Los Angeles singer/songwriter Ruby Layne released her eponymous debut EP in early 2020. Finding inspiration in the protest music of rock bands from the 60’s and 70’s, she joined forces with some of the strongest musicians Los Angeles has to offer to create Ruby Layne & The Wicked Divine to evolve her sound to match the scope of her upcoming debut album, After the Apocalypse. Ruby Layne’s debut album invokes the sonic tendencies of the classic rock era paired with angsty, new-wave melodies, which are used to lyrically explore a post-apocalyptic scenario and the fears and uncertainties that would accompany it. Ruby Layne seeks to build community through art, using music to create a safe space where people can explore their identities and celebrate their authentic selves.
Please share a story that includes a happy memory as an artist and has made a huge impact on your artistry.
The happiest moment I’ve recently experienced is being able to finally play a live show after the worst years of the pandemic. I put out the Ruby Layne EP right before everything shut down, and it was hard having to put a pause on my music goals. But as it’s become safe for performances once again, we’re finally able to take the stage and share our music with a live audience. It has been the truest joy of my life to
How do you choose to lead a Happy Healthy life as an artist?
I feel that the key to a truly healthy lifestyle is emotional honesty with oneself. We live in a culture that often doesn’t make space to acknowledge our personal struggles, and the more we push things down, the harder they are to overcome. I try to listen intently to my physical, mental, and emotional needs, and never shame myself for making time for self care.
Who did you learn from to instill those values?
Carrie Fisher was a major inspiration for me in my personal journey with mental health. She was never afraid to be candid with the world about her problems, and fought against the stigmas around mental illness by choosing to live her life authentically and joyously. We cannot control the cards we’re dealt by the universe, but we can choose to own our truth and define our own path to happiness.
Was it hard work to make sure that you focused on your well-being and not only your art?
It can be very challenging to stay focused on my wellbeing. I am a workaholic by nature, and a perfectionist to a fault, so I easily get wrapped up in my projects to the point that I do sometimes forget to take care of myself. But burnout is real and if you don’t make time to care for yourself, your body will find the time for you. You can’t create if you’re running on empty, so I try to look at self care as the fuel I need to be able to achieve my artistic goals.
Was there a turning point in how you decided to put yourself first?
I live with depression and there was a long period in my life where I struggled to be able to see any kind of future for myself. The feeling of hopelessness was all consuming, and it came to a point where I knew that I needed to completely reinvent my life if I wanted to have one. I thought about the version of myself that was happy, thriving, and achieving her goals, and chose in that momentum to commit all of my time to that future me. I’m still a work in progress, but now I’m in a headspace where I can enjoy the journey.
How do you like to promote a healthy lifestyle?
It’s so important to remember that a healthy lifestyle looks different for everyone. I find that the healthiest choices are rooted in happiness, rather than trying to conform to someone else’s idea of perfection. Self love needs to be at the center of everything. I try to promote honesty first and foremost; life is not always picture perfect, and I don’t ever want to seem like someone who creates a facade for my audience. For me, committing to a healthy lifestyle has meant that I need to live my truth, leaving space to experience both the highs and lows of life and never feeling ashamed for either. I hope to inspire others to feel safe to lower their walls and embrace feeling the full spectrum of emotions so that we’re all able to heal and grow.
In what ways are you connecting with fans to check in on each other?
Community building is so vital, we can’t grow to our fullest potential alone. It’s my goal as an artist to help create a space where people can feel seen and accepted, and that even if things are hard, they are loved and deserving of happiness. I try to do whatever I can to help support my community, whether it’s offering a listening ear, uplifting the voices of fellow artists, or supporting one another through mutual aid. We’re living in very uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to find a way to come together and build a better future for us all.
Who checks in on YOU when you need it most?
I have an incredible partner, who is also my artistic collaborator. I feel very lucky that we get to not only share our lives together, but also our music. He’s always there to help me make time for myself, and discourages any guilty feelings that come up when I feel like I’m not pushing myself enough. Together we try to find all the little moments of life that are worth celebrating, and always make sure to express our love freely.
Changing habits can be hard. Which was the habit that you had to change and how has it changed your life now?
The biggest game changer for me was learning how to stop telling myself I wasn’t good enough. I used to hold myself back from so many experiences because I was scared that I wasn’t deserving of going after what I wanted. At a certain point, I decided to allow myself the chance at trying new things and stop letting fear of failure hold me back. Now I feel like I’m finally able to grow into my true potential, and when fear creeps into my mind, I make myself take the leap and commit myself fully to the experience.
Is there a song, book, movie, show, or anything that always gives you the motivation you need?
The film Everything Everywhere All At Once is an incredible piece of art that I think everyone should watch. It motivates me to seek out the joy in life, because despite the hardships we all face, there are always moments of love and happiness that we can find if we know where to look.
What is the mantra of 2022?!
“Love is a radical act.” It’s time for us to treat love as a verb, and take action to truly love one another. That means stepping up for your community, speaking out on the issues that oppress us, and stand together and fight for the happiness we all deserve. Love is not a feeling, it’s an action, and together we can take action and make the world a better place.
Give all the inside scoop on your latest project!
Ruby Layne & The Wicked Divine is now out playing live shows all over LA. We’ve also been working on a new album, After the Apocalypse, which explores my personal journey with mental health and self acceptance. Come check out one of our shows if you’d like to see a sneak peak of the album!