New Maps EP by The Ruby Kid now available for download

Ruby Kid speaks out!

Daniel Randall has been a fan of rap music since he was very young.

But it wasn't until he was nearing the end of his school years that he began to take it up as a hobby.

Since then, that hobby has taken off, under his rapping name The Ruby Kid.

He has just released his third CD and has performed numerous gigs while on tour.

"Sometimes I'll not do a gig for a couple of months if I'm recording a new project but if I'm touring or gigging more regularly I might do up to ten or more shows in a month," Daniel, 23, of Radcliffe-on-Trent, says.

"Music is essentially a hobby for me. I've been very lucky about the people I have been able to work with and I'm very grateful."

His music may be proving a success now, but the road hasn't been easy for Daniel.

"I have quite a steady stream of gig requests now, but it was quite hard to get to that stage," he said.

"I had to be very proactive in the beginning and desperately grab every opportunity to get on stage.

"Luckily, I feel like I don't have to do that so much anymore."

Daniel started getting into rapping when he was in Year 9 at Dayncourt School.

"It wasn't until then that I came into contact with people who were interested in making music, rapping and beat boxing," he says.

"The film 8 Mile had just come out so we thought we would have a battle. I battled a guy called Alex Hutchinson, when I was around 17-years-old. It was mainly free-styling.

"We were at the school's theatre. It was quite a big event. There was a substantial crowd watching.

"We didn't declare a winner. We both decided to leave it as an honourable draw."

From then on, Daniel started thinking seriously about making music.

When he started studying English Literature in Sheffield in 2006, he met some like-minded people. Friends soon set up a band called Black Jacobins to perform with him and started organising gigs.

He recorded his first CD in June 2008 and did shows with Grime and hip hop artists Wiley and Skepta. "I count those shows as my highlights," he says. "They were important experiences for me."

There is not much The Ruby Kid does not rap about. From political issues to places he has visited, he just about covers everything.

"Anything that's not sexist and misogynistic," he adds.

His inspiration to write comes from all aspects of life but Daniel, who now lives in Mile End, East London, says it mostly comes to him when he's on the move.

"I get most of my greatest stuff written on public transport, which is where the title of my new CD, Maps, comes from.

"I've written a lot of my lyrics while travelling on the 205 bus which takes me from town to my house."

Perhaps surprisingly Daniel's big idol is Bob Dylan.

"I admire his approach to songwriting and his ability to write songs of all different kinds", says the singer.

"He'll use really abstract and figurative language in some songs but also has quite simple but effective and powerful songs about day-to-day human issues."

But even more important than his music for Daniel is his political activism.

He is involved with left-wing organisation Workers' Liberty, which he first became interested in aged 14.

"I started thinking seriously about the world we live in and the group I found the most closely matched up to the ideas I developed was Workers' Liberty," he said.

Daniel calls himself The Ruby Kid because of his Jewish heritage.

"My grandparents changed their surname in the late 1930s from Rubinstein to Randall because it wasn't the best time to have a conspicuously Jewish name," he said.

"And ruby means red – the colour of left-wing politics – so it has a double meaning."

To watch The Ruby Kid perform and do a live interview, go to www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/thisislive

To buy a copy of his latest album, go to http://therubykid.bandcamp.com/

Nottingham Post review/
Wednesday, January 05, 2011, 09:01
By Winnie Agbonlahor