Not too long ago, Apple Music placed an enormous spotlight on Ruger (@rugerofficial), one of the most exciting talents and emerging artists on the Afrobeats scene. The Nigerian superstar ensured that Apple Music London Sessions closed out 2023 in epic style with its December edition.
Ruger – “Asiwaju” (Apple Music London Sessions)
Apple Music London Sessions allows artists to perform a selection of their favorite tracks from their catalog, as well as a cover version of their choice. For this special performance, the Lagos-based artist is celebrating the start of Nigeria’s December party season as he performs slick and enthralling renditions of his hits “Asiwaju” and “Ashana” off his debut project “RU The World,” as well as his interpretation of Gyptian’s 2013 classic, “Wine Slow.”
Ruger – “Wine Slow” (Apple Music Sessions)
“I found the song and I just fell in love with it. I use it for anything, even when I’m chilling. If I want to sleep, I could just listen to it. When we were recording it, during the Apple Music London Session, they were saying I had to do four takes, five takes. I said, “I could do 100 takes of the song as long as I’m enjoying myself,” because that song is amazing.” — Ruger explained
To mark the session’s launch, Ruger joined Apple Music 1 host Dotty in the studio to discuss his experience recording the session and why he could never get bored of reggae artist Gyptian‘s “Wine Slow.” Ruger also discusses the creative process that went into preparing for the live session, why he chose to alter the arrangement of his records for the live stage, as well as the story behind discovering “Wine Slow” for the first time during lockdown.
Listen to the full interview on The Dotty Show
Ruger on how long it took to prepare for his Apple Music London Session…
It took a week or so. I just had to just pick the songs I was going to perform, so that was easy. But yeah, I practiced with my band. We put everything together, we lined everything up, and that’s about it, man. Those songs are special songs on my album, two special songs on my album. That’s ‘Ashana’ and ‘Asiwaju.’ You all know ‘Asiwaju,’ a global song. Then my favorite song of all time, ‘Wine Slow’ by Gyptian. It’s easy to pick, and I enjoyed performing those songs.
Ruger on why he chose to cover “Wine Slow” by Gyptian…
I found the song and I just fell in love with it. I use it for anything, even when I’m chilling. If I want to sleep, I could just listen to it. When we were recording it, during the Apple Music London Session, they were saying I had to do four takes, five takes. I said, “I could do 100 takes of the song as long as I’m enjoying myself,” because that song is amazing … I think I first heard that song properly, I think 2020, during the quarantine, then COVID, all of that, the outbreak and all of that. I was just searching for music. I just found it on YouTube and yeah.
Ruger on why he switched the original arrangements of his records for the live session…
Because it’s important. It’s very important when you are doing that because syncopations matter when you are making live sessions. Makes the song longer. You understand and makes it more enjoyable. It’s important to add that to your live sessions because it makes whoever you’re performing to enjoy that song better than even the original one.
Ruger – “Ashana” (Apple Music Sessions)
Ruger, born Michael Adebayo, embodies an experimental and distinct Afro-dancehall sound that has captivated audiences since the release of his debut EP, “PANDEMIC,” in 2021. Hailing from the Jonzing World camp – the same stable behind international superstar Rema – his 2022 single “Asiwaju” enjoyed global chart success. Later, Ruger released his debut album, “RU The World,” in September and completed sold-out tours in Europe and North America to round off a trailblazing 2023.