He might not be your traditional Cinderella Story, but Ian Ruhala, aka Hala, has certainly climbed his own rags to riches ladder. Starting his career in high school, the singer/songwriter has seen plenty of ups and downs. He even spent time in an attic–recording his first album, no less. Read below to hear a little bit more of how he tells his story:
Growing up, I always wanted to play music, in some sort of fashion. My attention span, however, never allowed me to develop into some guitar virtuoso, or whatever. I was always hopping from instrument to instrument, picking up the bass, asking my folks for a drum set for my thirteenth birthday, and so on. Around the time when I was sixteen maybe, I began to record on my own. Learning (to some degree) these instruments, kind of made for the perfect storm when it came to pursuing a solo route.
“Sorry” and “More Than Anything” are two very sonically different songs. If you could believe it, “More Than Anything,” actually started out as this Motown inspired track; when I had a short stint of trying to rebrand Hala as a soul/r&b group. For “Sorry,” I just really wanted to write a fast song. It seems like so many are caught up in this notion of bedroom pop needing to be slow, sexy, and drenched in maj7/min7 chords. And you know, I like that stuff too, but I just wanted to try to step out of my comfort zone, I guess, from a perspective of production and songwriting. I wanted to write a fast, and ugly song, drenched in crunchy guitar, and no synths.
Ian Ruhala is my name. Cut out the “Ru,” and you have Hala. My father says, Ian Ruhala, sounds more like an MLB pitcher, than a singer/songwriter.
I would love to tour with any of the following acts, and I would consider it a dream come true: Alvvays, Tennis, Twin Peaks, Hinds, & Paul McCartney
I don’t know what my favorite song to cover is, but “You’re So Vain,” by Carly Simon is my go-to for karaoke?
“Live Till You Die,” by Emitt Rhodes
Here are my tour dates for this summer with LA band BOYO:
6/26 Chicago, IL – Subterranean
6/28 Bloomington, IN – Bishop Bar
6/29 Nashville, TN – Two Boots
6/30 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
7/1 St. Petersburg, FL – The Bends
7/2 Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub
7/3 Miami, FL – Las Rosas
7/6 Richmond, VA – Gallery5
7/7 Fredericksburg, VA – Libertytown Arts (early show)
7/7 Washington, DC – Electric Maid
7/8 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
7/9 New York, NY – Trans Pecos
7/10 Boston, MA – O’Brien’s
7/12 Plattsburgh, PA – House Skellington
7/13 Toronto, ON – The Baby G
7/14 Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s Locker Room