Alt Soul artist and modern day Earth mother Aruba Red releases her latest album Live At St. Pancras Church on 11th March, that was recorded in March 2020 at her last live gig. The album follows up the poignant seven-part online series Inspiration Behind The Tracks which has built a weekly audience with its narrative of ‘story medicine’ episodes that share Aruba Red’s healing and spiritual growth through her music.
Here, Aruba Red whose real name is Natascha Bruce chats to us about her new album and her plans for 2020.
We love your online series ‘Inspiration Behind The Tracks’, what made you decide to share these experiences with your fans?
Thank you so much. This project came about because of lockdown. I realised that it was going to be really difficult to connect with people at live shows and the opportunity came about to apply for the Do It Differently Fund with Help Musicians UK. I came up with the concept to create a live album from our last live show and combine this with a mini documentary series. It was a blessing to have something creative to focus on during the that time. I wanted to be able to tell these stories about my life in an interesting way. I’ve mixed my music and wellness work with some deeper insight into what motivates me to write and sing about the personal things in my life including identity, single parenthood, the divine feminine, overcoming narcissistic abuse, recovering from co-dependancy, manifesting healthy love and lots more.
Is it difficult to share your personal struggles within your music?
Writing the songs doesn’t feel difficult, they just flow and it’s a form of therapy for me. I see these songs as my story medicine, a way for me to express all of the things I have trapped inside. It can get emotional but I think that’s a good thing. Releasing the songs can be challenging though. With my last EP Shadow Work, I received a lot of backlash from people in my past who were upset by some of the personal content in my song Change. It was quite stressful being harassed by phone calls and messages but looking back I think it was really important for me to go through that experience. So often people are bullied into staying silent and this is what allows a lot of negative energy to thrive. Sometimes speaking the truth can be scary but we have to try and do it anyway. It can be a fine balance between staying true to yourself, telling your stories and also deciding what needs to be kept private. Ultimately if something feels like it needs to be set free, I say do it. Your bravery in speaking out will always allow someone else, who has felt too afraid, to also step out of the shadows.
Tell us about you new live album, what can fans expect?
My dream for this album is for it to transport the listener back to that night, for them to feel fully immersed in raw, live music and good vibes! Set the scene, light some candles and burn some oils, listen loud or on headphones, close your eyes and let the music transport you somewhere free and wild.
Has lockdown made you more creative and have you been writing more music?
I think lockdown has been all the things. Creativity comes and goes in waves and cycles. Sometimes I feel happy to be in my little cocoon, other times I feel frustrated and all of this comes out in my music. Working on the Inspiration Behind The Tracks series also encompassed a lot of different challenges and emotions for me. I’m learning to understand that feeling good and being able to create, is a practice and a process and I have to learn to accept that, rather than always desiring to be at the end point straight away.
How do you balance motherhood with your music career?
You don’t know what you are capable of doing until you have to do it!. The first two years of my son’s life I poured all my energy into him and it was magical. I would write down song ideas and record lyrics and melodies into my phone but I really set that time aside to be fully present with him. When I was ready to get back in the studio it felt so good. Motherhood has disciplined me a great deal. Knowing you have to be up every day and provide healthy food at set times and get outside while the sun is shining, has been transformative for me.
Thanks to motherhood I have a healthy routine and am motivated to go to bed earlier than I was used to before. I’m really inspired by conscious parenting and am super mindful of the life I am creating for my son. I’m also so much more productive than I used to be. When I have the opportunity to be in the studio I’m so happy and appreciative to be there I truly make the most of it. In the past, the studio was a place we’d hang out and just have fun and days could go by! We still have fun but now we know what we’re there to do and we get on with it.
What else will we see from Aruba Red in 2021?
Later this month I have a collaboration coming out on Nitin Sawhney’s new album Immigrants which is really exciting. I am also featured on a song called Replay which drops on 19th March on Sony Masterworks and I’ve been asked to host my own radio show which will be launching in the summer. I’m now in the studio putting the final touches to my brand new album. I don’t have a release date for that yet but I’m really hyped to be able to share these new songs with you soon.
Pre Order The New Live Album
“Live At St. Pancras Church”
Watch Aruba Red on YouTube
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