Call Out [Her] Name: An Interview with Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics

Ruby Velle grew up in a family that constantly had music coming from their record players and would measure how long she could sit still based on the number of songs that played.  That being said, it’s not much of a surprise that she chose a career in music.

She was exposed to what she knows as “The Golden Era” of music, from the decades of the 60s and 70s. Her mother, father, aunt and uncle shared various genres with her, but it was roots music that stuck with her and shaped the fabric of the sound of her band, Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics.

“Without their influences and the collective influences of [co-producers] Scott Clayton & Spencer Garn I am not sure how else we would have built our particular brand of sound,” Velle said.

As the band started, Velle’s name was listed as a ‘featuring’ line, and was kept that way for years until fans requested she add her name to the front. No matter their name, their sound  hones in on authentic roots music and expresses their passion for it.

“We enjoy floating in and out of the classic soul genre to take the listener on sonic adventures that match our often introspective lyrics,” she said.

Their debut full-length, It’s About Time, was released in 2012 and gave them the opportunity to learn an incredible amount, from the recording process to vocal production to vinyl pressing. Velle and her bandmates also learned the importance of being co-creators, and making sure they were all co-producers and owners of their material. Velle personally spent a lot of time gaining knowledge on sound design and mixing, giving her a grasp on the concepts that she didn’t have before.

One of her biggest lessons, however, is the conversations she’s had with legendary musicians and the takeaway of being a woman in the industry. Her conversations with the late Sharon Jones on the music industry and a strong woman’s place within it led Velle to guide other women through music education as a volunteer member for Girls Rock Camp ATL. The non-profit organization dedicates their time to empowering all women through various creative aspects and offers summer camp options for children and adults.

Their upcoming release, State of All Things, is currently in the midst of a pre-order campaign on PledgeMusic. The lead single, “Call Out My Name”, is a song that means a lot to Velle. She’s been told that the lyrics – which are about varied aspects of love and connection – have been helping lovers reunited when they can’t seem to find the right words to say themselves.

“Within the weaving horn lines and gang vocals declaring endless vows, there's this surreal ebb and flow similar to many a relationship experience,” Velle said.

With an album release in their near future, Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics have many life lessons and journeys that they are ready to share with their audience. State of All Things is sure to be an album to get lost in.