Published on UIC Radio
Alex Ruby is an artist I stumbled upon back in 2018. It was through his first project, Réaubois, that I found out about his minimalistic production style at the time. The album was comprised of instrumental tracks that felt spacious, filled in by hi-hats, and reverberated sample loops. Ever since then, Ruby has been crafting music non-stop, releasing projects such as Loungehouse, Bathrobe, and currently, Millenium.
His latest project, Millenium, was what compelled me to reach out to him and understand the person behind the album. Samples were generally the focus in Ruby’s music, but Millenium amplifies the samples, filling them in with more structure and volume. I wanted to reach out to him and get to know the person behind the artistry, before and after Millenium.
Thanks for letting me talk to you for this piece. First, I just want to ask who you are and where did you grow up.
Ruby: I’m Alex Ruby, from Buffalo, New York. I’m obsessed with sample searching and horror films. I love black women and hate cops (okay, the bad ones). I enjoy staying to myself as much as possible.
Who or what influenced you to start making music? What style are you trying to go for or emotion trying to convey?
Ruby: The obligatory Dilla name drop. Although, that doesn’t mean that’s who I’m trying to necessarily try to channel or anything. I think the older you get, you’re much more comfortable doing your own thing than trying to be compared to somebody for ego’s sake. As for as what type of style I’m trying to convey, not anyone, in particular, it’s more like different flavors for different dishes. But I do love sampling anything with a groove to it. I can’t stand anything boring.
From Bathrobe to Millenium, I’ve noticed an evolution in your production style. For me, Bathrobe was spacey and production was kept at a minimum. With Millenium, the minimalism is still there, but the sampling work seems more vibrant, with each track eluding to a different mood. Just wanted to ask if anything specific inspired you to make Millenium. What creative space were you in at the time of making the project?
Ruby: First of all, thank you, and usually, with Vinyl Digital releases I try to play the tightrope game with lo-fi (what they want) and hip-hop (what I want). I saw it as a compromise. But for this one in particular, this was the route I wanted to take and they (Vinyl Digital) were fine with it. As far as a creative space, I don’t typically make projects for a tape exclusively. It’s usually the beats I have up until that point that I feel are cohesive together. If I don’t make myself do that, the beats won’t ever see the light of day.
For the past two to three years, you’ve been making project after project. Where do you see yourself in the future with your music? Have any plans for your next album or EP?
Ruby: This was my last release on Vinyl Digital, and in the meantime, I’m working on other endeavors. I can’t reveal everything.
Who are you listening to right now?
Ruby: As of now, St. Germain, The Whispers, It’s a lot going on right now haha. Also, shoutout to M4B.
Alex Ruby is nonchalant and wants to make music to introduce himself to the world. He knows what types of sounds he likes and what types of sounds he’s trying to create. There’s no doubt that wherever his art takes him in the future, he stands to be himself throughout.