Search The Editor's Blog

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ruby Amanfu Releases New Music

This month, duo Sam and Ruby (Ruby debuted on the musical scene as a solo artist—check out her profile in MIMI's Hot 21 from 2005 ... more on that later) released their highly anticipated album, The Here and The Now. The Nashville-based duo gently blend R&B, folk and pop into a sound so immediately warm and welcoming that falling in love with their debut album is a foregone conclusion. They aim to reach both the head and the heart and a few other parts as well; The Here And The Now will surely inspire more than a few couples to get up and dance close and slow, wherever and whenever they happen to be listening. That Sam & Ruby have succeeded so brilliantly, and so seemingly effortlessly, is a tribute to their talent and chemistry—and to the sometimes felicitous role fate plays in music and in life.

Ruby, who was born in Ghana, has spent most of her life in Nashville. Her father, a computer scientist, was recruited by a Tennessee-based firm, and he moved his family to Nashville when she was just three. As she recalls, “When I got here, I remember taking walks with my dad, just me and him, and I would be singing little songs about the flowers we’d see or I’d be singing on my parent’s coffee table when their friends would come over. Nashville was a great place to nurture this thing I had in me all along.”

Her parents were devout Christians and sheltered Ruby from secular music: “I was only allowed to listen to Christian and classical music. Even jazz was too progressive for my parents at the time. But, I’ve always been writing, I’ve always had it in me, it was my first love. When I was ten, my best friend gave me Madonna’s Like a Prayer and it really opened up my world. The way Madonna was writing—this was not something I’d ever known. The funny thing was, within myself I knew that was also how I wrote, and this was the first songwriting I’d come into contact with that was similar to what I wanted to do. I thought, this exists!”

It would still be several years before Sam & Ruby officially became a duo. Ruby released a solo album, Smoke and Honey in the UK, which reached Top Forty on the British pop charts with a song called, “Sugah.” Just as Ruby should have been savoring this success, record label snafus left her high and dry in Nashville. That’s about when Sam came back into town. So they combined their complementary talents, and the track The Here And The Now was born, laying the foundation for a deeply creative partnership. “That song became a staple of our individual shows,” adds Sam. “If I had a gig, I would invite Ruby up to sing and if she had a show, she’d invite me. We had that one song and people really started responding. We heard the word magical a lot. We knew it too, writing the song and singing the harmonies, we thought, this is something special.”
Finding each other by happenstance, Sam & Ruby sound like they were always meant to sing together—and we’re lucky enough to be around to hear. Listen to Sam & Ruby at

(Photo Credits: Sam & Ruby Cover Art / Micah Kandros)


Anonymous said...

Beautiful couple.

AMINA said...

Are they a couple?