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Art & Life with Roy Rutto

Today we’d like to introduce you to Roy Rutto.

Roy, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My name is Roy Kipkoech Rutto meaning “King On The Move.” I’m from Eldoret, Kenya; born and raised there for the first eight years of my life until me and my family came to Pomona, California in the United States. Then, unfortunately, dreams were crushed when my happily married parents divorced and it completely shifted the family’s ambitions. We went homeless, moved from state to state trying to find stability but ended up back in Southern California only this time in Orange County. It was here that I found a passion for music and actually established a home in America. Singing, playing instruments like the piano and drums for my church choir was just the beginning of the musical journey. During high school after finishing my sophomore year football season, me and the boys were out on regular teenage shenanigans. Later that night after getting high for the 1st time, I unexpectedly free-styled for my friends and that was the start of my passion for rap and hip-hop. Coming from Africa, I hated rap music and we were told to hate rap for the derogatory, random topics in the content until I actually took some time to study poetry and the art of storytelling. Day after day, week after week; I would be spending most of my time with the upperclassmen free-styling just as a hobby. I actually always wanted to act or do cartoons or just something in the entertainment industry and music was never a plan in my head, it was really my older brother and my mom who played the guitar and sang. I was just the nerd of the house. But, I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason. So after graduating high school, I made the leap to pursue music heavier and investing in my craft. And now here I am; Roy Rutto.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I see myself as more of an artist. I’m not just a rapper, I sang before I rapped. But I drew and acted in plays before I sang. At the moment, I’m a rapper, singer, my own songwriter, and sometimes a producer and engineer my own music. Hopefully, as I grow, I plan to implement every artistic trait and talent I have to speak to people and become a voice for my people and peers. I want to be nothing like today’s artists, to be honest. I probably sound like some old fart but no, its the values I was raised with that don’t keep me sane and straight. I’m good with being an outcast, set apart from the crowd and this era of “clout.” I hear and see all the wild politics that happen on social media and that alone just gives me more of an incentive to become this voice that insights everyone and even myself to just chill out, find moderation, and coexist. I’m not some philosophical artist, I just say it like it is and you take it how you want it; that’s my art.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
For my fellow artists, one of many important lessons I’ve learned through this journey is you have to be ready to lose and fail. Don’t get too comfortable, that’s the number one problem with countless artists. And if you fail, laugh, stand tall and be appreciative about it because if we don’t fail now we won’t know later. Also, just be the best you that you can be. And take it step by step because the best things in life aren’t rushed. Be patient and be consistent. But that doesn’t mean don’t take occasional calculated long shots. Live a risky, creative life in moderation.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Find me on Soundcloud, Apple Music, Spotify and every other streaming platform as “Roy Rutto”. For updates on new music, shows, videos, listening parties and more; follow my Twitter @roykruttooo and Instagram @royruttooo. I try to drop to something new every month so stay tuned. Retweet, share, or re-post to get the word around town. Every person matters, every click counts.

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Image Credit:
Adrian McMurry, Andy Lee, Lily Rodriguez, Brandon Castelo, Beau Ibarra

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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