“Knowing what I know now, I probably would tell myself to get on with it at a quicker pace! But you can’t live in regret or keep saying “if only I had done it this way” you learn from your mistakes and past experiences and look at them as just a speed bump in your success story.”
Musician, Singer/ Songwriter
Rupert Stroud is a Musician and Singer/ Songwriter from Leeds in the UK. His style is described as powerful acoustic rock, incorporating heartfelt melodies and sweeping chorus’s. Rupert’s work has gained attention from the music media and is supported by a number or stations. His broad musical appeal gained prominent support slots including opening the show for Texas, James Blunt and Jake Isaac to name a few. Rupert is also a “Champion Media Spokesperson” for Alzheimer’s Research UK, and has raised over £6,000 to date through various campaigns and events for his charity single “Always“. You can watch the official video for his single “Talk To You” here, which hit no. 11 in the iTunes singer/songwriter UK chart in Spring 2015. Read on to find out more.
Tell us about your music and how you got started.
Well I’ve been playing guitar since the age of 15 but probably singing my heart out randomly since the age of 3! My whole family LOVES music so from an early age I was soaking up all this great music in the family home or in the car. When I was about 15/16 was when I started playing guitar and playing in bands at school. I think music really helped bring me out of my shell and helped me build confidence as a Youngman …along with playing rugby at school. Both hobbies were character building for me. After school I went to university in Leeds to study music and new media technology as I knew after leaving school that Music was my passion and I wanted to continue to learn about music and the business. I gigged as a solo acoustic artist for a couple years after uni while still working in bars and doing office admin jobs part time. I always wanted to reproduce what I recorded in home studios on stage. So I started taking my music more seriously around 2011/2012. I formed a band around me and we started pushing my music out there online and getting attention from Local and National media/music magazines and more recently National BBC Radio 2 and 6Music/BBC Introducing , BBC Scotland, Radio X, BFBS Radio etc. We’ve gigged all over the UK and gone on to open the show for some big names (James Blunt, Texas, Little Comets, Jamie Lawson to name a few) and we’ve got a lot more to achieve, I’m just getting started with ticking off the goals on my list…and all while being self managed and unsigned!
Was music always what you wanted to do or did it emerge over time?
Creating and writing music makes me so happy and I love performing my songs live! I think it’s something I’ve always wanted to do but it only manifested as a career possibility when we started getting booked for more shows and I started selling CDs at gigs and through my website/iTunes etc. I have 1000’s of fans all over the world and many of them message me on facebook and twitter saying how much my music has touched them or helped them get through a tough time…for me that is AMAZING to hear and it fuels my passion to move forward all the time and try reach more people with my music.
Who has helped you in the process of following your dream?
My family are very supportive. My parents especially have encouraged me since I started singing and playing guitar and that has helped me get to where I am today. Also meeting my producer Will Jackson! We get on so well and I’m proud to have created some really cool tunes with him which have picked up National music media and radio attention! He’s a very talented, accomplished multi platinum producer and musician. He has produced some of the biggest Leeds/Yorkshire bands of the last 10 years- The Kaiser Chiefs, Embrace, The Cribs, The Pigeon Detectives, The Music to name a few.
What inspires your music?
I’m inspired by those around me. My Family, my friends and those I interact with on a daily basis. I like to people watch sometimes (not in a creepy way) when on the train or in the pub or out and about. You sometimes pick up the odd phrase or conversation from random people or when I’m with my friends which just sparks inspiration for a song idea. I’m also influenced quite a lot by what I see in the news and world events. My songs are usually based on love and relationships, intertwined with the world that surrounds us.
What message are you trying to share with your work?
I think one of my re-occuring messages in my songs is to believe in yourself! To over come adversity. Also I think love and compassion is a strong re-occuring message in my music.
How do you overcome the fear and vulnerability of sharing your work and how do you deal with criticism?
I think when I started a good few years ago I was very nervous about putting my music out there to start. But I’ve built a thick skin over the years. As a musician you have to understand you’re not going to be loved and adored by everyone. Music is subjective. Some people will love you …and some won’t. Once you are comfortable with that, you just get on with it. Sometimes the fear and vulnerability can add to the creativity. Being a musician is about baring your soul, especially as a singer/songwriter and the songs are perhaps more personal compared the songs a band would produce. When it comes to criticism…I think we all appreciate constructive criticism but aggressive/negative criticism from a hateful place isn’t worth wasting your heart and energy on…and that goes back to the start of this answer. Some people will love you, some just won’t. So when it comes down to it, if you stay true to your song writing voice and produce music which you love playing then your fan base are most probably going to love it too!
What is it that you love about music?
Haha well I start my day with music (radio/spotify or iTunes) and I normally end my day with music. Music is all around me every day. I can’t imagine a day without listening to music. Max Heindel said it best “Music is the language of the soul” The drive to create music and songs comes from my love for music. There are some songs by my heroes like Richard Ashcroft, Leonard Cohen or Elbow which I love so much! I want to create songs that will touch people in the same way some songs touch me.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Be prepared to work hard! Because it is really hard. It’s never been easier to get your music out there and to be heard (with the help of the internet) and at the same time it’s never been harder to get industry recognition due to so much great music being out there. So the love for it (creating the music) always has to come first. Enjoy what you’re doing. And always be open to learning more. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and don’t be afraid at making a few mistakes.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back?
Knowing what I know now, I probably would tell myself to get on with it at a quicker pace! But you can’t live in regret or keep saying “if only I had done it this way” you learn from your mistakes and past experiences and look at them as just a speed bump in your success story.
What are you most excited for in the future?
I’m nearly finished writing and recording a new album. It’ll consist of some tracks which I have released before with a bit of a fresh take on them and some brand new songs which we’ve only played live at a few shows and have gone down amazingly well! But I’m wanting to make sure everything is in place before getting it out there so there are a few things in the pipeline yet to confirm. The last 2 years have been such great fun and have built the platform I wanted to really push on with my career. All I can say is- watch this space and I hope you’ll join us for the ride!