A KID NAMED RUFUS
RADIATES POSITIVITY IN VIBRANT NEW SINGLE
Transitioning into adulthood is already a hideous process, even under the best of circumstances. For Malaysian-born, queer bedroom-pop performer Rufus Sivaroshan (they/them), who performs as a kid named rufus, leaving home was exponentially more challenging. The now 20-year-old Rufus is thriving at Syracuse University, where they major in music business while simultaneously fostering a burgeoning music career.
Out now, a kid named rufus shares their new single “tryhard” via Nettwerk. The jangling, synth-packed track (co-written with Benji Cormack of slenderbodies) came from an impulse to record something bright and joyous. The track is about letting go off the pressures in your life and freeing yourself of responsibilities.
Of the new track, a kid named rufus shares: “'tryhard' is a song that came together very quickly, because as someone that struggles with ADD and anxiety, I'm always in my head about every little thing and making sure everything is as perfect as it can be. But sometimes you don't have to do that, sometimes, it's okay to just take a break. I don't think I've ever written a happy song until ‘tryhard,’ and I fully owe it to being in the room with Benji for helping me push my boundaries. He sent over an instrumental and I wrote the lyrics in my dorm room sophomore year. When I flew to Austin, TX to finish the song with him, everything came very naturally.
Writing ‘tryhard’ felt like a good resolution to a lot of the stress and pressure I was under moving to the US and getting settled in.”
In late January, a kid named rufus proudly made their Nettwerk debut with the single “eighteen ft. Cole Bauer”, a soulful effort centred with youthful optimism, twinkling melodies, and heartfelt alt-pop cadences. The track was released to wide support in Asia from the likes of NYLON Manila, Fly FM (Malaysia), Bandwagon (Asia) and Juice Malaysia, as well as key Spotify playlists Hot Hits Malaysia, Indie Shuffle, ORG and more.
Drawing inspiration from a range of influences — from Weezer to Alex G to Mac Demarco and Dayglow — Rufus grew up in Kuala Lumpur, where they taught themself to write, play, and produce music on YouTube. In the fall of 2021, a kid named rufus released their debut EP 'graduation', an assortment of easy listening, loveable indie pop tracks that paint vivid soundscapes of pure bliss which garnered more than 1.5 million Spotify streams.
The obstacles in their journey, however, are captured on their open-hearted, ultra-catchy forthcoming debut album out later this year. The new record is a vibrant collection of songs touching on themes of homesickness, adulting, love, lust, culture shock, and much more.
Though based halfway across the globe, Rufus has grown a significant fanbase in Asia, with Asian markets now dominating their Top 10 streaming markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong.