Aruba Red is a London-based alternative soul artist, mother, radical birth keeper, writer, and co-founder of online slow fashion store Aruba Red Treasured. She is also the daughter of legendary musician Jack Bruce of 1960s supergroup Cream and works as part of his management team maintaining his legacy.
From holding residencies at London’s Southbank Centre to appearing on panels for BBC Introducing and Help Musicians UK discussing positive mental health in the music industry and producing a sold-out show at London’s Roundhouse in memory of her father, Aruba Red’s inspiration centres around the themes of healing and transformation.
Her new single Wild Woman is out now and appears as the theme song on the Free Birth Society Podcast.
It’s a joy to interview Aruba here and share her wisdom.
Describe a typical day for you?
I usually get woken up at around 7am by my four-year-old son Ché, then jump in the shower, get ready, and make us breakfast which is usually porridge. I then walk with Ché to nursery. He’s been so happy to be back with his friends since lockdown relaxed. There have been extra challenges over the past 6 months especially with work being cancelled and juggling childcare and music but equally, a lot of new opportunities have presented themselves and I’m really thankful Ché is able to play with his friends again during the day.
I’ll often have a zoom meeting first thing or answer emails, and work on prepping for a new release or project-planning before heading to the studio. So much has shifted to online meetings and working from home. During lockdown, I did a couple of online streaming gigs and I started leading guided meditations for various platforms on Zoom and Instagram which has been a great experience.
Now, I’m focussing on recording my new album which is so exciting, creating music is my happy place. I don’t know what touring is going to look like in the future but I’m staying positive and pouring my creative energy into these new songs. After the session, I head back to collect Ché from nursery, make us dinner and play in the garden or watch a nature documentary with him. When I put Ché to bed, we say our affirmations together and once he’s asleep I’ll catch up on work, do some yoga, practice Reiki and go to bed. It definitely feels like a balancing act but on the days that I’m organised and motivated I feel so fulfilled and wouldn’t change a thing.
What do you feel are your greatest achievements?
My greatest achievement is having my son and all that becoming a mother led me to. I gave birth at home under the full moon on Christmas Day and experienced some kind of spiritual awakening. It might sound clichéd but becoming a mother was the most incredible transformation! Subsequently I was able to heal from an abusive relationship and recover from co-dependency and toxic love addiction and totally transform my life. During the challenges of the past 6 months, I find it really helpful to tap back into the state of mind I was in when I first had my son. I access that energy again and for me I’ve come to realise that it truly is a state of mind that is available to us even when we may feel physically trapped by circumstances outside of our control.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
Headphones, I’m usually listening to the Free Birth Society Podcast or the latest mix of a new song I’m working on, my Passion Planner, a couple of crystals, my fave ‘Bee Lovely’ lip balm from Neil’s Yard, a book, currently Nurses, Witches & Midwives, water in my Caretta flask infused with some fresh mint from the garden and probably one of my son’s toys or some random sticks and stones he’s managed to sneak in there!
What are your ambitions in life?
I fully intend to take my music as far as I can and have it be the soundtrack to women’s healing and transformation journeys. I love helping people feel uplifted. For years I was told that I wasn’t good enough by a very negative influence in my life and now I know this not to be true. It’s been so incredible being able to create music feeling so free and liberated and I truly desire to spread good vibes and energy as far as possible. I also love supporting women during pregnancy and birth in connecting with their own innate power with my new venture, Birth Magical and I intend to establish myself as a lighthouse in my community. I would also love to have at least one more baby!
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
That I don’t need to search for external validation. That it’s so much more important to spend time developing and honing my craft rather than chasing the industry and that nobody is coming to ‘save me’, I have to do this on my own.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Happy, healthy, in love, creating music that fills my heart and uplifts people’s spirits all around the world. Expanding my slow-fashion store Aruba Red Treasured with more beautiful and sustainable offerings that bring joy to people’s lives and working on continuing to let the world know about my father’s incredible music and legacy. Oh, and being the mother of more babies! And being on the forefront of the peaceful birth revolution in my local community.
What advice would you give a budding artist?
Set your intentions and speak them into existence. List your ultimate ambitions and work your way backwards with an achievable timeline. Reverse mapping is an incredible way to reach your goals. Work on developing your sound and who you are. Ask yourself questions. What do you want to sing about? What makes you unique? Learn how to play, record and produce so you can be as self-sufficient as possible but also collaborate and network. Build a community of creatives around you. Work from the inside out. It all comes from you!
What advice would you give a first-time mother?
Follow your instincts. Nobody is a greater authority on you or your baby than you are. Consider staying at home to give birth. Birthing in a peaceful and undisturbed environment can be the most incredible rite of passage and initiation into our greatest power! Also, don’t let anyone tell you that becoming a mother will stifle your creativity or impact on the possibility of you achieving your goals. I have become so much more focussed and productive since I became a mother and the journey has also been my biggest inspiration. Being a solo parent at the beginning was challenging and the juggle is real but at the same time it has come with the biggest rewards.
Finally, happiness is…
Sunshine, good food, being in nature, watching my son smile, receiving a message from someone my music has touched in a positive way, listening to positive birth stories, a kiss from the love of my life. Freedom.
Aruba Red Website: http://www.arubaredmusic.com
Wild Woman: https://ditto.fm/wild_woman
Birth Magical: http://www.birthmagical.com