Rufus rocks Starlight

(Cristina Ruchetta -- Staff Photographer)

(Cristina Ruchetta — Staff Photographer)

Over the years, a lot of different acts have graced the stage at Uptown Waterloo’s extremely popular nightclub, Starlight Social Club. From hip-hoppers like Shad to alternative rockers like Dinosaur Bones to experimental sounds like Sleepy Sun and every genre in between, Starlight has no problem putting on a great live show. To add to that list, this past Thursday Starlight played host to Rufus, one of the Kitchener-Waterloo’s most authentic R&B singers.

Rufus, for those who don’t know, has been on the K-W urban music scene for many years.

Originally from Cambridge, Rufus has been all over southern Ontario performing with acts such as Billy Talent, Kardinal Offishal, Shad and the list goes on and on. During his little performing hiatus this past year, Rufus was in the studio cooking up his newest full length project appropriately titled Growing Pains.

Growing Pains is Rufus’ fifth solo project and potentially his most concise piece of work to date.

He claims it is an album that took his whole life to write because it incorporates so many different experiences that are particular to his life.

“The album features many songs that are personal experiences of mine or people close to me” he said.

Therefore, it is only right that he unveiled his most beloved work in the best way possible.

Thursday night at Starlight was the official CD release party for Rufus’ Growing Pains. Before you even got into the stage area, you were given a free copy of the album and a raffle ticket for prizes generously donated by local KW companies.

Rufus handpicked two local openers to set things off right, a move that gave the night ten times more energy.

“I love the fact that all three of us are so very different, but yet all are under the umbrella of urban music. When people put their heart and soul into their music it’s hard to deny,” said Rufus.

The performances were kicked off sharply at 9 p.m. with local rapper Ramsay Almighty hitting the stage. Ramsay ran through all the hits off his most recent project entitled Metropolis while hyping up the crowd. He wrapped things up half an hour later and made way for soulful dup Zook & Boots. The dynamic duo glided through some upbeat two-steppers and heartfelt ballads for a little over 30 minutes. At this point, the packed crowd was ready to hear the main attraction.

Rufus came out to a standing ovation as the crowd was filled with what looked to be family, friends and loyal fans. His five piece band was equipped with bass, guitar, drums, backup vocals and keys. He kicked things off with a few deep cuts off Growing Pains which almost sounded euphoric. His live voice can be best described as Marvin Gaye mixed with Bill Withers with a little Trey Songz sprinkled on top.

Rufus’ performance of Growing Pains is almost better than the actual recording itself. His voice and emotion on stage makes it feel as if he is literally telling you the story of his life one on one.

The ultimate highlight of the performance came right at the end as he invited a few local musicians on stage with him to perform his most popular track to date entitled “My Love (Tri-City Remix).”

In close, Rufus’ album release party was an obvious success. The crowd went home with not only a free copy of Rufus’ newest project, but a proud notion that urban music is alive in well in the K-W.

 

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