An exclusive interview with ambient folk artist Runah.
She's set to release her debut album Strange this Spring (May 5th) following her epic Ghosts EP and she's even promised a few exciting live dates in the coming months. Runah speaks to us about her unique sound, what it means to embark on a career like this, and where she finds inspiration.
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
I would describe it in terms of genre as ambient folk, but really it's a series of stories. In the studio myself Rohan, Al and David just treat each song as it's own little world within the world of RUNAH. I've always lived in stories either reading them, telling them or writing them so I see music the same way, except more exciting because the lyrics, the sounds and the emotion are all telling parts of the story so there is a wonderful way of having the complexity (or simplicity) of the story told through each facet.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
Well, like any industry you have to work your way up. I don't think I've experienced anything that nobody else has.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
It is difficult but I just love making music and if it is received and a few individuals feel like dancing around or listening to my stories then that's the magic isn't it? It's wonderful to have people come and say 'wow, this made me feel this' or 'I felt like I'd been to a different place' it's the reason I like music to be transporting in some way, so having even a handful of people see that truly is magical. Hopefully the rest will follow, if it doesn't I still had the pleasure of creating it.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
Very important. However I work with the most magical people so it is really fun to see them building the studio versions of the songs and to allow things to grow and be what they need to be. I think I would struggle to let go if I held on too tight so I try to relax into where it needs to go. Having said this I write the songs on my own most of the time, mostly because it's like time spent getting to know myself, that part is sacred to me, when I think the song is whole it is whole. After all what makes something finished? When the artist says so, otherwise there is no end!
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
I like watching people, people and their reactions to the world are fascinating. I am also endlessly fascinated by spiritual stories, fairy stories and the earth, just being outside. I read a lot, I think a lot of little ideas come from what I'm reading at any one time.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
Lisa Hannigan. But I think I'd just really like to tell her I think she is magic and makes my ears endlessly happy.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
I don't go anywhere without lavender oil and a piece of labradorite (a crystal) it makes me happy that they are always in my pocket. I used to carry around a paperclip friend but I lost him when I was about six and no other has captured my heart.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
Well, I'd just like to keep making it and playing it to magical people. I think anyone who shares their art wants to do lots of things with it, but I like to be at peace with where I am too. So my definitive aims are keeping making music, be happy and share it.
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
Norway, I've never been. I'd like to play my music there it seems so magical. Hopefully a few people will have heard 'Strange' by then and we can talk about wild women together.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
Lots of music, dancing and outdoor shows under the moon. And magic, may it always find you.
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