Interview: Sam Rui anticipates her Australian debut at Singapore: Inside Out

Australians are soon to get a taste of Singapore’s eclectic and thriving arts scene, when Singapore: Inside Out takes place in Sydney from November 3rd to 5th. Bringing artists from across the realms of visual arts and music, as well as some culinary boundary pushers, SG:IO is a way for Singapore to bring their cream of the crop out to Australia in bridging the gap and forming new connections between two very different artistic cultures.

One of the showcasing musicians on her way out to Australia for SG:IO is R&B artist Sam Rui. Her music has been gaining steady traction over this last year and as she describes, embarking on this music journey full time in 2017 has been one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

What is exciting you the most about coming to Sydney and representing for Singapore?

I played my first show abroad earlier this year and it was an absolutely incredible experience. When you’re a small artist and you play somewhere away from home, it’s always so heartwarming to come across people who know your music from so far away, and on the flipside, it’s fun to play for an audience of people who don’t know you at all. It’s scary but also liberating, because you’re not in the safety bubble of playing somewhere so far away. While I’m there also attending shows/festivals/any sort of little dive bar gigs, to see the music and art the place has to offer. I’m excited to represent Singapore because I don’t think anyone really knows what to expect when they hear about ‘Singapore Music’. I don’t think R&B is a genre typically associated with SEA/Singaporean culture, so I think my music will come as a bit of a surprise.

Have you been to Australia before and if so, what has been a big drawcard about being able to showcase your music here? 

I’ve been to Perth a couple of times, but never to do anything music-related. To be honest it was never really on my radar until I played at the Laneway Festival this year, and started getting more traction on Spotify; realising quite a few of my listeners are from there. It’d be amazing to meet just one person in Sydney who came to my show after discovering me on Spotify.

How has 2017 treated you, in terms of the music you have been making?

2017 has really opened up a whole new world to me. Before this year, I was a psychology undergrad, but this year I decided to take some time off school and pursue this full time; it changed my life. I released my first album, played at Laneway and Ultra, did my first show in Malaysia and recently got signed to management in Korea. This was the first year I felt I got a good grip of who I was as an artist and what I wanted to sound like, and I saw the things I had hoped for myself become real.

How crucial, in your opinion, do you believe events such as Singapore: Inside Out are for musicians?

I feel like the opportunity to perform abroad is highly beneficial, if not crucial, for upcoming musicians like me. A lout of the clout I create for my music is done over the internet, which is great because it gets my music beyond just Singapore, but it also isn’t lasting because you don’t get to meet and interact with your audience elsewhere and create a lasting impression.

Do you hope to tour out this way in 2018?

No; I’m not ready for a full tour yet. The impact of a live show is very important to me, so I won’t embark on a full tour yet unless I know I’m ready.

Singapore: Inside Out takes place within the Chippendale Creative Precinct. For more information about the event, head here.

Stay up to date with Sam Rui on Facebook here!


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