AAA Music Approved: Andy Ruddy
aaamusic | On 01, Oct 2014
Who are you and where are you from?
I’m Andy Ruddy – a singer-songwriter from Bradford, England. I started out in a rock band with the odd original song as a teenager. I moved away to Manchester University and my writing developed into something more personal that became the basis of what I do now.
What inspired you to get into music?
I remember as a young child constantly asking my dad ‘whats this song about?’ whilst songs were playing in the car. I was obviously fascinated by the storytelling power of songs- and obviously an annoying little kid. My increasing distraction towards songwriting at Uni made it a no-brainer for me to try to take it forward.
What have you done?
Lots of gigs, lots of songwriting, a Law degree, a move down South from Bradford, more gigs and more writing. I eventually recorded an album with Fraser Smith (Producer and ex-member of Shed Seven) which we finished recently. Hopefully it will be out next year. Its preceded by an EP called On This Great Day, which was released 29th of September.
What are you like live?
We have a few incarnations – varying from just me and the guitar – up to a six-piece band. I think people would be surprised at the energy of my full live band.
What makes you different?
My upbringing in Bradford and approach to songwriting makes me different in the current climate. I like to tell it like it is lyrically. Typical Yorkshireman! There’s a lot ‘background’ music out there at the moment – songs almost frightened to say anything for fear of saying too much and sounding uncool. I’m not unique in this regard but there are only a small number of successful songwriters currently doing it well. Frank Turner and Ed Sheeran would be two I could name.
Physical v download v streaming…How do you listen to music?
Downloading (legally) and physical copies – yes, absolutely. I love buying/downloading an album at midnight and staying up to listen to it on the release date.
Streaming is a big ‘No’ for me personally. I’ve never subscribed to a streaming service. It defeats, in large part, any kind of fair ‘supply and demand’ model for the artist. In previous decades, you’d hear a song on the radio and your exposure to it was limited. It was fairly inaccessible until you bought it and could then play it as many times as you liked. The limited ‘supply’ (airplay) made for a bigger ‘demand’ (“I want to hear that song more, so I will buy it”). With Streaming, the listener gives money to a third-party (who filter it down to the artist – poorly), you access the full end-product, listen to it as much as you want until it is no longer shiny and new in your mind. Only then do you make a decision as to whether you’d actually like to reward the artist properly for their work. However, by this time, the ‘consuming’ is essentially over.
Yes, it’s a different world nowadays with YouTube and illegal downloading – but new music should be better protected and policed online so that the artist can benefit from their creativity. Even established artists on Spotify (Sam Duckworth wrote a great article on this in the Guardian recently) can get an impressive number of plays but they make next-to-no money on them – and therefore struggle to fund their future creative projects. The ‘good exposure’ argument doesn’t quite cut it in reality for emerging artists.
In case you lost me there, Streaming = No.
What have you been listening to?
Late to the part y, but recently London Grammar’s debut If You Wait – love the songs and the production on that record.
What are your aspirations for the future?
Mainly to continue writing and recording – that’s my favourite bit. But I’d like as many people to hear the album and the EP as possible – because it’s music I’m really proud of.
Questions answered by: Andy Ruddy…