After a transcendental experience at the Panorama Bar in early 2016, Ede decided to move…
Leo Ruff is a young sensation from London who emerged onto the scene in early 2021 with his club hit Tech House record ‘Get Down’. With the extensive support he has received from leading UK radios such as KISS FM & Sunrise FM, and support from some of the biggest names in dance music such as Don Diablo & Tungevaag, Leo Ruff is a name to watch. ‘Get Down’ peaked at number #13 on the Upfront UK Club Charts and he sold out his debut headline London show at Basing House last year. Since then Leo has been working hard on new material, with the new cut, ‘Under The Covers’ out now.
EG caught up with Leo Ruff to learn more about the drop of ‘Under The Covers’, the inspiration behind the new release, his own origins in the dance music scene, and his hopes for the future.
EG: Hello Leo! It’s a pleasure to have you here with us today. How have you been? Where are you right now?
Leo Ruff: Not too bad, thanks! I’m currently at home in London recovering from the weekend! These past few months have been super hectic, so it’s nice to finally be able to put my legs up and appreciate what I’ve created, as I’m sometimes a bit hard on myself.
EG: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new single, ‘Under The Covers’! What has the initial reception been like?
Leo Ruff: The reception on this one’s been electric, and it feels great when other people share the same enthusiasm for a tune you’ve spent ages crafting in the studio. It’s also been mad to see the remix interest in the tune, with a remix by the Beyond Chicago boys coming soon. Been testing this one out already, and the reception’s been mad.
EG: What’s the inspiration behind ‘Under The Covers’? What can your fans expect on this one, sonically speaking?
Leo Ruff: For this one, I wanted a dance-pop–club crossover, where the record would be both at home on a mainstream radio playlist and also on a club floor. You can expect a heavy dancefloor stomper that’ll also put a spring in your step when you’re stumbling out of bed on a Monday morning.
EG: And this, of course, follows up on your hit ‘Get Down’. Were you surprised to see support from stations like KISS FM & Sunrise FM, and artists such as Don Diablo & Tungevaag?
Leo Ruff: Yeah, it was pretty mad when I opened my laptop one morning to see a track report with all the above support listed on it. It was a kind of pinch-me moment, and I think it definitely made me see that music was a viable path for me going forward, and I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do something I love as my job.
“You’re not creating your art so that it can be judged, you’re creating it because you love it, as does your audience”
EG: Does that kind of success put pressure on whatever might come next? A need to replicate, maybe? How does one deal with that?
Leo Ruff: I mean, at the moment, I haven’t really had the time to reflect as everything’s happened so fast, but it’s definitely something that looms over every artist with any success that they have, that and the feeling that not surpassing your previous achievement would be a failure. I think the best way to deal with it is to remind yourself that you’re not creating your art so that it can be judged, you’re creating it because you love it as does your audience. If you’ve built up a truly loyal fanbase, then this won’t be a problem.
EG: You’ve also sold out his debut headline London show at Basing House last year. What was that experience like?
Leo Ruff: That was pretty dope as I didn’t have super high expectations going into it. It felt great when I did manage to pull it off and to see the room full of happy faces was electric. Can’t wait to build on it with regular nights that are coming up.
EG: Now, let’s dive into your origins. How did you first get into electronic dance music? Was there a record or gig that first blew you away and pushed you down the rabbit hole?
Leo Ruff: To be honest, with the music scene being so diverse in London, going into electronic music wasn’t the obvious choice for me. When I actually decided I wanted to be involved in the music-making process, I realized that the opportunities were endless within the electronic space, as opposed to some of the other stuff I was involved with. With other genres, you’re a lot more limited with what you can do, and I think what sealed it for me was seeing The Chemical Brothers live, and the incredible stuff they were able to create with just their laptops.
EG: What are your thoughts on the current state of the scene? Where you do think we still have a long way to go? What would you like to see more of?
Leo Ruff: I think it’s sad that at the moment all the biggest (EDM) gigs and festivals around the world are dominated by the same 10-20 names headlining everything, creating a bit of a lack of diversity in the sound, and making it a lot more difficult for new acts to break through. That was the main driver for the bursting of the EDM bubble, and having a situation where gigs and festivals book different acts, like in the 90s (where you had 100s of names that were able to tour the world with their music), would be a lot healthier for the scene. Right now there are about 20 DJs with all the money and all the gigs.
“When I actually decided I wanted to be involved in the music-making process, I realized that the opportunities were endless within the electronic space, as opposed to some of the other stuff I was involved with”
EG: What else can we expect from Leo Ruff in the near future? What new milestones are you looking out for in the coming months?
Leo Ruff: Well, with stuff evolving so unpredictably at the moment, it’s hard to say, but this summer is going to be one to remember with the gigs I’ve got lined up. So I’d say just to be able to connect with my fans on a personal level. I started taking dance music as a viable career path just as the first lockdown was hitting, so it’ll be great to get out there and remove the barriers between me and the people who love my music!
EG: Thank you so much for your time, Leo! We wish you all the best for the future!
Leo Ruff: Thanks for reaching out, was a pleasure to give a bit of insight on how I operate, and likewise, I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Leo Ruff’s ‘Under The Covers’ is out now. Purchase your copy here.