It’s quite the treat for us here at Lemonade when we are able to feature an artist who is just getting started, but certainly on a successful path. In this particular case, it just happens to be a young Malaysian artist who goes by the name, RUFUS.
RUFUS answered a few questions for us recently ahead of the release of his first ever single/music video titled “Fine”. Get to know RUFUS below and check out his brand new song!
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Sure thing! My name is Rufus. I’m a sixteen-year-old producer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I got into music when I was extremely little. My mom signed me up for Carnatic vocal lessons when I was five, I hated it. After some time, it just came back to me out of nowhere! I started teaching myself how to sing again halfway through middle-school and I taught myself how to bedroom produce when I was 12. I learned how to play the guitar after going to an Ed Sheeran concert almost two years ago. I decided to get serious sometime in December of 2017. I hustled – doing opens mics, and busking for a bit. I told everyone I knew about my music and started building a name for myself. I’ve been working behind the scenes, helping others Malaysian artists my age get their head-start with their careers, and it was only recently when I decided I was going to start focusing on my career as an artist.
We tend to see a lot of artists from England, Australia, Sweden, etc., but it’s not often we hear of artists based in Malaysia over here in the states. What is the music scene like over there?
It’s big and small. Big in the sense that you’ll come across artists who rack up millions of streams on Spotify and thousands of views on YouTube, and you’ll see them open for big-name artists when they come to Malaysia. It’s also small in the sense that there are only a handful of people in the music industry (not really, but in comparison to a country like the US or England, it feels like a handful) and you’ll slowly end up meeting everyone in the scene. It’s really cool, and I personally feel really comfortable in the environment.
Is there anywhere in North America that you’re hoping to visit soon?
I’m doing my best to plan a visit to Toronto this summer – I’ve got loads of friends and artists that reside there and I’ve been looking into attending university in Canada as well, so it’s a win-win situation. I really want to visit Charlotte, New York, Boston – there are a lot of places I want to visit in North America. My ultimate goal is to go on a headline tour in the States (whose goal isn’t it?), so if everything pans out in the future, maybe you’ll see me at the Bowery in a few years time? Who knows!
Your music video for your latest single, “Fine”, is debuting on March 23rd. What’s the story behind the single, as well as the music video?
I wrote that song after getting out of a toxic fling with a girl, and at the time I had just shifted schools and I was getting used to everything as well. Trying to make music work for me was also on my mind a lot at the time. I was going through a lot, and I came up with that hook shortly after, just as a way to console myself. I played it for my friend and co-writer, Daniel Ezra, and he thought it was the best thing ever. We developed on the idea further, and the rest is history!
As for the music video, well we didn’t have much of a budget left, so I bought a bunch of stock footage from these British filmmakers, and I edited the crap out of it. I always wanted my music videos to be based off a narrative, and I pretty much lucked out with the stock footage – it was based on the exact narrative I’d pictured, in the exact setting as well. Super ghetto, but it worked and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I just wanted to make a video which really complements the whole message behind the song – the message that you’ll overcome any and all adversities in your way, and you’ll be fine in the end.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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