Get To Know: Ruby May for Recycled Rainbow's 'Gals Who Are Killin' It' Series

Interviewed by Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung

How would you describe your music?

I guess I like to describe it as neo-doona-groove.

For those wondering at home 'what the damn hell is neo-matrix-blanket-bajumble jingle mean?' well neo-doona-groove is simply what we like to create for you and that's just a doona, a blanket of groove covering your mind, your body and most importantly your soul. Lil bit of a quasi-freak beat captured between the warmth of your cosy neo-doona-groove blankie...ja feel?

What influences come out in tracks and on-stage?

I guess some of our biggest influences would be Jordan Rakei, 30/70, Fatima - the Queen Badu of course...but I did also spend a lot of time singing into a hairbrush as a kid and I can loudly, proudly, happily and no scrubbingly say Destiny Child is right on up there, which I think is captured on stage a little with our newest track.

Do you see it as problematic or helpful that female identifying artists are always labelled so instead of ‘just artists’?

I think it's a funny world we live in. Particularly in this society, we feel a need to box and place people and everything around you into something or label it - to an extent in certain scenarios I think it is needed and on the other hand I find it frustrating as heck that it's even a thing.

I guess for myself I see other females represented and then representing themselves in many different ways. I'm all for the girl power and getting out there but I am also for all the people getting out there in general and doing it no matter their gender or background.

Personally I feel there is a big difference between how people choose to label me and how I decide to take it - keeping In mind the amount of blanket words we have out there now, it's just too easy to get caught up or take things the wrong way - everything that is within your choices you can control - this includes the energy and time you decide to put into things like 'labels' and ‘boxes’ that the industry we live in are going to do regardless.

There has been much discussion over women playing important roles in the music scene both on and off stage, do you believe that because the music scene has such a ‘dude culture’ vibe present that it’s important we place an emphasis on females in music or do you feel that messes with the integrated vibe it seems we’re trying to achieve?

 I think putting emphasis on females within the local music scene is extremely important and there ain't no crime in it. I think within this industry it's how you see it - naturally an industry with a lot of men just the same as the insurance industry, travel and even sporting.

On a local scale, yes we could use more emphasis but I do believe a change and shift in awareness and consciousness of the issue is happening

On a larger scale- there are females making waves and dominating in huge, magnificently beautiful ways - like Sampa the Great, Vika and Linda Bull or even Nai Palm of Hiatus. Power to the female - won't say no to emphasis, though I could be biased.

When aiming to achieve something it's always worth valuing up valid and invalid goals and checking your arrow is aimed in the right directions with the correct intentions.

What’s been your favourite gig to date and why did it carry such good vibes?

One time we played as 'Ruby May and The Force Be With You' and, as if the band name for the gig wasn't punny enough, to top off the night I was then given the opportunity to jump up at the end of the night and improvise with Koi Child on the launch of their sold out national tour. For a gal who has always dreamed of being a jazz or backing vocalist - it was bliss and the vibes were amazing that night.

And lastly who are some of your favourite gals killin’ it in the creative scene right now?

A local queen to me, Grace Barbe. She shines on and off the stage and not to mention her amazingly talented sister Joelle just takes me to my happy place every time. Every single time.

It's hard to just pick one though as there are SO many females in our scene making waves right now - Edie Green of course, MOANA, Bells Rapids, JunoKind, HUSSY (so dope), Randa and the Soul Kingdom, Phocal, Em Burrows…I mean the list goes on and on and on and on. 

The more the merrier! I think it's important that as females within the scene we use our creative platform for spreading awareness on simple things that are not actually so simple, like feeling safe for example...simply seeing more females out and about makes me feel safer about venues and morale in town, it's a swim together up stream vibe in town, when it wants to be.

I'm also hugely supported by amazing males in this town and we can't forget about them either as they've helped me feel safer than anyone else when certain situations have arisen, the good ones that is (triggering blanket words again). I guess these are all just those boxes we were speaking about earlier though right? Because in the end we are all creative types aiming to express ourselves in some way and the more we box ourselves or each other- the harder it will forever be to swim up that stream.