If Shakespeare was alive today, the prologue of Sam & Ruby's story would make much ado about two star-cross'd singers who managed to cross paths in Nashville, Tennessee. Since the Bard's time, however, globalization has made the world a much smaller place, and the once-unlikely pairing of Sam—who was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin—and Ruby—who was born in Ghana, West Africa—smacks of divine intervention on behalf of the music universe. Accordingly, the duo's dazzling blend of folk, R&B and pop proves—once and for all—that music has the power to connect and unite people from every walk of life.
Upon the release of The Here and the Now, Sam & Ruby managed to squeeze some time out of their busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on their love of music, Nashville and one another.
What intrigues me the most about you two is the fact that both of you had solo careers before you formed this dynamic duo. In what ways did your respective solo careers prepare you for your life together as a duo?
Ruby: I've pursued a solo career since I was 17. It teaches you to be strong quickly. You realize that having a partner in this business is not a bad thing. I've traveled to many different places and cities and countries by myself and experienced what that was like. Just being able to understand the blessing of having a partner in this – especially where now more than ever even dealing with the record company and the artist is about partnership, so definitely understanding that better and considering it a gift.
Sam: Long story short, I was doing my thing in Nashville, Tennessee, and I met a contact over at DreamWorks. Had a deal offer with DreamWorks LA – it fizzled. Moved to New York City, still trying to pursue this crazy business and just getting more and more lost along the way of trying to figure out, "Why am I waiting around for people to tell me what I already know or what I already do?" Coming back to Nashville after New York City and reconnecting with Ruby, there was kind of like an instance when we did decide that we're going to do this as Sam and Ruby. Knowing what we didn't want from the experiences of dealing with pursuing the record industry, it was really helpful. We really feel like we have each other's back and it's a good feeling.