Ruth B needed only Six seconds to change the course of her life and from her Youtube videos being watched by millions to signed a record label. Ruth B ( Ruth Berhe) according to her Wikipedia page from Ethiopian descent appears on Today Show telling how she was inspired her hit song Lost Boy and perform.
What started as an off-the-cuff video ended up getting the 20-year-old Ethiopian descent vocalist signed to Columbia Records, home to superstars such as Adele, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie.
Back in November 2015 EdmontonJournal wrote a piece on Ruth B, Who is Edmonton’s Ruth B? The latest online star to get a record deal.
Sound like a fairy tale? Not surprisingly, she credits ABC’s fantastical series, Once Upon A Time, as the inspiration for the six-second clip she posted on Vine, a video-sharing service, last December. After binge-watching the TV show, Ruth B took to her Yamaha keyboard and sang, in a sweet but forlorn voice: “I am a lost boy from Neverland / Usually hanging out with Peter Pan.”
Instead of giving her the hook, thousands of Vine users embraced the snippet — sharing it with friends and encouraging Ruth B to write her very first song, Lost Boy. (“I sometimes say I was harassed into writing it,” she laughs.) Over a span of a few weeks, she recorded her progress in a series of Vine clips, then posted the finished results on YouTube and iTunes in January.
“I made it a point to make sure the song wasn’t just about Peter Pan and pixie dust. I thought: ‘If people are going to listen to this, I want it to have some sort of message.’ So I made sure to integrate themes of everyone gets lonely and everyone needs a friend. I’ve been there, I think everyone’s been there. And those are the majority of comments I get. People say: ‘I feel like this song is about me’.”
Her YouTube video has since notched 1.9 million views, while several fan-made clips have earned between two and five million each. Dozens of Vine and YouTube users have also posted their own covers of Lost Boy, helping the song go viral and raise Ruth B’s online profile. She now has 1.8 million followers on Vine, and 341,000 on Twitter, while Lost Boy has more than 13.5 million streams on Spotify. (By comparison, superstar Justin Bieber’s Sorry has almost 145 million streams.)
As her numbers started exploding, interested managers and record labels took notice and flooded her inbox with emails. With the help of her parents — her dad is a realtor, her mom is a home-care provider — and a music attorney, Ruth B went with Red Light Management, who also represent the likes of Tiesto, Alabama Shakes, Luke Bryan and Phish. After visiting with different labels in New York and Los Angeles, she signed to Columbia Records in July.
“It was overwhelming. Every day, I would wake up and get another email from a label. I thought: ‘This can’t be real’.”
Ruth B — short for Berhe — is one of several Vine stars to make it into the mainstream, including Hayes Grier, a teen actor who recently competed on Dancing With the Stars, and Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes. The latter signed to a major label — Island/Universal — after earning a following by covering other artists.
Ruth B’s very first Vine — posted on May 9, 2013 — was of her messy room. After uploading silly videos of her parents, cereal boxes and doughnuts, she slowly started singing covers of pop hits by Drake, Iggy Azalea, Coldplay, Lana Del Rey and The Beatles.
“Before I started singing (on Vine), the thought of capturing a song in six seconds was so bizarre to me and I didn’t understand how it could be done. Then, I started doing them, and little by little, I would notice: ‘These six seconds are changing my life. People are noticing and liking this stuff.’
“I kinda think I always knew this is what I was going to do, but it kind of crept on me this year. It all happened so fast. I don’t know if I knew it was going to happen right away, but I always hoped. I’m a big reader and I’ve written short stories all my life, but I didn’t put singing and writing together until Lost Boy. It’s so insane.”
She soon started writing more tunes — including Two Poor Kids, inspired by an obnoxiously affectionate couple on an ETS bus, and Golden, which are also available on her EP, The Intro. She wrote the fourth and final track, Superficial Love, after she signed to Columbia. >> Read More on EdmontonJournal
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