Queer alt-pop artist a kid named rufus shares new single “the cute girl from brewster hall” + announces debut LP
April 14, 2023 BY Jason Currell
Queer alt-pop artist a kid named rufus (they/them) shares their new single “the cute girl from brewster hall” along with a music video directed by Chase Denton (Boyish, Annie DiRusso). The single is accompanied by the announcement of a kid named rufus’ debut album whatever works out July 14th via Nettwerk.
“the cute girl from brewster hall” has a vintage, nostalgic indie-pop feel to it. Although it experiments beyond the normal parameters of indie-pop, the track walks on the sonic tightrope of the comfort of familiarity and the excitement of the unknown. The song tells the story of a kid named rufus’ first love in college and explores the subjects of romance, love, and sexuality. Bouncy and bubbly, the coming-of-age endeavor is deeply rooted within the overarching themes behind their forthcoming album. “the cute girl from brewster hall” music video features fun, colorful, and eye-catching visuals instilling a sense of nostalgia and escapism.
Of the new track and music video, a kid named rufus shares,
“It was sophomore year of college, and I was working the front desk of this freshman dorm called Brewster Hall. I saw this girl swipe her ID at the front desk and I thought she was cute. Later that day, I matched with her on Tinder. We started dating shortly after. I wrote this song for her as a present a few months into dating her.
I never shot a music video before until ‘the cute girl from brewster hall.’ I always envisioned my music videos in the style of a Wes Anderson film. Everything from the mise en scene to the color palette, Anderson is so tasteful and cool, and I’ve always wanted to work with someone who could help me pull that look off. My director Chase Denton and I worked with a team of incredibly talented filmmakers from Nashville that brought that vision to life. We had call sheets, a stylist, a film crew, and a co-star: the works! It was the most fun 48 hours of my life, and the final cut turned out incredible.”
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The obstacles in a kid named rufus’ journey are captured on their open-hearted, ultra-catchy debut album. whatever works is a vibrant and striking collection of songs touching on topics of queerness, identity, homesickness, adulting, love, lust, culture shock, and much more. But maybe most importantly, the album reflects the struggles and personal growth Rufus has endured leading to present day.
a kid named rufus reveals this of their upcoming LP,
“whatever works” is an album about my first year in the United States. I started writing the album the summer after freshman year, and I wanted to talk about how much life has changed and how much I still had left to navigate coming from straight out of high school, from a different country, during the peak of a global pandemic. I wrote songs about being broke, dealing with my anxiety, falling in and out of love, coming out as queer, fearing the world, and everything you’d think a teenager on their own for the first time would write about. Making this album was the scariest, yet most fulfilling process I’ve ever gone through, and I’m so proud of the work I’ve created. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”
“the cute girl from brewster hall” follows their two previous 2023 singles “tryhard” and “eighteen ft. Cole Bauer.” The jangling, synth-packed “tryhard” (co-written with Benji Cormack of slenderbodies) is about letting go of the pressures in your life and freeing yourself of responsibilities. A soulful effort centered with youthful optimism, twinkling melodies, and heartfelt alt-pop cadences, “eighteen” reminisces on being younger, wishing things could be the way they used to be. The track garnered support from Under The Radar, NYLON Manila, them, GLAAD, Ones To Watch, Atwood Magazine, as well as, Spotify playlists Fresh Finds, Fresh Finds Indie, and more.
“the cute girl from brewster hall” is available at all digital retailers here: https://akidnamedrufus.ffm.to/brewsterhall
whatever works LP Tracklisting:
1. whatever works
2. the cute girl from brewster hall
3. how sweet does this sound
4. eighteen (ft. Cole Bauer)
7. i hate being cool
8. running away from whatever you call paradise
9. stuck in san Antonio
10. everybody hates me
Transitioning into adulthood is already a hideous process, even under the best of circumstances. For Malaysian-born, queer bedroom-pop performer Rufus Sivaroshan, 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.
Drawing inspiration from a range of influences — from Weezer to Alex G to Mac DeMarco and Dayglow — Rufus grew up in the Malaysian capital of 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. The EP garnered more than 1.5M Spotify streams and was featured on playlists such as Lorem, Bedroom Pop, All New Indie, Fresh Finds, and more.
Whatever works only goes to show that it doesn’t matter where in the world you come from: some feelings are universal. At the same time, a kid named rufus’ debut LP is a remarkable look at the contemporary immigrant experience. “I spent half of my time in Southeast Asia, where there are people like me, and I spent half my time in the US, where there aren’t people like me,” says Rufus. “You don’t see a lot of brown, queer, non-binary musicians. You don’t see a lot of musicians in the States that are immigrants. Now, combine all four things together. That’s me. And there’s nobody like me.”