In this exclusive interview, we delve deep into the artistic world of Reuben Reuel, a rising indie musician hailing from New York. Known for his unique style and boundary-pushing sound, Reuben takes us on a captivating journey through his music career, sharing the inspiration behind his artistry and his unyielding commitment to authenticity.
As an independent musician, Reuben’s path to success has been marked by determination, introspection, and a relentless pursuit of self-expression. From studying acting and drama to embracing his true calling in music, Reuben shares the pivotal moments that shaped his artistic journey and led him to discover the freedom of being his true self through his music.
Throughout the interview, Reuben sheds light on his distinctive style and sound, describing his music as a captivating escape to a realm beyond the ordinary. Rejecting the confines of a single genre, Reuben takes pride in creating a melting pot of influences and emotions that resonate with his unique perspective. He shares his creative process, unveiling how he lets his emotions guide him in songwriting and music composition, resulting in songs that are authentic and soul-stirring.
While navigating the indie music landscape, Reuben candidly opens up about the challenges he has faced and how he overcame them with resourcefulness and creative problem-solving. The topic of budgeting as an independent artist takes center stage, as he shares his experience of investing his own resources into his craft and embracing creative constraints to bring his artistic vision to life.
Delving into the heart of his music, Reuben explores the themes and messages that thread through his songs. He elaborates on the inspiration behind his music, revealing how each song is a reflection of his emotions and experiences, as he strives to connect deeply with his audience through the power of his lyrics.
However, Reuben also offers a glimpse into his long-term goals as an indie musician in this interview. He envisions a future filled with captivating performances on tours and festivals, along with an unwavering dedication to producing multiple bodies of work that captivate audiences worldwide. With his passion for creating extraordinary live shows and a strong desire to explore new musical frontiers, Reuben’s vision for his music shines brightly.
Join us as we embark on a captivating journey with Reuben Reuel, a trailblazing indie music sensation, who fearlessly embraces his unique voice and stays true to his artistic vision. In this interview, we unlock the secrets behind the magic of his music and discover the essence of what sets Reuben apart in the ever-evolving landscape of independent music.
Can you tell us about your journey as an indie musician? What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
It all really started when I came back to New York from being in LA for almost a year. I knew I had to pursue music wholeheartedly. I’ve always been interested in music but I had been studying acting and drama for so long that I put most of my eggs in that basket. I did not feel like I was able to express myself doing it. You always have to play a character, which is fun, but in terms of career and who I am at my core… I really wanted to do something that I could be myself with. Music allows me to be me, and to play whatever character I want to play. My journey has been fun! It’s not been easy, I’ve had to face a lot of my fears and really do a ton of shadow work to align with my highest self. I’ve been doing a lot here in New York since making that decision and I’m so happy I did. I went to open mics and did a ton of networking all while working a full time job and taking care of my parents. Now I’m in a spot where I’m booking my own gigs, putting my shows together and performing all of my own music. I don’t regret any of it, and right now I’m in a spot that feels good- even with all the obstacles I’ve faced so far.
How would you describe your unique style and sound as an artist? What sets you apart from other musicians?
I like to say I live in space when it comes to music. I like to not be on this earth. I’m sure one day my music will come down here though. It’s always been hard for me to explain my style of music because I really try to make things that aren’t what you’d typically hear. My sound is a hodgepodge of genres and whatever I’m influenced by at that moment. For example, my first EP Inertia was inspired by themes of movement (I guess because we were stuck when it was made since we were in lockdown.) Odyssey was inspired by a ton of themes, some being love, trauma, psychosis, individuality… etc. I think what sets me apart from other musicians is that I’m just doing whatever I’m feeling at the moment, and experimenting with whatever that is. I’m not looking to have something sound like someone else, I’m always looking to make whatever feels most authentic to myself. That’s not to say other artists don’t experiment or create from what they’re feeling, or that there’s no authenticity, but I think that’s the only way I can create at all.
Could you share some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an indie musician and how you overcame them?
Definitely budgeting! When you’re independent you’re really working with what you’ve got. I always say if I had a bigger budget or more funding I’d be doing so much more. I’ve really put all of my own money into everything and have worked to be able to create it all. I overcome them by being creative, knowing my limits and really discerning what makes the most sense for me. However, investing in my craft is important and I’m never afraid to do what I have to do to make it work.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach songwriting and composing music?
My process really depends on what I’m feeling or what comes to me first. When I first started I was hyper focused on melodies and lyrics, and even to this day I usually come up with a chorus first. Some songs take longer than others of course. I’ve been producing a lot more these days, and with those songs I like to sit on them and see what I come up with, whether it be another synth, a different drum line, or an entirely different arrangement all together. If nothing comes to me for a song, I don’t force it at all. Sometimes something, whatever that element may be, comes to me in a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or even a year plus. It all depends.
I always go with how I feel. I love coming up with melodies for both songs I’m sent and songs I create. I’ll start doing little recordings on my phone of whatever I’m hearing and then go from there. Some songs come really quick, my song ‘Slow’ I wrote not long after I got the beat. Some songs take years- my song ‘Surreal’ is a two-part song that I started in 2020 with S!lky Jones. The second part came very quick, it was a beat my friend Janelovesu! sent to me and that ended up making me realize I needed to put both songs together, and fused it into one. It all depends!
Are there any particular themes or messages that you aim to convey through your music? What inspires your lyrics?
Absolutely. Every song has a theme or a message. There’s not necessarily anything in particular that I want to convey, but when I write the song I usually dissect it on my own time and I’ll ask myself where did these lyrics come from, what am I trying to say, what am I feeling. My first project, like I mentioned earlier, was all about movement, energy, and relatability. Odyssey has a ton of themes that encompass it like I mentioned earlier as well. There’s always a message that I’m trying to get out.
What are your long-term goals as an indie musician? Where do you see yourself and your music in the next few years?
My long-term goals are to perform on tours, and festivals, and to continue to create multiple bodies of work. I see myself being very dedicated to my craft and doing exactly what I mentioned, performing, and of course, creating with many other talented and amazing musicians. I love to perform, it’s my favorite part of all of this. The energy exchange between the audience and the artist is something so special. I love concerts and shows, and I just want to continue to be able to put on really really special shows for people who come to see me.