You may remember a while back when I wrote about a group that I positively adore called The Inglorious. I was lucky enough to have the boys perform on my Cadence in the Clouds stage, and they absolutely killed it. However, they weren’t the only ones who brought the energy that night in March. Following their dynamic performance was the multi-talented Ruffin, whose credentials include artists such as Cain Kerner and PinkSweat$. Having released his first project, 400 Days, back in 2017, Ruffin’s buttery vocals, poetic and vivid lyrics, and wondrous visual art have only gotten more dynamic over time, as especially illustrated in his newest album, OO, which can be streamed everywhere now.
Drawing inspiration from artists like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West musically and personally, the young producer and songwriter have actively created music since he was a teenager. While his smooth, alluring voice will draw you in as soon as his song begins, I think it’s his songwriting that really captured my heart. Going beyond the cliche analogies and metaphors, Ruffin clearly finds art in his daily life, painting pictures of cups of black tea and shots of tequila to describe his feelings. His music is equally full of heart-warming romance and quirky oddball one-liners, making each song a joyful adventure to journey through. During his Cadence performance, Ruffin demonstrated his versatility as an artist. He performed tracks from his new album, including “Vanilla,” with ease just to be joined by Cain Kerner out on the stage to perform “Brownie,” getting every audience member grooving and laughing along to the absurdly clever lyrics. His mellow persona and calm demeanor contrast significantly with the amount of talent he has, and it really was a joy getting to watch him.
His newest album, OO, reminds me of road trips on a sunny summer day, riding around with the love of your life while you run away to escape the stresses of life with your loved ones. It just feels good. The production has so many moving parts, incorporating several genres and instruments to create a sound that reflects the different sides of Ruffin. Some songs feel sexy, and others silly, but they all showcase Ruffin’s abilities as an exceptional singer, songwriter, and producer. Overall, this project is simultaneously uncomplicated and highly thought out, blending together a combination of effort and ease to create an album that can be played all the way through with zero skips. With that being said, I do still think “Dark Roast” off of his Plum EP may be my favorite track of his. It’s hard to measure up to the butterflies I get from that song.
Besides his beautiful abilities as a singer, one of Ruffin’s biggest strengths is his ability to see the bigger picture. By connecting all of his talents, he creates music that doubles up as visual masterpieces, whether actually incorporating artwork or even just using visual imagery to paint sceneries and scenarios. His music appeals to all of the senses, transporting the listener to meadows and foreign planets. It’s truly a magical experience to find music that helps you escape in such a blissful manner, and I am so excited to see what Ruffin has in store now that his new album is out.
All photos by the amazing Frame of Reference Photography.
Our next Cadence show is set for late July, and we have a few new things in store for this next one! Make sure to follow Cadence in the Clouds on socials below to keep up with the latest updates, including dates, tickets, artists, and so much more!