No stranger to the music industry, Aruba Red was born into a musical family and quickly adapted to her life in the studio. During this time, Aruba Red developed her passion for songwriting. By age nine she published her first poem. Shy at first, she was reluctant to perform any of her original work. By her early twenties, she became a regular performer on the London open mic circuit, captivating audiences with her rich tone, signature vibrato, and fusion of influences!
Aruba Red defines herself as an independent, rebellious and strong female performer. Her image was inspired by the legendary female pirate Aruba Red, a fiery seafarer navigating through a male-dominated world and true representation of strength and resilience. Red uses music as a means as a tool to communication candid insights into the human psyche. She explores themes of; birth, death, motherhood, the spiritual realm, self-love, breaking cycles of addiction, hope and invoking the power of the Goddess. Being recruited over the years for various projects including; Aftershock London to touring with Maverick Sabre, Jah Cure, Natty, Xavier Rudd, and other performers, Aruba Red is back in the studio working on her own album.
Newly released is her single, “Forever Summer”, opening with soft and heartfelt vocals! Yet another track with futuristic soul, edge and fun fresh vibes aimed to manifest thoughts of health and love. Aruba Red's fusion of trip-hop and downtempo beats is exciting and produces a lovely musical journey throughout the track. Similar to her previous works about healing and recovery, “Forever Summer” is about self-reflection, post-breakup, and the journey of true transformation and healing. Red hopes to put out the powerful message of self-love, learn to love yourself before seeking the arms of another. Additionally, she shows us that even negative experiences can be forgiven and recreated into a positive future.
Listen to "Forever Summer" here.
Hi Aruba and welcome to BuzzMusic. How did you come to cause the legend of Aruba Red and what lead you to create a new stage identity?
When I first started making music I was searching for a name that conjured up a sense of feminine strength and resilience, my sister Kyla found a book about pirate legends in the library and found the name for me and I immediately was like yes, this is it, it's her. I loved the image of this rebellious woman with red hair sailing from Ireland or Scotland to the Caribbean hundreds of years ago and stealing rum! There isn't a lot of information about the original Aruba Red online, I think I'll have to do some more research and write an article about her. I wanted a name that could embody my work as a solo artist, my electronic DJ sets, my full band and everything in between, I love the ambiguity of it and she allows me to merge fantasy and reality in a creative way. I think there was also a sense of craving a disguise, I wasn't comfortable with who I was when I was starting out and my real name left me feeling uncomfortably exposed, this is something I'm working on but Aruba Red allows me to express myself in a way that makes me happy.
Given that “Holy Waters” was created as a therapeutic outlet, is this a common theme in your music and how does it help you heal?
Yes, 100%, all of my music is inspired by the themes of healing and transformation. I used to pour a lot of pain into my songs but now even if there is a pain, there is always hope, there is always light. I embrace the journey. Music and the creation of music is so therapeutic, it unites us, it soothes us. From the birds singing to babies being rocked to sleep to the sounds of a lullaby sung by mothers and grandmothers throughout the ages, music is a sanctuary, music is literally life.
What was the inspiration when creating, “Forever Summer”?
I had been trapped in a really toxic relationship for over a decade, it put a lot of strain on my music career and in the end, I had to give up completely for a few years which was so hard for me. After escaping that situation I went on a quest to heal myself, I embarked upon a two-year toxic love addiction detox program during which time I created the Holy Waters EP which included writing Forever Summer. The song was intended as a manifestation of a healthy and positive love for the future and you know what it worked! I'm a big believer in setting intentions, putting in the work and then being open to receiving the abundance. Forever Summer is about welcoming healthy and healing love once we are ready.
Having worked on several other projects, do you plan on incorporating any collaborative pieces into your works?
Everything I create is a collaboration, I regularly write and work with some of my closest friends and family, my brother in law Marrik Shearer and my long term collaborators Renell Shaw and Camilo Tirado. I love working with these guys. I've also collaborated with Phil Manzanera from Roxy Music on my next single Violet Electric which is really exciting, he's provided a really epic guitar solo, to give you some context about how hyped I was about this solo, Phil's guitar was sampled by 88-Keys to create Kanye's and Jay-Z's No Church In The Wild! I'm also excited to be going back into the studio with the inspiring Nitin Sawhney for his new project. Nitin has been a huge catalyst for so much and I'm really grateful to him for his friendship. I also recently collaborated with the talented Nathan "Flutebox" Lee from Asian Dub Foundation on a live video I put out, a cover of "This Bitter Earth", he also features on my upcoming EP. I'm always open to collaborating but I'm also really happy with the team I've got around me and am feeling what we're creating and how deep we're getting ready to go.
Thanks for chatting with us at BuzzMusic. It’s awesome to see an artist take all their experiences and lay them out so beautifully as you do. Can you tell us about your new autobiographical show for Edinburgh Fringe and what this means for you?
Thank you so much. This new show is being written with support from Hackney Empire for Edinburgh Fringe 2020 and tells the story behind the songs of the Holy Waters EP and my new upcoming EP due for release in March 2020. The writing process has been quite challenging as I'm delving back into a lot of things from my past but I also think it's important to do so I can truly let a lot of that pain go and turn the struggles into something positive for my journey as an artist as well as hopefully for other people going through similar issues. The show is going to deal with topics including domestic abuse, coercive control, growing up with addiction, taking responsibility for our own lives and healing from codependency. Even though the subject matter is heavy I'm crafting the show as an experience that is intended to lift people up, I want to bring important conversations about mental health and breaking toxic patterns into arenas that they are often ignored. Music truly is medicine.