Rufio Summers is a singer songwriter; his vocals elicit
a sensation that is nothing short of captivating. Having previously been compared to legendary artists such as Bill Withers and Paul Rogers, Rufio’s songs continue to deliver a uniqueness and maturity well beyond his years while his live performances have become renowned for bringing large audiences to a complete stand still.
Did you grow up wanting to sing, or when did the whole thing come about and how?
From a young age, I always new I had a passion for entertaining people, this was something that my school teachers didn’t necessarily appreciate at the time because most of this would take part in their lessons. As I came of age this rampant behaviour eventually was channelled into singing, music making and other forms of self-expression.
Tell us a little bit about where do you perform/ed?
I have performed all over the UK at venues such as Scala, Ronnie Scott’s Bar and the Barfly to name a few. I have headlined festivals, performed for the United Nations and I was one of earlier artists to perform on SBTV’s A64 when it was still in its development stages, this was something that I will never forget as it really propelled me into the lime light in terms of exposing my music to the nation.
There is still a long way to go though.
Every band has their influences, and a lot of the time they differ from band member to band member. What are some of your biggest musical influences?
First I should start by saying Rock music has been the foundation of everything I do, for it was playing in rock bands with my friends at a young age that really gave me a greater understanding about what it means to make music. Musically I am someone that is constantly evolving, so I am influenced by who ever I am listening to at the moment. Growing up, rock bands like Free, The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mack were constantly played in my house, this was counter balanced by my mothers soul and funk record collection that would take precedence whenever the record player became available.
How has your music evolved since you first began singing?
Like I said before, I started out in rock bands, but once I got tired of working with non committed members I decided to go it alone. So I set up a studio and started making electro. The electro thing wasn’t really working for me so my manager at the time suggested I perform the songs I had written acoustically which I did and it blew up pretty much over night. The sound that you will hear today is a combination of all of these experiences conveyed through Raw, soulful acoustic Blues.
What have you found to be the hardest part of the industry?
The Bullshit, I have been promised so much, purposefully mislead and overlooked for what is current instead of what sounds good. The longer you are out there doing this, the more you come to realise that the music industry is just a big slag with no standards and is willing to sleep with anyone as long as they can generate a bit of money or hype.
What advice would you give to a new artist that wants to make an album? Should they self-produce it or try to go with a record label instead?
Do your research, have a clear idea of what it is you want and make sure you stick to it when you are working with your producer. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be open to new ideas but you need to make sure you are happy with the end result.Most importantly make music for yourself, not the label.
What’s your favorite song of all time?
I don’t have one but I do love Lean on me by Bill Withers and If I ever lose my faith by Sting
What is your connection to Shoreditch? Do you play, hang out, live here?
Before I moved to London I used to travel up to specifically just to soak up the scene and be a part of whatever is going on, musically it has always been kind to me in terms of shows and even now you will occasionally find me performing for free at a showcase called The Squatters Den which is held at the Box park on a Sunday.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
I will be playing at The Queen of Hoxton on the 7th of feb. I’m also performing at an amazing venue in March called The Hoxton Docks which has a yacht in the middle of the dance floor. I honestly think Shoreditch is one of the few places in London where you can actually get away with sticking a boat in the middle of a club. The date hasn’t been confirmed yet but you can find out all the details from my website.