INTERVIEW: Love Songs and Breakup Songs with Ruby Velle

Ruby Velle of Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics  is on a mission to keep soul music thriving. Ruby Velle delivers a profoundly meaningful message to the deep recesses of you soul.  The band’s 2012 release, It’s About Time, is beautiful tribute to all that is good about the human race.  With all this beautiful energy in her music, I knew that I was in for a treat when I asked Ruby Velle her thoughts on love songs, break up songs and Valentine’s day.

I was very lucky to walk down the aisle to my favorite love song of all time, and surprisingly it’s not of the soul genre. Joni Mitchell’s track “Down to You,”  in my opinion, has long been the most raw and extremely real look at the emotion of love within the confines of time, space, experience and mortality. It’s taking such an ethereal feeling and rooting it in commonality, human emotions, and the double-edged sword aspects of falling in love. I wish I could cite every lyric from this trans-formative song, but my favorite lyrics are the first few lines…

Everything comes and goes
Marked by lovers and styles of clothes
Things that you held high
And told yourself were true
Lost or changing as the days come down to you
Down to you
Constant stranger
You’re a kind person
You’re a cold person too
It’s down to you

There is double meaning in the chorus “It all comes down to you,” with this you can be easily recognized as the self OR the significant other. I love this concept of distilling emotions of love to such basics as who we are as people at any given time. Since a young age I’ve always grasped at but had trouble applying the concept of Impermanence ( Impermanence, also called Anicca or Anitya, is one of the essential doctrines and a part of three marks of existence in Buddhism. The doctrine asserts that all of conditioned existence, without exception, is “transient, evanescent, inconstant”)  It may seem harsh but Joni chose to express this impermanence through the lens of a loving relationship.  Using this song she elaborates that pain and distance are part of the process of love, and experiencing all contrasts within love is the ultimate goal to fully understanding such a deep emotion/energy. I gravitate to the lyrics of this song as a realistic representation of love, not a fairy tale describing it’s infinite virtues. Only the brave walk down the aisle to a song like this.

I can cite several albums that really helped me through not only tough times in relationships, but in other aspects of what I value in life. Music is such a unifier so it does inspire many avenues of our lives.  Fiona Apple’s When the Pawn, with the track “Paper Bag” and “I Know” are really moving to me. I feel like Fiona knew my personal situation and was writing from my perspective… it was surreal to connect with her songs in this way.  I still listen to this album weekly. Another few albums that taught me about infinite love energy in all its forms:  D’Angelo’s Voodoo, Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced, Joni Mitchell’s Court & Spark, and Ani Difranco’s Evolve, and Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun.

We are releasing a love song for the ages just after Valentines’ day! It’s called “Call Out My Name,” and it will be followed up by our second full length album release for State of All Things. “Call Out My Name” is a soul intensive, sonic adventure meeting a cosmic and infinite love story. It is a timeless song, crafted with care and written from the wisdom of experience. It’s a call for every person who truly needs another to just let them know, by name! The soulful and constant rhythm within this track begs for the lyrical journey of sensing the love within all things.

I usually play gigs on Valentine’s to spread loving energy to others. This year I don’t have a Valentines gig so I’ll spend the day with my sweetie and we will probably stay home and cook something from Chef Todd Richard’s new cookbook (aptly named SOUL) as ATL restaurants are just too hectic on this holiday. Wishing all a marvelous 14th, filled FIRSTLY with self-love and a whole lot of soul.


If you are wanting a little more soulful music in your music library Ruby Velle has something coming for you.   Her latest full length LP will be released this spring.  The only place to pre-order Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics upcoming LP “State fo All Things” is on PledgeMusic.  Preordering will also get you in the house to see live recordings of songs from the album, behind the scenes at their shows, rehearsals, any new studio recordings or meet & greets.  There is also a digital download of a special new track included with every exclusive offer on Pledge.  While you await this new album, enjoy the title track from It’s About Time.


If you haven’t shared you favorite love song and favorite break up song we would love to hear from you.  On Valentine’s Day I will pick my favorites from the submissions and give away t-shirts, stickers and tickets to an upcoming show.

  • Let us know the story behind your selection of this song.
  • Let us know the story behind your selection of this song.
Erika Johnson Written by:

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