- Words Notion Staff
Ruger's making waves with his 'Afrodancehall' sound, but before he reaches inevitably meteoric highs, we quizzed him over his musical firsts.
Ruger’s rise to African music’s fore has been unstoppable. Closing off 2022 with the breakout single “Asiwaju”, the singer-songwriter has since dominated the continent’s music charts, accumulating hundreds of millions of streams and shutting down concerts in several countries. Currently embarking on his first US tour, the Lagos superstar’s sound is starting to make a global impact, and you get the feeling that he’s only just getting started.
Tapping into Afrobeats with an inherent dancehall flavour, Ruger blurs the boundaries between several global genres. It’s this creative freedom that fans find captivating, and in response, his music’s becoming even more contagious. “Kristy”, the second single taken from his highly anticipated debut album RU The World, features some of the most spellbinding production you’ll hear this year. Produced by Kukbeats, the hypnotic melody transcends Afrobeats and dancehall, illuminating his butter-smooth vocals.
Luckily, fans in the UK will soon get to experience Ruger’s live show. Taking to London’s Eventim Apollo on October 1st, the performance will bring all the hits and good vibes anyone can ask for, encapsulating the braggadocio and natural stage presence he’s developed over recent years.
To celebrate this prosperous moment in Ruger’s career, we quizzed him about his musical firsts. From chart-topping moments to playing the flute, tap in below.
First song you ever made?
“Follow You” – I recorded it in a studio in Computer Village. It’s wack, I swear to God, very wack.
First CD or record you owned?
‘Game Over’ by P Square.
First time you realised you wanted to do music full time?
I was in my last year before I graduated high school. I became unserious; I used to be first, second or third in my class, but I flopped big time. I started following girls, and enjoying my life, so I would sit at the back of class beating the table and singing. I started composing songs from there and I decided if I didn’t make it into university I would do music.
First gig and first festival you went to?
Burna Boy at the O2 in 2021.
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
I can’t remember the first time, but I have obstacles every day. There’s always something to piss me off. There’s always something that seems impossible in my life, career-wise. Even now there’s always something trying to block things from happening, but at the end of the day we just find a way around it and God just helps me to bring whatever I have in my head to life.
First instrument you owned?
First time you felt like giving up?
I never ever feel like giving up actually, never ever.
First time you felt starstruck?
I never feel starstruck. I would go to festivals around my area and there would be big artists. I would see them but I would never go to say hi and say here’s my music. I wasn’t gassed, because some people might not be the same in real life as when you see them on TV.
First time you realised you’d made it?
When “Bounce” was number one in Uganda, before it started climbing the charts in Nigeria. Everything feels like a dream. I don’t know how we got here, but we got here.
First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?
I try not to keep a bucket list, I’m just living my life.