1. Who are you? / Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Jack Rua and I am a pop artist from Dublin. I have a keen interest in anything dramatic or ostentatious and I think that comes through in my music! I love being glamorous but also gaudy and I love embracing things that are real, but also things that are fake. I love my reflection but I also fear it. I have been writing music for over ten years and singing since I could talk.
2. What inspired you to get into music? Is it always something you have had an interest in?
I know it’s incredibly cliche but I have always been into music. I received classical and theatrical training when I was young and was also massively into pop music and pop culture as a child and in my teens, so when I discovered the art of songwriting, it was never a question that that is what I wanted to pursue.
3. What is your favourite thing about working in the music industry? What’s your least favourite thing?
My favourite thing about working in music is performing. I love the writing and recording process but I am a performer at heart and I feel at home on the stage. I’ve always been like that and always will be, so gigging is what makes me the happiest! My least favourite thing is the pressure that I put on myself, and my tendency to compare myself to others. It makes it quite hard to be creative because the negative thoughts block me. I think these issues are common in a lot of artists though!
4. Mental health in the music industry is a very prevalent issue, yet it is also a very taboo topic. How do you manage your mental health while working in the music industry?
I do think that I have a very strong head on my shoulders and I have a very strong sense of my self and a confidence in my abilities, but I’m also quite sensitive and find under-achieving and rejection quite difficult to stomach. When I noticed that this was negatively affecting me I took practical steps to get better. I journal a lot in order to manifest what’s going on inside my head. I try to take breaks from music (even listening to it) and I try not to drink or take any substances when I feel down. I also have a wonderful support system around me who give me great confidence when I feel down.
5. Your music can be described as ‘Theatrical’ and ‘Energetic’. Tell us a little bit more about that.
Well, I’d start off by saying that I am quite a theatrical and dramatic person, so of course that would filter into the music! But I also think it’s all down to my influences. I’ve been massively into music theatre since I was a kid. I love the energy on stage, and I love the idea of telling a story through music and through lyrics. As well as this, all the musicians I love are incredibly flamboyant and theatrical.
6. Do you believe the music industry has become more accepting towards the LGBTQ community?
Yes I do think that. I think it is incredible how many amazing queer artists exist and are expressing real and authentic experiences, not just watered down or white-washed ones. We have created a space for ourselves in the industry where we can exist and create authentically and that is amazing to experience and be a part of. I do think though, that we have a long way to go still. The fact that “Queer Music” has to remain a subculture is baffling to me, especially when there are so many ground-breaking queer artists who deserve to be in the mainstream just as much as, if not more than, cis-het ones. I have experienced and heard of a lot of queer people who have experienced levels of suppression or patronization from industry professionals and fellow artists. As an industry we have to do more to not only give queer artists their own spaces, but to normalize queer artists in the mainstream.
7. Who are your musical influences?
My absolute musical gods are Bowie, Prince, Madonna and Gaga. I also love Allie X, John Grant, Susanne Sundfor, Charli XCX, BANKS, Joan as Police Woman, Carly Rae Jepsen, Lily Allen, the Beatles, Marina, the Velvet Underground, Lorde, Dorian Electra, La Roux, Hot Chip… The list goes on!
8. If you weren’t a musician, what other career paths would you like to follow?
I think that I’d love to be a psychologist or a counsellor. I love how the mind works, and I love trying to help people and give them guidance. I have a pretty steely exterior but I’m actually very empathetic.
9. Have you any upcoming gigs/releases we should know about?
My next single Curious is out on March 13th, and I will be doing a headline show in Whelans on the 26th called ‘The Narcissus Ball’. I will be announcing something VERY special soon that I’m incredibly excited about…
10. Tell us something about you that nobody knows?!
I can recite several scenes word-by-word from Little Britain. Particularly the Vicky Pollard sketches.
To check Jack Rua out, please take a look at his social links below! Don’t forget to give him a like/follow.