While society seems to believe that one’s “influence” is directly correlated to the number of followers they have on Instagram, we chose a different (and dare I say, authentic) approach when choosing our Leading Ladies. The women featured in our summer series, The Women’s Edit, are women who are true trailblazers in our beautiful, booming city. We wanted to highlight women who, like us, are creatives seeking to add more life and love to our community. The Women’s Edit is a salute to those making their own way, setting trends we want to follow and shifting how Nashville is viewed by the outside world. This forward-thinking group of women make us want to do more, to be better and to challenge ourselves to tackle something new.
Ruby Amanfu is one kind and talented woman, so we are obviously thrilled to introduce you to our Lady of the Moment. From performing at the Ryman (opening for the amazingly talented Brandi Carlile) to cooking delicious recipes and sharing with her following on Instagram, Ruby is as inspirational as she is talented. We got the chance to interview her for our Women’s Edit, and left feeling both enlightened and inspired to get work done.
Ruby Amanfu | Musician, Cook & Fashionista
The Nashville Edit: First off, my favorite question, how do you start your mornings?
Ruby Amanfu: My alarm is set to India Arie’s song “I Am Light.” It starts with a meditative chant that I like to believe taps into my chakras to help me wake up. So when India starts singing to me, I breathe deeply several times, set my intentions for the day, turn my alarm off, and then shut my sleep machine app off. Once my phone is in my hand by that point, there’s no saving me from beginning work right then and there. It’s always piled up waiting for me and it would probably surprise people to know the amount of work I do every day. I’ve been known to sit up in bed and start working from there – and then suddenly, it’s 2 pm and I haven’t stopped to shower or eat!
TNE: You’re kind of a Jack of All Trades, with a love for music, fashion, and food. Tell us a little bit about where your passions stem from.
RA: I was born in Ghana, West Africa and moved to Nashville as a toddler. From that point on, I was always in a melting pot of culture. Food, fashion, and music in my world took different forms when I was in my parents’ Ghanaian-forward home. Once I came into my own Self, it became less about survival and more about understanding how my unique upbringing makes me who I am. From that point on, I decided to celebrate it all, and boldly.
TNE: You also recently released new music. Where do you get your musical inspiration from?
RA: I have been trying to release new music every few months and it has been really freeing. I have also enjoyed some recent success writing songs for other people and one of those songs, “Hard Place” by H.E.R. just hit the Top 40 list! Creating music is a necessity for me. I am an Empath (for better or worse) and I pick up a lot of what other people are feeling, even when they try and hide it. I have to detox all of that, so writing and singing songs helps me to do that.
TNE: When do you feel the most creative?
RA: The muse is its own beast and it has its way with me when it chooses, regardless of the time. I surrender.
TNE: How does cooking help you feel empowered?
RA: I learned cooking from my parents, and they were both throw-caution-to-the-wind cooks. They would try anything and sometimes it was great… and sometimes it wasn’t. It taught me to make mistakes and to try and fix them. There isn’t often a meal that I can’t fix in-process if I catch it soon enough. I feel empowered by knowing that mistakes aren’t the end game; trying again is.
TNE: How does your Ghanaian heritage inspire how you live your daily life?
RA: Ghanaians are traditionally warm, welcoming and disarming. That’s definitely in my nature – making people feel comfortable around me. I feel like it is a responsibility and one I’m proud to take on.
TNE: You’re quite the fashionista. Where do you like to shop around Nashville? Online?
TNE: What is the last dish you made? Can you share the recipe with us?
RA: Chicken Noodle Soup for the family. If you don’t know how to make it at least halfway well, I fear for your soul. Also, DM me for help. Just kidding. Don’t DM me.
“If you don’t know how to make [chicken noodle soup] at least halfway well, I fear for your soul. Also, DM me for help. Just kidding. Don’t DM me.”
– Ruby Amanda
TNE: Where do you see your music going in the future? What kind of goals do you have set?
RA: I just want to continue to write great songs, whether for myself and for or with other artists and trust that they’ll make their way in the universe. I want to put music out into the world that uplifts people or that makes someone’s pain feel acknowledged.
TNE: If you had to sum what you’ve learned from life in 5 words, what would they be?
RA: Breathe. Discern. Rest. Cry. Hope.
TNE: What is your take on social media?
RA: I am so behind in this game of social media. It is a horrible place to exist if you’re trying to be liked, but a wonderful place to exist if you’re trying to connect. I find that coming at it from the latter angle is the only healthy way to survive it – and even better, thrive in it.
TNE: Any advice on finding your tribe in Nashville?
RA: I still have the same circle I started my adult journey with. I left college at 19 and started my career. The people I came to trust and who supported me when I had nothing are generally the people I still lean on and vice versa. Those friends are my roots just as much as anything, and they are entwined in the fibers of my Becoming.
This or That:
- Abstract / Realism
- Dancing in the Kitchen / Dancing with your girls
- Cooking for many / Cooking for yourself