Rubeo is Joe Rubeo, a mostly self-taught musician and songwriter who describes his music as having a "unique nostalgic feel with heavy 80s synth bass and swirling melodies that make you want to get down on the dance floor." This only begins to describe the immersive and warm quality of music that according to Rubeo himself emanates in large part from a phone app called Auxy. Rubeo's music proves that in the right hands the tools right under our thumbs can help produce remarkable art. in this interview Rubeo describes his creative process, musical background and what's been inspiring him lately.
Introduce yourself. Describe your music for new listeners.
I am Rubeo. The best way to describe my music as I have been told is that it is music that you want to dance and make love to. The Rubeo sound has a unique nostalgic feel with heavy 80s synth bass and swirling melodies that make you want to get down on the dance floor.
You only recently started recording music. What kind of background do you have in music or songwriting? Who were your earliest musical influences?
My musical background got started in the church. I grew up singing in the boy’s choir then later taught myself the guitar at the age of 16. I was in ministry for about 10 years and even went to school to study music and theology as a worship leader. My earliest inspiration for music was definitely my dad who could move an entire room to tears with his voice. Others included the likes of David Gilmour, Daryl Stuermer and Robin Ford.
Talk about how using the app Auxy got you started in recording your music? What do you like most about this tool? How has is affected your creative process?
Auxy has been an absolute game changer for me. When I first downloaded the app in 2017, I really didn’t consider myself as much of a songwriter. I may have written maybe a handful of completed songs with a myriad of notebooks of potential ideas. It wasn’t until after I got the Auxy app, I was finally able to put the pieces together and actually finish projects that I could be happy with. The best part is I can have a melody in my head, pull out my phone and write a phrase using an interface that sounds like it was out of a studio. When you hear my music you are hearing about 90% of that track straight out of a phone app.
How have people been responding to your music?
Any artist will tell you that one of the greatest feelings in the world is when someone appreciates your art. An even greater feeling is when people are willing to buy it, lol. I have been very grateful to have had many opportunities in the short amount of time of doing this music thing. It hasn’t even been a year and already to have a such a positive response from people that really helps validate why I set out to do this project in the first place. For me music is such an important part of what makes us human and it has the power to move and change history.
What music are you currently raving about?
The artist I keep coming back to recently is definitely Neon Indian. I would pretty much stop everything in my life just to have a chance to see him perform live.
What inspires you about original music in Kansas City?
Kansas City really has this great eclectic grassroots movement of indie musicians of many genres. What inspires me the most is to see how hard these artists work and to watch them pursue their dream. I’m thankful to have performed with some of them and I’m encouraged to persevere. Though we are all doing our own unique musical expression the Kansas City artist community has this way of supporting their own which is truly something special.
Rubeo's recommendations from the Johnson County Library catalog:
1: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
2: Moby Dick by Herman Melville
3: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
4: The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
5: Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen
7: Pulp Fiction
8: Fight Club
10: The Departed