Interview With Ruby Bouzioti
Recently, Metal Saves had the opportunity to speak with rising YouTube star Ruby Bouzioti about her work online, covering some of rock and metal's most beloved tracks, showcasing her raw talent and vocal range as she sets out to stake her claim as a unique voice and female artist.
Ruby, like many creative people, is building something from scratch with nothing more the determination, passion and the will to see their talent succeed. In an ever-growing, competitive online world it can be challenging to the point of exhaustion to be heard and noticed for what you can do, what makes you stand out from the crowd. We wanted to see what challenges Ruby has faced, what makes her tick and how she goes about creating her art.
MS - How or when did you discover you had a talent for singing? Were you trained or taught in any way or is it a natural talent you have sharpened over the years? Ruby - I loved singing since I was very young so I joined a choir at the age of 13. I did everything within my powers to train my voice and for many years my effort was successful. I knew though that I should ask for expert advice in order to be better and find out about technical stuff that I didn’t know about. So I started classical singing lessons and I was taught a few basics for about 6-8 months but mostly I was training at home. When I moved to Athens I also had a few modern singing lessons. Throughout those years I have also attended a few classical singing seminars that were really helpful but studying and exercising by myself mostly led my voice to what it is now. MS - Who are your main influences within music? Is there one main vocalist who inspires you or a collection of acts? Ruby - I get influenced by pretty much everything. Whether it’s something very good or very bad, it influences me for a different reason. I have a few favourite vocalists but their voices are nowhere close to mine. They have their style and I have mine, I’m not trying to copy it in any way but I like trying new things and I like experimenting with my voice. Many people tell me that I should focus on one thing, make it perfect and put everything else behind but I think that’s kinda boring. Where is the fun in that? If I wanted to stay static I would still be in my hometown doing nothing. I’m not saying that I’ll be a superstar, as a matter of fact, I don’t know! What I’m trying to say is that I do whatever is best for me. I’m not bothering or harming anyone around me in the process of making something work so I guess I’m the right path. At least I can sleep better at night.
"Many people tell me that I should focus on one thing, make it perfect and put everything else behind but I think that’s kinda boring. Where is the fun in that?"
MS - Do you do anything outside of covers? Have you fronted any bands or been involved in other musical projects? Ruby- I’ve been involved in a lot of things. I have recorded backing vocals for numerous Greek rock bands and artists, I have participated in a few musical projects as a session choir member, I’ve done a voice acting participation in a [video] game, I helped a few bands with the preproduction of their albums by helping them write vocal melodies and lines and by recording demos for them.
I have also participated as a guest in a few projects, some of them are released and some aren’t. I have fronted a few bands in the past as well and for a while I was a session singer for the Greek doom death metal band On Thorns I Lay. The guys from On Thorns I Lay are the best dudes I ever had the honour of working with. We may not be working together now but they are like brothers to me.
MS- Your videos have a high level of production to them, what's the set up there? Do you have a hand in producing and directing the videos yourself or do you have a team you work with? Ruby - Thank you so much for your kind words! I like doing things by myself but, let’s be realistic here. I don’t have the knowledge to do everything alone and even if I did I wouldn’t have the time. Unfortunately, my everyday routine prevents me from doing things that I would want to do. So, I have a team of people helping me out. People who help with the recordings, people who do the mixing/mastering, videographers, graphic designers, musicians, photographers and so on. To be honest I feel blessed to have all those people by my side. Helping with all that needs to be done is one thing but supporting me in the way they do is another and a very important one. I help them and they help me and I deeply appreciate it because nothing is datum or trivial.
"I feel blessed to have all those people by my side. Helping with all that needs to be done is one thing but supporting me in the way they do is another and a very important one"
MS- How did you build your YouTube community and what challenges have you faced? Ruby - Starting something from scratch is a challenge itself I think. When I started I had to face a lot of people doubting for me and closed doors. Like… wide shut… to my face! You see, when you start something no one is taking you seriously because you are not much in their eyes. But that didn’t disappoint me that much. I mean, it did, but it wasn’t enough to stop me. I faced a lot of people talking trash about me and my work but I managed to get on top of that every single time.
[Having] been in all kinds of shit myself I actually wanted to help people, if I could, to not be in the same place as me. So, some of the musicians participating in my videos didn’t have the experience of recording a song or shooting a video at first and instead of kicking them out or being a bitch I tried to help them and make the process as delightful and memorable as I could in order to have the best possible result for them and for me. We were all beginners once. I worked and I did everything within my powers to make everything worth it. Another challenge was always the money. Videos and music productions like these are not cheap so I always had to sacrifice something from my everyday life in order to achieve what I had in mind. I’m not complaining though. I made my choices, I’m proud of my channel even though some people call me “The cover girl”.
That channel helped me in many ways. I worked with amazing musicians and not only, I booked session participation, I made collaborations, I also met new people…I don’t see how this is bad after all.
MS - What songs do you find the most challenging? Ruby - Arias. It’s not that it’s impossible but to master the classical technique takes 8-10 years of training and dedication to that sport. It’s not only breathing control, it’s about learning how to use your whole body, perfect pronunciation for the languages you will have to sing in etc. My voice has classical influences since I started with classical training but I still have a lot of way to go if I want to be perfect at it. MS - What's your favourite cover that you've done, or which one are you most proud of?
Ruby - My favourite would be Lacuna Coil’s “Heaven’s a Lie”. We had tons of fun recording it and tons of fun shooting it! The one I am most proud of would definitely be Epica’s “Sensorium”. It was a challenge. It was the first time I recorded drums for a cover of mine, first time shooting with a full band and the very first time for me that I recorded a small choir of 10 singers. It wasn’t easy but we made it through! Unfortunately, not all of the choir members made it for the video shooting but we still have a very good video. The most unexpected thing for me was when Epica posted my cover on their official Facebook page. I could not believe my eyes!
"The most unexpected thing for me was when Epica posted my cover on their official Facebook page. I could not believe my eyes"
MS - Can you share anything with us about your future plans or upcoming videos? Ruby - I can tell you a few things for sure, but not all of them. There is a single coming soon. It’s been delayed though due to the pandemic situation all over the world. I was working on my 7th cover for my channel but it was delayed as well. You see, when you can’t get out of your house a few things will go way back. There are also collaborations for a few projects with original songs (not covers or something) and I have no idea when they are going to be released but I hope soon enough. Unfortunately, this whole virus thing has brought life to a halt but I hope that everything will turn out to be ok in the end and that everything will return to normal.
We'd like to thank Ruby for taking the time to speak with us, for more information on her work and to support, please follow the links below.