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4 Questions with Sam Rui: “I actually didn’t know that I was headlining the stage until I saw my name in bold!”

Singapore R&B musician, Sam Rui, performed on the first day of Skechers Sundown Festival 2019 (19 April). Sam Rui was the headliner act at the Eden Stage to a stunning turnout of festival goers who were ready to party and rave all night.

Skechers Sundown 2019: Sam Rui (4)

Before her set, we caught up with her to tell us more about a particular infamous Ultra incident, her future plans on her music career, and more.


1. How do you feel about being able to perform at the Skechers Sundown Festival? Is there any artiste here in particular that you wish to work with?

Skechers Sundown 2019: Sam Rui

Sam: It’s really crazy – there are so many artistes and stages. It is my first time performing at Skechers Sundown Festival – I love that the whole line-up is just Asian artistes. I’m quite excited to see acts that I’ve never known before, especially the Chinese-speaking acts as I’ve recently gotten into Chinese music. I feel that it is an honour to be part of a festival that is saturated with Asian acts. I actually didn’t know that I was headlining the stage until I saw my name in bold in the line-up list!

Higher Brothers
Chinese Hip-hop group, Higher Brothers will perform during the Sundown Festival

As for artistes I want to work with, Higher Brothers is definitely on my list, and also Karen Cici from Taiwan – I love all of her works.

2. With regards to songwriting, was there any song you had difficulty penning the lyrics to?

Sam: Penning lyrics, in general, is not a difficult thing for me because of my background – I was a very avid reader as a child and I have always loved music. For me, the difficult part about music is performing on stage.

Skechers Sundown 2019: Sam Rui (2)

My difficulty in writing is controlling myself as I am very emotional and always have a lot of stuff to say. At this point, I have over 50 demos, and I need to narrow them down to no more than 18 for an album.

3. With regards to your incident with Ultra in 2017, it appears that you were not the only artiste who had trouble with the organisers – Dutch DJ Don Diablo was also affected. What will be your advice to aspiring independent musicians who decide to take on the stage at large-scale events like Ultra?

Sam: Read your contracts and invoice people so that you’ve got your back covered. Unfortunately, it’s really hard for indie artistes to cover all their bases because ultimately for us, it’s a matter of trust and mutual respect. We don’t have staff from labels who will help us chase the organisers for our money. If you have been done wrong, even if you are a small artiste, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up. I know it seems scary – I’ve been there – but it will be worth it.

Skechers Sundown 2019: Sam Rui (3)
Sam Rui learnt it the hard way.

4. If you could try out a genre that is different from what you have done thus far, what would it be?

Sam: I want to rap, but I think I can’t. I feel a bit jealous when I watch my friends rap. I think it’s easier for rappers to go into singing than vice versa. I have tried to practice Busta Rhymes’ lines in ‘Look At Me Now’ many times but I still cannot do it!

I also want to explore doing music in other languages. I have been writing a lot of stuff in Chinese and Korean…When you think and write lyrics in a different language, your means of expression is different. So, I really want to try expressing myself in these two mediums as well.


Skechers Sundown Festival 2019

Skechers Sundown Festival 2019: Lineup

Date: Friday to Sunday, 19 to 21 April 2019
Venue: Siloso Beach Sentosa, Singapore

Tickets start at $70 for one-day passes, and participants must be at least 16 years of age. For more information, visit www.sundownfestival.sg

Photos by Deepa Sundar and Goh Jing Wen of the DANAMIC team. Visuals courtesy of Red Spade Entertainment

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Deepa D/O Sundararaju

Animal and music lover, bookworm and movie enthusiast. #blackismyhappycolour

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