Ruby Gyang is one artiste that possesses a sweet spirit. An encounter with the Chocolate City signed and R&B artiste will always give one an impression of a woman who is not so desperate to make it in the music industry. Having being in the industry for more than a decade and formerly under MI’s Independent label, Loopy Music, Ruby Gyang who is not related to gospel stalwart, Jeremiah Gyang, in this interview with SAMUEL ABULUDE, the mother of one speaks on her debut album, life as a single mother and challenges in the music industry.
What have you been up to lately?
I have been doing great. 2018 is a great year ahead of me. I took a much needed break over the Christmas holidays. I’m back to work and dropping a single on February 2nd by God’s grace. Presently I am shooting the video of the single that’ll be out something in this month, February. It’s one my fans and lover of good music will like to listen and watch.
It seems there is a lull in terms of you releasing musical works out there, is it deliberate?
I took a year off precisely 2016 to focus on creating music. I came in 2017 back and released two singles – Kale Ni and O Holy Night (a Christmas song).
Congrats in your winning best Arewa artiste of the year at Kaduna entertainment awards, how did you feel when you won it?
I felt very happy. The category was quite competitive with heavy weights Like Classiq and Di’ja. It was a pleasant surprise.
What does this do your career considering that you defeated some big artistes to it?
It showed me that my work is very much known in the North and that I have a very loyal and supportive fan base there as well. The brand, Ruby Gyang has really evolved over the years from when I started singing from church way back in Jos.
How did music begin for you?
I started singing at age 5 in the church choir. My musical foundation is gospel music and I knew that was what I was gonna do and this was at a tender age of 6, I was obsessed with it, I would spend hours listening to music. Church was a factor, where we had family devotions. At school also, we had awesome music programs, dance and acting programs. I was doing this my whole life, so along the line, it just made sense that this is what I ought to do. In Jos, I met with Jesse Jagz, M .I, Ice Prince and we started making music together , we were in school back then which kept us in Jos at the time but then eventually , M . I just told me it was time for us to move down to Lagos but it was tough due to the difference in pace between Jos and Lagos. But I had to adjust to the fast -paced life of Lagos. Shout out to MI who encouraged me and told me I could stay with him, saying he would produce and work together with me as an artiste.
How would you assess you growth in the music industry in 2017?
It was quite good. I focused on reconnecting with my Northern fan base. Looking at the nominations, the airplay on the stations. The single (Kale Ni) being featured in movies. I and my team did well.
Kale Ni was featured as a soundtrack in the movie, ‘Banana Island Ghost Movie’ and also ‘Sons Of The Caliphate Series’. Both movies were released in 2017 and are really doing well in the market. I am glad my song also added to the success of the movie in its own way.
When should fans expect your debut album as it has been long coming?
It is coming this year finally. And I know they’ll love it. Presently I am shooting some videos of the songs from the album. I have really enjoyed the support of my fans who have been loyal to me through the thick and thin. They should just watch out for new and interesting works from their own, Ruby.
How much of work and repertoire do you give to your genre if music?
Soul/R&b is very deep and musical. Creating that kind of music requires time, skill and creativity by the singer, producer and songwriter. I put in a lot of work. If you have listened to most of my songs, you will notice that I don’t rush things as I take my time to do songs that are timeless and resonate with the people.
Do you think merging Loopy music with Chic City record label was a great decision?
Yes it was. Loopy has benefitted from the structure and brand strength of Chocolate City Music.
Has it moved your career forward?
Yes it has. Trust me it has improved us all.
Is it that difficult to have a R&B hit song unlike hip-hop songs?
Fact is, if you make a song that everyone can relate to, it’ll become a hit. Regardless of genre.
Do you think the patronage for live performance band has improved in 2017 unlike the previous years?
I see a lot of artists often using bands for their performances, like Tiwa, Wizkid, Flavour. Its definitely growing. What you are asking is whether show promoters and sponsors readily pay for live bands because it is obviously more expensive to pay for live band rather than just a music artiste miming to his song. Well, things are getting better unlike in the past. The demand and willingness to patronize live bands are on the rise.
What is your take on the music industry presently and its present challenges?
Its really grown. The influence of Nigerian music and dance is felt the world over now. Problems are still the same, piracy, lack of structure which limits investment into the sector.
What biggest show have you performed in your decade plus music career?
Hmmmmm… I think that will be the Lagos Countdown Show in 2013 or in 2014. It was massive as in the crowd and response was big out there. I really relish the experience till now.
How do you still see yourself as yet to bloom music artiste or otherwise?
I’m Evolving. That means I’m constantly changing, improving. I never want to get to the stage where I’ll think I’m fully grown. Because after that comes decline.
How is Ruby Gyang love life?
Its great. She’s focusing on Self-Love.
Is there any man in your life?
When should we expect Ruby to get married?
When the right person comes along and the time is right…
How have you been able to manage a scandal free career since?
I am very private. I also am conscious of the responsibility I have towards my daughter as her primary role model. This more than anything keeps me from doing things that might cause a scandal.
How much work do female artistes give to their music compared to the male counterpart?
It is sacrifice after sacrifice. We have to work even harder. The industry like in some other climes put the female artistes under unnecessary pressure to deliver and their sexuality and other aspects are always under scrutiny. For me, the music is the main thing and I work at giving it the focus and attention it needs.
Who is Ruby Gyang beyond the music?
I’m a lover of God. A business woman. Family oriented. Supporter of women. I am reserved, deep and determined.
How do you differentiate Ruby on Stage and the real Ruby Gyang?
Ruby Gyang-The performer is the regular me on steroids (laughter). Don’t mind me oo. I mean that I am energetic with being on steroids. I’m bolder, louder more dramatic
What are 3 things people don’t know about you?
I am mischievous. I can’t stand tight spaces. I read a lot.
How is your rapport with your daughter’s father, Jesse Jagz and how have you been able to manage your relationship so far?
We have a good rapport. We know that it is important for our child’s wellbeing.
Any possibility of you coming back together for sake of your daughter?
This is old gist. I have moved on. Let’s leave it there.