Ruel Photoshoot and Interview for FAULT Magazine Issue 31 preview

Ruel X FAULT Magazine



Photography and Interview: Miles Holder

Approaching the venue for tonight’s gig, it’s clear from the queue of young music lovers waiting upwards of 4 hours for Ruel’s gig that this is one musician that has had quite the impact on his fans. Unlike the overworked and poorly managed young star of the weeks of yesteryear, Ruel’s artistry is brilliantly unique and his songwriting eloquent beyond his age. I sat down with Ruel to find out more about his process and aspirations for his musical career. 


I saw all the fans outside and I wondered with them being so dedicated is it hard to be so open and honest with them?

Ruel: No matter what I write I have to make sure it’s me. It’s great to do international gigs like this and no matter what language the fans know, they’ll all still be singing back the words to me. That’s why I must be honest in my songwriting. 


Most artists at 17 are early enough in their careers to make mistakes and have them occur in front of a very small amount of people. Finding success as such a young age, do you feel added pressure to not mess up in front of so many people?

Ruel: Not really and I can’t let myself dwell on the mistakes I make or have made. Who knows, maybe at 21 I’ll realise that my first ep was a mistake and so forth but it doesn’t worry me. I can’t afford to live my life that way but when I do make mistakes I just need to own them. 



What would you say changed in the time between Ready and your Free Time EP?

Ruel: I think for my first EP I let too many people tell me what to do and what songs to push and it ended up not representing 100% me. For this project, I took total control of the release and made sure I was involved in every decision so I could release a project that I wholeheartedly believed in. 


What changed in you at that time that allowed you to take back control?

Ruel: I went from 15 to 17 years old and while it’s only 2 years, I definitely matured. I think in addition to that, I was also hanging out with older people during that time and was able to take advantage of their expertise and life experience


What would you say has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to climb in your musical journey?

Ruel: I think the hardest part is the friends I’ve lost along the way. People change on you and I’ve lost a lot of friends this year. I’ve had some of my best friends go that way and it’s just not the same any more. 


Do you understand that sometimes people leaving your life is a necessary part of growing up?

Ruel: Sure, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Seeing relationships crumble hasn’t been easy or fun 


Do you sometimes wish you could go back to the normal life?

Ruel: I think about it all the time! Just going back to school and having my friends by my side but then I think a little further and it’s me in school failing my math tests and missing all my fans and dreaming of all the music I’m not making. No matter how much I think about it, the good always outweighs the bad. I’m here in Berlin right now and going to perform for my fans and I’m very happy with this journey. 

From your music to fashion to music videos, everything is wildly creative, I wonder how creative control you have over all the aspects of being an artist?

Ruel: I keep a lot of control over that and I have a great team who allow me. I and my creative director will call and have hours of phones about music video ideas and photoshoots. I like to choose all the clothes I wear and my team make sure I read every contract I sign so I don’t end up with a 50-year contract with 30 albums etc. 


What’s your FAULT?

Ruel: I’m learning to stop it but I’m starting to take more responsibility for my actions. I used to pass the blame a lot when. If something went wrong I wouldn’t admit fault but I’m’ learning to curb that behaviour!