Ruel is something special at Badaboum, Paris

Ruel is outrageously talented. 

The 15-year-old towers over his sold-out Badaboum crowd in Paris. To be having this level of success at such a young age is not rare in 2018. What is rare, is for someone so young to have the voice that Ruel does.

He treats the 500-strong crowd to an hour-long set, comprised mostly of the tracks from his outstanding debut EP Ready. That EP is a telling of youthful experiences that is so believable and so full of soul past his age.

What is even more unbelievable is that Ruel is, to a great extent, an unearthed gem on the continent. During the show, he announces that it is his first European show ever. There’s a homely feeling to the evening. Ruel is humble, his sister watches with a gleam in her eye from the merch stand and the mixed-age crowd sway along. What no-one seems to quite realise, is how crazy it is for a boy so young to be delivering these vocals .

After opening with M-Phazes collab ‘Golden Years’, he kicks into the single ‘Dazed & Confused’. On the EP, it’s a deep, stylish string-led track. Live, it comes to life even more. What’s clear is that these tracks are Ruel’s own stories. He told The Feed:

“All songwriting is exaggerating. As a 15-year-old, I haven’t had too many life experiences. So I get super tiny little things that may have happened in a day and exaggerate it so much to write a song about it. You get something that is really close to you, even though it might not be that emotional, and make it bigger.”

His involvement in the tracks gives his performance a personality and vulnerability that puts him head and shoulders above other young stars. In ‘Don’t Tell Me’ he begs, “don’t tell me I’m not ready for love”, in one of the night’s standout songs. The unreleased ‘Unsaid’ follows a silencing story of a friend who recently took his own life and a call to take the taboo off mental health. Ruel looks almost close to tears as he delivers that to an audience, stunned by the experience in his young voice.

Halfway through the set, he perches on a stool with a guitar to deliver covers of Jack Garralt’s ‘Weathered’ and Billie Eilish’s ‘Bellyache’ – he’s a musician too.

Ruel really has the full package. He’s comfortable moving on the stage, looking into his adoring fans’ eyes, equally at ease on his own with an instrument and always full of character. There are a lot of emerging teenage pop stars with those talents. But you will not find a single one, with the voice of Ruel.

The youngster now continues his journey across the continent, before joining Mabel on her UK tour in December. It’s the start of what looks set to be a stratospheric rise. Ruel is something special.

Have you checked out Ruel? Let us know @CelebMix on Twitter.

Written by Toby Bryant

Student journalist: music, sport, culture and just about anything in-between… Have worked for The Courier, NME, Daily Mirror, FourFourTwo & British Rowing, amongst others.
@toby_bryant_ on Instagram and Twitter.