The laid-back, soulful ease with which Ruel sings his catchy pop tunes could only be delivered by a true natural. But the British-Australian songwriter—born Ruel Vincent van Dijk in 2002—has also been working at it for a sizable chunk of his life. Ruel was on the precipice of his teenage years when his dad sent a demo of him doing a James Bay tune to producer M-Phazes (Demi Lovato, Eminem) in 2015, kickstarting his run as one of 21st-century pop’s foremost purveyors of feels. His debut EP, 2018’s Ready, proved that he was exactly that—before even becoming a legal adult, Ruel built a record packed with well-crafted, R&B-inflected, chart-ready songs. The breezy rhythm of “Dazed & Confused” is juxtaposed with the heartbreak that staccato strings set front and centre for the throbbing chorus; and “Younger”, with its sugary vocal hooks, bouncy piano and gospel singers, softens the blow of a story about friends growing apart over time. In 2020, his music continued to mature with Bright Lights, Red Eyes. Using a stream-of-consciousness writing style, Ruel’s bedroom-pop vulnerability shines through on songs like the rousing “courage”, creating a tenderness and intimacy that’s impressive for an artist of any age.
They say that in Berlin, wherever they stick a finger, everything is cool. And museums, and friendly people, the diversity of cultures and just the beauty of the city itself. Those who were there for three days, they say they saw three percent. Its scale strikes from the first step, so do not hesitate to choose a date - feel free to give yourself a few extra days for long walks with the camera turned on and techno parties.