Interview: Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics @ One Musicfest

ruby velle

Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics are steeped in the rich sound and history of Georgia soul, beginning with the early ’50s and ’60s R&B that became so well known. It’s About Time, the full-length debut album from the Atlanta based group, has quickly made waves around the globe since its recent September 2012 release. They’ve been touring since 2005 with no sign of slowing down!

We were lucky enough to catch up with Ruby herself before their set this weekend at One Musicfest!

So I know you’re out on the road, but where are you headed right now?

This one’s just a small weekend run, we’re going to Virginia tonight. Then we’ll end up in Chicago. We just came back from a West Coast tour. We’ve been doing a fair share of touring.

Was it your first time playing shows out west?

I’ve been with other groups, but it was my first time with the full band heading out there. It was a blast!

When you’re on tour, what are the essentials that you have to bring with you?

One thing I have to bring with me is a stash of wasabi peas, I love them and can’t travel without a supply of them! My laptop, since I do a lot of work for the band on it.

You’re going to be playing One Musicfest at the Masquerade Music Park on September 14, what are you looking forward to most about that?

I’m most looking forward to having some conversations with other artists on the bill. Getting to know them as artists but also exchanging ideas about how they run their businesses. It’s always nice to gleam some knowledge from other people in the industry who are doing it on a larger scale. So I’m looking forward to just trying to learn from those people and spending the day in Atlanta. It’ll be one of the last festivals in Atlanta this year, so I’m definitely excited about it.

How do you guys connect with your crowd during a live show?

A lot of times we hand out download cards and free stuff when we’re on stage. Right after the show I’m my own merch person so I’ll go sell shirts, records, and CDs. I find it’s a really good way to connect with fans.

Do you have any stories about fans that stand out?

In Colorado we were playing a show and it was closer to the end of the night. We’re not the kind of band that usually has people dancing on stage. But this 11 or 12 year old girl reached out her hand and I sort of reached back and she got up on stage with us. She was playing the tambourine and had on this hat I’ll never forget, one of those Davy Crockett fur hats. It was a really heartwarming moment. Later on, we found out from her parents that she wants to be a singer/performer and that it really inspired her to be on stage with us. It really made me understand what a positive impact you can make on someone’s life.

What’s your dream gig? Where would you want to play and who would you want to play with?

I’ve always had a dream about playing Red Rocks. It seems to be one of the most amazing, majestical venues out there. I’d love to play with Al Green or Aretha Franklin, or any legends of that mature soul group. Really to play with any of those legends who have inspired me would be a dream.

You released your debut record almost a year ago to the day. Are you guys working on new music?

Yeah of course! We are working on some stuff and there are plans in the works for an EP project. We’re focusing on touring right now, but we try to find time to write and keep it balanced, keep up the momentum.

What was it like being based in ATL with this scene?

I’m always very uplifted by the music scene in Atlanta. I’ve played in other bands and I’m inspired by other musicians. I feel like we take away a lot from the community, but we also try to give as much as we can back. I think it’s a great scene. A lot of my good friends are doing great things. Notably, of course Janelle Monae recently released The Electric Lady. I have a lot of respect for the musicians here, because they take it very seriously.

If you want to catch Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics at One Musicfest – Saturday September 14th, they play at 3:30 PM sharp!


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