Sam: So first things first, I would love to start off with the Ruby guys. I’d love to know where y’all are from, how’d y’all get into music…easy stuff like that!
Daniel: So both of us are from Oakland, so the Bay area. We’ve both known each other since Kindergarten, maybe even earlier than that. Our musical journey started with that as well. When we were in grade school, we were playing in bands together and doing covers and always very much involved in each other’s lives musically. As we both grew up, we were listening to the same music and sharing it as well and when I got to high school, I started doing the making music on your computer type thing and I would rope all of my friends into it with me. I was just trying to bring as many people as I could with me because obviously I was self conscious about it and I didn’t want to do it on my own; So yeah, from there, I moved down to LA for music and Fernando moved down there to go to UCLA for Neuroscience.
Sam: Haha what!?
Daniel: Haha Yeah true story! so we both connected on that and while I was trying to move to LA, Fernando was already here in his dorm and I slept on the floor of his dorm because I didn’t have a place to stay…
Fernando: For way too long!
Daniel: Yeah, it was way too long. But yeah, kind of through that, I started dipping my toes into the professional side of music. Started working for studios and pub companies in between, just trying to get my foot in the door and make some noise; And around that time, I was mostly making hip hop music and working with a lot of rappers and sometime around 2017 or 2018, Fernando and I connected musically and we were just kind of getting back to the original sounds that we were into. We both were super interested in it and I was moving away from the rap thing and we just both decided that we needed to go after this. We connected and we began putting together the beginnings of Ruby Red and it’s evolved ever since then. We’ve always been very “out there” kind of people and I think we like to rope whatever we can into our creativity. We never like to set limits on the things we’re doing, hence our collaboration with JAHMED. I think it really can bring a lot of people into our world easily. We want everyone to feel like they can be a part of it. Whether you’re a rap fan, an EDM fan or a death metal fan, we want you to feel like there’s some piece you can connect with. So, ever since then, it’s always been our mission to not set any harsh boundaries which is challenging sometimes but yeah that’s the basic breakdown.
Sam: Man I love that. Y’all have been doing an amazing job of creating this all inclusive world and it’s special to witness and listen to…Alright JAHMED, I’d love to hear your story as well; How you got started and how it’s led you to where you are right now.
JAHMED: Word, word! Yeah bro, I’m from California as well, but I’m from Pomona California which is about 30-45 minutes outside of LA. So I was born there and slightly raised there, then I moved to this little desert city in San Bernardino County called Victorville, California. It’s very small, one of the few cities you hit before you get to Vegas. Yeah, my parents moved us there just to stay as far away from the streets and the life they had to live when they were our age. They just wanted different for us; So, I moved out there and music has always been at the forefront of my life, even as a kid, my uncle used to rap. He used to always be on the local radio stations, so it’s always been something that’s been rooted in my family. My older brother used to produce off of FL Studios and me, being a fan of how it’s made, I used to sit and watch him make beats for hours. I was probably like 10 at the time, and when I turned 12, he taught me how to record myself and ever since then I’ve been completely self-sufficient when it comes to recording myself and mixing and mastering. That’s how it all started and I fell in love with the ability to make something. The ability to take what you feel and turn it into a record. One thing that kept me going too, was my High School. All of my peers knew I did music, and one day I go to school and there’s a school newspaper and I was on the front page of it all because of the music I was putting on Soundcloud and long story short, I ended up making that move to get closer to LA, so I kept pushing and kept going..still pushing and it ultimately led me here.
Sam: Okay bet I love that man. If you don’t mind, I’m going to stay with you for a second. Tell me what it was like getting to link up and start working with The Revels Group.
JAHMED: So I met Brian first just coming to LA. I’m so used to doing in-home sessions and during my first real studio session I meet Brian White and long story short, I signed to a distributor before I even had management; So Geffen reached out to me and just getting introduced to management and attorney’s is a whole different world, but getting to find people like these guys is special. The way they operate is special. They work hard. They hustle hard. It’s the perfect match. It’s crazy getting to work with the Revels squad.
Sam: Alright bet, let’s head over to Fernando. What was it like connecting with the Revels Group?
Fernando: So Ben is also from the Bay and we knew of each other, but didn’t really know each other well. We ended up taking a class together our senior year and that’s when he found out about Ruby Red and from there, he approached Jordan (our other manager) who we had been working with for some time and luckily they got along and were able to make a partnership happen and that was about a year and half ago.
Ben: Yeah, it was last September.
Fernando: Yeah, last September and yeah it’s been a trip. It’s; been a lot of fun. It definitely feels good especially when you think about where we started. Ruby Red is no longer just me and Daniel. It’s really a team of people from all over. It’s trippy. To see so many people excited about it, it makes me even more excited about it. it’s been great so far. And what’s even crazier is, with the “Tuesday” single that we did with Jah last year and we had another song as well…Those were the only two real releases that we did with Revels, so, we still haven’t done a full rollout which is exciting to think about what’s in store.
Sam: Man, I’m hype!!! With that, tell me about “Tuesday”. When I tell y’all there was a cool 2 weeks where I was just bumping that joint non stop. It’s such a good track; So we’ll start with you Daniel. Tell me about what it was like linking with Jahmed for the first time and then tell me about that song.
Daniel: Yeah so I first met Jah when we were actually in this office that I’m in right now. I was hanging with Ben and Jordan and we were just going over the project and mulling over everything and expressing my reservations and all of a sudden, Jahmed came in and Ben is just the master of introductions…He’s like yo, this is Jahmed, he’s this incredible rapper, so I’m like alright let’s get it then! So we ran a couple of songs for him and I think he enjoyed them and we were like alright let’s make some music together. And I think it was about a week later, Fernando was out of town so JAhmed and I and the other writer on the song Travis, we connected at Human Resources and we hit the studio and I had just got this new synth, its called Casio CZ 3000 and I just sat down at the desk. First sessions are always really weird. It either goes like, you make nothing or you make something great, so I’m just sitting at the desk trying to figure this out. Our process can be wacky sometimes. Me and Fernando, we love to just mess around and play with sounds that people wouldn’t typically like. And I remember I was just sitting at the desk and began forming the beginning of Tuesday…Just after that day, me Jah and Trav left with the bones of it…And even that day we left and we were like yeah that was a good song, but didn’t ever think it was going to come out…So yeah I send it over to Ben an and Jamil not really expecting anything. So I sent it to them two and I think an hour later, we see on Jamil’s story, he’s in the backyard already leaking the record. It was really just a special first link up. When you have a moment like that with an artist, you just know that you’re going to be close for life.
Sam: Jahmed, what’s your side of the story?
Jahmed: Well I fell in love with this hat that I have on right now first. I went to the office one day to see Ben and Jamil and I saw this hat on the table and I just put it on and I loved it. I was like yo this hat is crazy, let me have this and Ben was like nah you can’t have that one and then from there, Ben was already telling me about Ruby Red and I didn’t take the time to dive in because at the time, I think y’all already had some music out on DSP’s, but everything he said about the office was true. I went to the office and heard their music and I was like “yo what is this?”. I liked the hat and also liked the music, I knew I had to rock with them. I typically love going into sessions not knowing what’s going to happen and I remember sitting on the couch and I told Daniel to just make whatever and I’ll apply myself and when he started messing with keys I could just feel that it was going to be different. And coming up with the hooks and verses, it was like water. I can’t even explain how I came up with what I came up with. It was just on some same energy, same intentions of doing something different. Once we got Fernando in the mix, the execution was great. Shoutout to the Revels Group for continually pressing the song. They pushed us to execute the song. It really became more than a song. It became a moment. Especially with the release party. The reception was amazing and it became this whole world. Those moments will live on forever regardless of the plays.
Sam: Man, even the video is clean.. Y’all really did an amazing job on it. I’ve got a couple more questions, I won’t keep y’all too long. Let’s go to Fernando, Daniel, then back to Jahmed…When it comes to your music, how do you want people to feel when they hear your music, what experience do you want to leave people with?
Fernando: Man that’s a great question and one that doesn’t really have a simple answer. I can only speak for myself personally. Up to a certain point, we’re making the music for ourselves. WE’re trying to capture what we’re feeling; And if people resonate with that, it’s great, but it’s hard to be like, with this song I want to make people feel this way. I will say though for me, as a music lover and listener…When I really connect with a song, I like it because I feel like they were writing about my life unknowingly. It’s like it fits so perfectly. I think that’s what I’m striving for, like those moments in a song where they’re like damn this person really nailed my life in a way that I didn’t even realize. Then that’s the song that you’re belting in the shower and you know all of the lyrics. That’s the feeling I’m going for.
Daniel: For me, I’ve always felt like in order for you to like a song you have to connect it with whatever was going on when you first heard it, I think that’s so hard to do these days. Sometimes you hear a song off of a playlist or your friend will play it for you and then you hear it in a different setting and you get a completely different reception of it. I think just for me, some songs I’ve heard in my life have just made me cry and make me feel like I’m floating. Not because I’m sad but something about it…I’ve connected something in my brain that feels super special. Like Fernando said, it’s a really hard question to answer, but I just want people to feel like they can connect with it and connect with us and be a part of it. A big component of Ruby Red goes beyond just the music. Even with our live performance, we want people to feel like they’re in it with us. So we try to figure out a way where everyone can feel invited and everyone can feel like they’re on the natural molly, you know what I mean? I just want everyone to feel good and have a good time…
Jahmed: I think it’s a little bit of both of what they both said. My favorite songs and artists, I may not be able to relate to them fully on their experiences and what they went through, but most importantly, it triggered the emotion and triggered something in my mind where I can feel it. Some people that support my music probably can’t experience or relate to what I’m talking about most times, but I think more importantly, if they can feel it, that’s the ultimate goal…to get you to feel me, whether you’re experiencing the same thing or not. It’s important because music lacks emotion these days regardless of how well it was put together. It goes back to Tuesday, when Daniel was doing the keys, I felt that. I usually don’t mess with that kind of music, but I felt that off rip. I think a lot of people who mess with that record, they can feel those keys, they can feel that energy that we created with it…whether you can relate to it at all. I just want people to feel like they’re a part of the journey as well. I want you to close your eyes and and feel how we felt when we were making it and I Think that’s the most ultimate piece of making music that connects with people.
Sam: Alright last question of the interview! We’ll start with Fernando, go to Daniel and then finish with you again Jahmed…What are y’all excited about and looking forward to in 2022. The world is slowly opening back up, so tell me what y’all have your sights set on!
Fernando: One thing that I’m immediately excited about…Today, we just announced a show back home in the bay. It’s going to be our first real show in the bay. I’m just super excited, I’ll have my family and my friends come and see me play live for one of the first times, so that’s what I’m immediately excited about. But I think like how we mentioned that this project is coming out and it’s the first time we’ve been able to be fully creatively involved and committed and have every part firing on all cylinders; Because you know in the past, real life gets in the way and you may not have all of the resources and you have to make due with what you have, now it feels like we have the artillery, so it’s exciting and also kind of terrifying, but I’m excited to finally bring Ruby Red to the world in the way that its been in our heads.
Daniel: Yeah, I obviously agree with everything that Fernando has to say. For me, I’ve always been a live show person and I’m excited to expand that a lot more. Since the beginning, I’ve always wanted people to want to come to our shows and when they get there, there are smoke and lasers and cannons and just exceeding people’s expectations and like we were talking about the music, just making people feel like they’re coming to experience something that they’re going to remember forever. Just getting in front of people and seeing people’s faces change in real time is special to me, so I’m really excited for that and excited for the project we have coming at the top of the year.
Jahmed: Man to do it all over. To keep going. WE dropped a project at the top of this year and are looking to do it again this year. Just got off of a festival tour, but I’m trying to hit the road tours, go international…drop a project! I’m trying to do it all bro you know, it’s up times 10! It’s just important to keep going and find new ways to stay creative and connect to the people. “Tuesday” was a prime example of that, so just trying to do different things. I want to give the people a bigger experience and let the people know who Jahmed is on a more personal level. A lot of the music is going to capture that feeling. Album is coming soon!
Sam: Man, I rock with y’all heavy. Obviously I love the music, but I just love y’all as people at this point. I can just feel this energy on this call right now that is special. It’s go time, I’m excited; Brian and Ben, do y’all have anything to say? What are y’all excited about when it comes to these guys?
Ben: Man, I’m very excited for next year. For Ruby Red’s project, for the album that Jahmed has coming. Daniel and I were talking about how were going to know if this project is a success and we discussed that we’re going to look at this thing after it came out compared to before it came out as two separate times in our lives; so I’m just excited to help and do my small part in putting those pieces together.
Brian: I’m also super grateful and excited for Jah and the journey that he’s allowed me to be a piece of. I’m just excited to be in this position with him and his friendship and relationship that we have. The understanding that we have with each other is great, because like he said, we had the relationship at Human Resources and one thing led to another and he was a big advocate for me becoming a part of the management team. For next year, we’ll be figuring out what this album will look like with the music videos and we’re just ready to do it all over again on a bigger and better level, because we went through a lot of firsts this year…whether it was shows or this or that…You’re going to have these hiccups here and there so it’s great to have a friend to experience all of this with but also having the ability to take note of it all and learn from it and get better.