
Ruel, the voice behind the hits “Dazed & Confused,” “Painkiller” and “Growing Up Is…,” was supposed to return to the country in September 2020 as part of his “Free Time” tour, but the pandemic put a halt to that.
“I had never canceled a show before, so it was a really weird thing. We didn’t want to take the risk. It was crazy… but I felt like it was the right decision.”
First major PH concert
That’s why he couldn’t be more excited that the live touring scene is more or less back to normal now. Last February, Ruel finally got to return to the Philippines for a promotional Valentine mall show for his debut album, “4th Wall.”
“When I came back, people were at the airport. I saw familiar faces from the show four years ago. I could recognize the people. It was beautiful and really cool to see.”
Since debuting in 2017 as a precocious 14-year-old talent, Ruel has released three EPs, earned five platinum records and amassed over 2 billion streams worldwide. He’s also the youngest artist to sell out the Sydney Opera House twice.
On May 26, the 20-year-old singer-songwriter will hold his first major Philippine concert at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura. The one-night stop, mounted by Wilbros Live, is part of his ongoing tour in support of “4th Wall.”
“I can’t wait to be back and do a proper show. I really love coming over and just reciprocating the love that you guys show me,” Ruel said.
While “4th Wall,” like his EP “Bright Lights, Red Eyes,” references ’90s music, its overall theme and sound is “more futuristic and a little bit more current.” And like what its title suggests, the album is also visually inspired by movies that break that so-called fourth wall, like “The Truman Show” and “Fight Club.”
Sources of inspiration
“I felt like writing music that felt like a soundtrack to those movies. It was really to get inspiration because there was a lot of content to look at and so many visuals to reference. And obviously, you just try to bring in your own experiences… the things that happened in my life and melding them. It was cool mixing them into one and still feel like I’m being true to myself and giving my friends an insight into what’s going on in my head,” he said.
So is the breakup song “Must Be Nice” based on a personal experience?
“I mean every song comes from an experience to an extent. It’s just my take on a breakup. I wrote it with a bunch of other people who shared with me their experiences, as well. And it was an accumulation of different ways of looking at things and I wanted to make something that was easy to grasp,” he said.
The album was three years in the making. Now, he gets the chance to perform his new material for his Filipino fans on a live stage. “I can’t wait to be back and play them with a full band,” he said.
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