Here at the ABC Music Lounge, we're periodically visited by record labels, music publishers, managers and other industry people that want to introduce us to their newest talent signings. It was in one of those meetings earlier this year that we were lucky enough to meet Ruth B, the Canadian singer-songwriter that blew up on her own via the social media app Vine. As it turned out, Ruth was a huge fan of our show Once Upon A Time, and the storyline of season 3 even helped inspire her viral hit song "Lost Boy". While Vine may be no more, having recently been shut-down by its parent company, Ruth's career is only just beginning, and has steadily built momentum since we first met her.
Once Upon A Time is a show that is relies more on score than licensed music, but we recently found a scene to use her new song "In My Dreams", and the results were simply magical. Watch the clip above, and click here to get "In My Dreams" on iTunes now!
Ruth B. "Lost Boy" Live|Ruth B. "Lost Boy" Live|Exclusive live performance of Ruth B's hit song "Lost Boy". Ruth is a massive fan of ABC's Once Upon A Time, and the song was heavily inspired by shows' third season. "Lost Boy" is featured on the EP "The Intro" - available now on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and more!
Read about Ruth's song "Lost Boy", her love of Once Upon A Time, and more in our feature interview below!
ABC Music Lounge: How did "Lost Boy" come to be?
Ruth B: After finishing a season of "Once Upon A Time" I went to my keyboard to play some piano. My headspace was all Peter Pan so I randomly sang the words "I am a lost boy from never land usually hanging out with Peter Pan" - that was the birth of the song. A couple of weeks later I found myself writing the full song.
ABC Music Lounge: How big of a once upon a time fan are you?
Ruth B: HUGE "Once" fan over here. I love how creative the show is. The twists and turns are seriously stunning. I love that there's a show out there that's modern but uses classic fairytale characters.
ABC Music Lounge: What character would you play on the show?
Ruth B: Definitely Regina! She's so opposite from me so I think it would be so fun to play her. I also love how dynamic her character is. You start off completely loathing her and then really start to empathize with her.
ABC Music Lounge: Have you heard Lost Boy on the radio yet?
Ruth B: Yes! I was in the car when it came on and I couldn't believe it. It was so insane to hear something that started as just a little thought on the radio. It really hit me then!
ABC Music Lounge: Tell us about "Superficial Love"…
Ruth B: Superficial Love was a lot of fun to write! I think when I initially wrote it I was a little angry so I just wanted to get my feelings out. In life you're going to meet some people who don't have the best intentions. I guess this song is me saying don't ever settle for anything that's superficial.
ABC Music Lounge: Any dream collaborations?
Ruth B: Ed Sheeran. I appreciate his writing so so much.
ABC Music Lounge: What's next ?
Ruth B: Definitely a full album. I've done a lot of writing over the past year or so and I'm really excited to share my new songs with people.
Ruth B. Bio
So much has happened so quickly for 20 year old Canadian singer /songwriter Ruth B. You might think her beautifully rendered viral hit "Lost Boy" has transferred its notions of 'arrival' to her own personal story, but it's the song that takes flight under Ruth's stunning vocal command. Blessed with keen songwriting instincts and intimate phrasing, there's a touching heartache to the artist's delivery that brings authenticity to every whispery verse.
Note the organic way she went about posting the first staggered snippets of "Lost Boy" on the short-form video sharing service Vine – looping snatches of the song in haunting, six second reveals. Such patient handling reflected the quiet confidence in her own muse – a crucial indicator as to how a complete unknown could go on to garner nearly two and a half million followers on YouTube, blaze a self-propelled sales-trail on iTunes, and ink a major label record contract all in a six month window.
Ruth recognized the power of storytelling at a young age, always reading and writing stories growing up. "It's funny but I always remember thinking, even when I was a little kid, that music was what I was called to do," she says. The immediacy and connectivity of social media's role in her incredible rise, notwithstanding – you get the feeling there's an old soul lurking deep inside the Edmonton native. She is quick to cite her Ethiopian heritage, another patch in the quilt of bold threads infusing her songs with that magical blend of innocence and gravitas; All the more remarkable when you realize she only took up songwriting less than a year ago. "I took piano lessons for five years starting when I was 8 years old, so I always used music as my solace whenever I was feeling lost or inspired or bubbling over and needed to express myself. But as far as sitting down and completing whole songs, I only began to seriously write this past January."
Ruth's tightly knit family life and solid middle class upbringing grounded her. Being able to attend a new public school for her senior year of high school also galvanized her creatively. "The new school was a lot more diverse," she says, which led to a wide range of musical influences, "from Lauryn Hill to the Beatles."
"After starting to use Vine right out of high school, little by little, people started to follow me. People gravitated more towards my six second originals versus the covers". The idea for "Lost Boy" evolved after a friend suggested she watch the TV drama Once Upon A Time. "I don't know why she suggested that show," marvels Ruth, "but it had been on for a couple years so I binge-watching on Netflix to catch up. One of the seasons had a Peter Pan storyline, and the next thing I knew I was down at my keyboard making up the first couple lines to what would become 'Lost Boy.' It just seemed to come out of nowhere."
Ruth was sufficiently inspired to post a snippet of her singing the first part of the song on Vine. Positive comments followed immediately, with fans urging her to finish the song. She had surpassed 80,000 likes by the end of the week, and continued to add to the newly-crafted "Lost Boy." Ruth completed the track and posted it on YouTube, waking up the next morning to more than 100,000 views. That was in January of 2015. "Lost Boy" would make the kind of viral impact that changed Ruth's entire life virtually overnight.