Originally from Florida, but now based in Los Angeles, Kendall Rucks takes elements of rock, blues, and dream pop, and fuses them together to create a sound that is both provocative and captivating.
Lisa caught up with Kendall and dug in deep about her life, music, and what to expect from her in the future.
What’s the Kendall Rucks story?
Oh jeez…where do I even begin?! I was born and raised in South Florida in a small beach town right on the coast. When I was 13, I was asked to join in the formation of a teen singing group that was being pitched to Disney. I worked as part of that group for almost a year in Los Angeles, but things happen as they tend to do and the group ended up disbanding. At that point though, the music and acting bug had already gotten to me.
Flash forward to 2020, I’m still a Florida girl but LA has become my true heart’s home. It is filled with the places I love and people I adore – the artistic energy in California is contagious and I hope that I can always be able to live and create here.
Biggest inspirations? In life? In music?
I’m inspired by those people who confront the taboo as it relates to subjects of love, sexuality, morality, human interaction both with one another, our universe and a higher power. People that aren’t afraid to question the assumptions of society and who have a perspective that is kinder and more encompassing of everyone regardless of who they love, or worship or what color their skin is or where they call home.
I believe there is magic energy in the world and that’s what draws us to certain people and guides us on certain paths in life. For various reasons, I am inspired by Angelina Jolie, Walt Whitman, Eartha Kitt, Lana Del Rey, Stevie Nicks, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Kurt Cobain and so many more.
I’m inspired by parents who go out daily and support their kids or others, and the kids who go out daily and defend others against bullies and serve as a positive light for those that are less fortunate. There are lots of inspirations…some tend to be quieter, or looked over, but they are all around us.
Tell us a bit about your music.
I’d like to think it’s daring and raw. I believe in being 100% brutally honest; free of the expectations of how people think I should feel or what I should say. I want those who listen to feel liberated, seen and celebrated. I think that both men and women should be able to listen to a song and feel like they are in a fantasy. Where they are able to unleash their inner God and Goddess that we all have waiting to come to life somewhere inside of us.
On a more technical note, I’m a fan of real instruments and love an organic rock sound. There’s something about the way a guitar can almost speak in its own language that moves me. I also love blues and a bit of jazz and a good sultry beat…take a listen to my stuff, hopefully, you’ll hear what I’m so awkwardly trying to explain!
Most memorable experience so far in your musical career?
I think my most memorable moment will happen on March 7th as I hit the main stage at Okeechobeefest in Florida. It’s crazy that my first big festival performance will be in the exact county that my Dad was born in. My great, great grandparents opened a Dairy farm in Okeechobee in 1958 – How crazy is that for the universe working its magic!! I will be playing the main stage with Vampire Weekend on Saturday, that will definitely end up being my most memorable moment as just the thought of it already is blowing my mind.
What is your take on the current state of the music industry?
The pros of being an artist in the 2020 music industry are the access and power we have to connect with our audience and the tools to create our own content without the support of a label. It’s a lot of responsibility and it’s not for every artist, but I do feel that it can be empowering.
The downside is that it is also extremely time consuming and without a team behind you, it can be overwhelming. Personally, I am going to start looking for a label so that I can focus less on the business side of things and more on creating my art. I’ve got a million songs written and ready to be produced – I wanna get to it!
What artists apart from yourself, should we be listening to? Who’s the most played on your playlist right now?
I’m forever such a big Fiona Apple fan, Lana’s ‘Norman F***ing Rockwell’ Album is revolutionary too and I’ve always loved Ultraviolence. Lately, I’ve been on a Doja Cat kick and I’m obsessed with Jessy Jo Stark and FKA Twigs.
If you could go back and talk to your younger self what would you say? What advice would you give yourself (or other young artists who might be just starting out)? What’s the best career advice you’ve been given and what’s the worst?
Oh, man! I’d say be honest. Don’t try to pretend to do music that is “age-appropriate” if you aren’t feeling it. I was fantasizing about things when I was younger that I wasn’t “supposed” to talk about or understand. Point is I didn’t understand it, but I wanted to embrace the journey of exploring the “me” inside that was way “older” than the “me” on the outside. I know that likely sounds rambly but I’m just saying- my advice would be to speak you TRUTH – no matter what others say cause I promise, there are tons of other people out there who are feeling the same way you are but are afraid to speak it.
What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
“What’s your Zodiac sign?” I’m a Cancer Sun with a Scorpio Moon. Beyoncé, Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus and so many more also have Scorpio moons – it’s a powerful sign. Margot Robbie and Debrorah Harry are Cancer Suns with Scorpio Moons, I could talk about the Zodiac for hours! I love it!
You can see Kendall perform live this weekend at Okeechobeefest. See here for tickets and further information. If you can’t see her perform live, and even if you can, check out the music video below for Kendall’s most recent release, ‘Skin The Sun’: