An interview with Rukhsana Merrise

11 Nov 2016

We continue the build-up to our Transformation concert on 19th November with an interview with Rukhsana Merrise – and a chance for fans to win free tickets!

Drop us a line now with “Rukhsana” as the subject for your chance to win! Limited number available.

Read on to see Rukhsana’s thoughts on her year, what she’s been up to, and her appearance at our event next Saturday.

Vietnam. How amazing was that? What was it like to play there?

It's an incredible place and it was such a great feeling playing out there. The people are very genuine and welcoming.

I played most of my EP and some new songs from the album that I haven't even played in London which I was pretty nervous about, but they embraced it as if they already knew them. Can't wait to go back!

You’ve had an incredible year supporting a variety of big artists. What have been the highlights?

Possibly playing Hammersmith Apollo supporting James Bay! I'm from Hammersmith so to perform there was pretty insane!

I learnt so much being on the road with James – he's such a legend and to date my favourite person to be on the road with!

Your lyrics and the subjects of your songs are very powerful. Do the words come first or is it driven by the music?

It depends really. Sometimes it comes from words, sometimes music. Recently I've found myself being more conversational with my lyrics, so one song was written from a text message to someone.

There's no real formula, it's whatever feels right to be honest.

How is the debut album progressing? What is your process for writing and deciding which tracks go on and which don’t?

It's been really challenging. I found myself stuck on what to say in the beginning!

I spent a bit of time living, evolving and exploring myself and naturally the songs have all fallen into place. I'm constantly writing or making songs so when it comes to narrowing them down it's been pretty tough.

I guess I'll just have to think about what pieces are missing from the puzzle of what I'm saying on the album and that will decipher the song choices.

You once said you would like to open a charity shop – are you still passionate about good causes?

I would still love to open my charity shop and yes I am!

I've been in love with charity shops before it was considered "cool" to shop in one! You find amazing pieces and the money goes to such a great cause!

How surprised were you to read that trauma is the biggest killer of your age group and how important do you think gigs like Transformation are for getting the message out?

I think it's very important to spread the message and build awareness through music. As a young person myself, this is something our generation should definitely be more aware of!

Gigs like Transformation are so important in getting the message out, as music has always aided in bringing people together as one for great causes... I'm just so honoured and excited to be a part of it!

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