UK-based singer-songwriter Ruhiya writes music inspired by nature, dreams, stories, and spirit. Her debut album ‘Ginhawa’ (2022) explores her matriarchal Visayan Filipina roots, and her latest EP ‘Carry Me Home’ featuring Jakey Boy Hughes, was compiled during the Covid-19 lockdown, and recorded shortly after in Herefordshire.
What does the EP’s title reveal?
“The title ‘Carry Me Home’ is the name of the first song on the album. In that song, I’m really singing about the homesickness for our spiritual home, a sense of longing for complete belonging and unity, that feeling that propels you on the spiritual path.”
“I wrote this song to the Celtic harp, which I started playing during the Covid lockdown, and in the song, I speak about feeling homesick in the house where I was brought up. There is something poignant about that I think, because due to the lockdown after 15 years of living in London and Dubai, I suddenly found myself moving back in with my parents because of the struggle of trying to survive a lockdown in London whilst studying a MA in music and being a freelance musician. So for the first time, since I was 18, I was back in my family home, also on quite a deep inner journey. It was a very beautiful time in many ways, connecting again with that beautiful part of the country, and exploring these ideas of home, inwardly and outwardly.”
Where was it recorded and mixed?
“The EP was recorded live at Hellens in Much Marcle, with Mu-Mu Recordings. It was quite a bold decision to record live with no tracking. It’s something I want to do more…to capture the energy of a flow of performance, less clean, but more real and raw. Not many people record like that these days and they use autotune etc. There is none of that on this record, and I am happy about this direction. In a world of so much superficiality, this is my way of rebelling!”
“My friend Jakey Boy Hughes played the guitar and sang backing vocals, whilst I sang the lead vocals, and played harp on ‘Carry Me Home’. In that song you also hear birdsong which was recorded on my phone at the house I grew up in, which is in a very remote part of Herefordshire, surrounded by trees. Each morning and evening the birds would sing in an incredible chorus, so I really wanted to bring that into the record, as it was such an inspiring part of my music creation and practice. I still find myself attuning to their song times too and generally writing and singing in those morning and evening periods.”
“My friend Stoyan Stoyanov at VST Records Dubai, did all the mixing, and I think he did a great job of cleaning up the iPhone bird recordings and mixing them in. It is a very sweet memory because they’ve moved from that house now, so the recording captures a space in time. I cried a lot the first time I heard it!”
Is there a story behind the cover artwork? Did you make it yourself?
“The EP cover is a photograph of a beautiful old Oak tree which stands in a farmer’s field out the back of our old family home in Herefordshire. As a child I used to run to it, and during the lockdown I would walk to this tree every day. It reached the point where my parents would refer to the tree as my friend. Which is true, this tree is one of my oldest and dearest friends!”
‘Carry Me Home’ (EP) will be out 22nd May. Pre-save the EP here.
Written by: leancool20
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