Ruth B on fame, social media and ‘writing songs that matter’

Does anything make you nervous now? RB: It was insane. I never want to put something out just to put something out. You definitely get used to it, but I just try to enjoy everything and have fun with it. The Edmonton-born pop singer won breakout artist of the year at last year’s Junos, thanks in large part to her hit song Lost Boy, and she’s nominated for a bevy of Junos this year — including artist of the year. 

CBC MUSIC | Watch Ruth B return to her high school to perform Lost Boy

But despite all the newfound fame, the 22-year-old whose full name is Ruth Berhe lived with her parents. Ruth B poses with fans as she arrives at the Juno Awards show in April 2017 in Ottawa. Now, she’s a star. RB: Every night I would go up [performing on tour], the kids were singing the songs with me. Thinking back then, I don’t even think my album was out yet, so that time I was just really excited to get more of my story out there and have people hear what else I had.… It’s been such a great journey and I’ve really enjoyed getting out on the road and performing and just watching people experience my album for the first time. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

IH: You were a teenager posting six-second videos on Vine… RB: It’s been amazing. and she still lives in Edmonton with her parents I never get used to it. RB: Oh my god. If it weren’t for that, I don’t know if I’d be here. Ian Hanomansing, co-host of CBC-TV’s The National, sat down with Ruth B in Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre to discuss her humble beginnings, her meteoric rise and “writing songs that matter.”
Watch the interview below, or scroll down for excerpts:

Ian Hanomansing sits down with Juno winner Ruth B6:48

IH: What has it been like over the past year after Lost Boy was released? it turned into Lost Boy, an international hit. Pop singer Ruth B, Nickelback and pianist Jan Lisiecki among 10 Alberta acts to watch at 2018 Juno Awards

Ruth B is Canada’s latest rising pop star … The nerves are there but I’ve learned how to control them. Ruth B performs on the red carpet during the Much Music Video Awards in Toronto in June 2016. But I think in terms of my music, it’s to make sure that I’m always saying things I believe in and writing songs that matter. But I think it’s just experience with performing. IH: Did you have a “pinch me” moment? I’ve been doing it a lot now over the past couple years. In the beginning, it was thousands every day. Ruth B started out as a star on the social media site Vine with 2.2 million followers. Period. I think social media is so cool for that reason because I don’t think there was really any other way of me getting my voice out there.… Edmonton is not the biggest city. I get really nervous. IH: It’s incredible that a kid from Edmonton can make videos in her bedroom and then get — how many people follow you? I think it’s so crazy because I wrote most of those in my room with the idea that no one would ever hear them. RB: Music was always in my life and I loved it, but it was always my secret and Vine kind of helped me expose my love for music to the rest of the world. It’s been fun. RB: So many things. I want to believe in everything and hopefully make someone’s day a little brighter or make them feel less alone. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

IH: What’s your goal? What do you strive for? IH: You seem so — you are — poised. To have people sing them with me was pretty surreal.