By Jessica Song
In the newly released ABC spinoff “Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart,” a show delivering the classic “Bachelor” drama along with a musical twist, 24-year-old Rudi is one of the contestants who caught the attention of many. Born in San Antonio, Texas, Rudi entered the music industry at a very young age, singing her first song on stage at just two years old. Following that, at age seven, she won her first singing competition against kids over ten years older than her, helping her realize music was something she was good at. “My parents kind of just threw me into everything and the only thing that stuck was the arts. I sucked at sports and I wasn’t really good at anything else. I was good at music, acting, dancing, that whole thing,” Rudi tells New Face Magazine.
After being about seven months free from her previous contract, Rudi received a call, inviting her to audition for this exciting upcoming new show. Intrigued by this opportunity, she decided to give it a go. “This is something that is like, ‘If it works out then it works out for a reason, and if I audition and it doesn’t work out, then it’s all good,’” Rudi said. “I love ‘The Bachelor’ and I was obviously single and I’m just a sucker for a little ‘lovey-dovey’ moment. If I can go on the show, possibly find love and get to sing, that sounds amazing!”
Before going on the show, Rudi had never intensely rehearsed or performed a duet before. Though there were challenges, she enjoyed sharing the stage. “You can share the difficulty with someone, it’s not all on you. But that’s also what makes it challenging because you’re not just worried about yourself, you’re worried about the other person. Luckily I had a really good partner and he got his stuff together and so did I.”
Throughout her career, Rudi has been no stranger to performing in front of large crowds. She once performed as an opening act at Lollapalooza in front of over 20,000 people. Despite this, Rudi still gets stage fright before performances. “I have terrible stage fright which is hilarious,” Rudi joked. “As soon as I get on stage, I’m good, but right before, I’m so nervous and my throat gets dry so all I do is pray. That’s the only thing that can get me through a performance and I made Matt do it with me everytime.” Before getting on stage, Rudi’s suggestions are to “comb your hair, say a prayer, let it go on stage, you’re good. Do a couple push ups and get your adrenaline going a little bit more.”
Compared to previous shows, performing in front of the judges was a more stressful experience for Rudi. “When I performed at Lollapalooza, I remember the energy and all I worried about was having a good time. It was less stressful and I can actually remember that moment, though it was a little bit ago. With the judges, honestly, I was so focused on my performance because it was a competition so I completely forgot who was there,” Rudi reflected. “I was not focused on the audience, I was just focused on Matt and just having a good performance.”
Despite her nerves during these performances, Rudi noted them as her most memorable and proud accomplishments. “It was such a huge milestone for me. I’ve performed in other places that have been really cool but I think just to be able to sing and have it nationally televised and then getting to watch that with my family after working 20 years on music was a really cool moment.”
After the wrapping of the show, Rudi remains great friends with Jamie—a fellow contestant whom she immediately connected with, and Matt—her ex whom she had a roller-coaster relationship with before breaking things off the week of the finale. “I still talk to Matt pretty regularly, we’re good friends. Jamie is one of my best friends. Those are just the two that I would probably see after,” Rudi stated.
Following the show, Rudi has used her relationship with Matt for inspiration in her soon-to-be-released summer single, “Stupid Boy.” “He is a ‘Stupid Boy,’ so we wrote about him. Unfortunately, I date the same guy every time—I never learn my lesson,” Rudi emphasized. “For any of my exes who hear this song, they’re gonna think it’s about them. Every other one of my exes is just like Matt, so it’s just basically about moving on and calling them out for their shit.”
Unlike her previous singles where she usually wrote alone or with one other person, Rudi wrote this song with a group of people. “I had a group of friends together on Zoom and they’re all great writers [who] I haven’t gotten to write with and we just talked. That’s what I like to do. I just like to get in a room and I just like to talk and tell people what’s going on and that’s kind of how it got started.The rest is history,” Rudi said when describing her creative process.
Growing up, Rudi wrote songs here and there but was never completely confident in herself as a writer. She was in a label where she was given other people's songs to sing, convincing her that she couldn’t write. After getting used to singing other artists' songs, Rudi realized how different singing her own songs was as soon as she started writing. “You can’t convey the way that you want to sing something if it’s written by someone else. They’re not just words, it’s also the melody.”
The first “good” song Rudi remembers writing is “Smile.” “I was in a room with one of my good friends I just met at the time and he just played literally two chords. We were just sitting there and the chorus just came to me and I was super proud. I just wrote a really solid chorus that I feel people can relate to and it just felt good,” Rudi said. “That was the first time I really wrote something that I was really proud of. Then, maybe three months later I ended up finishing it and it wound up being one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.”
Throughout her life when watching artists, what made an artist special and memorable for Rudi went beyond their ability to sing, it was more about the connection she made with their story. “For the longest time I wanted to be the best singer in the world and then I realized that isn’t what people really care about. The singing part is a bonus. If you can sing, people like you even more but what people want is a story that they can attach themselves to. They want to feel what you’re feeling. That is kind of what I’ve learned and that’s why I like to write because if people like your music for what you’re writing, they like you. That’s why I’m glad that I write now because I think that’s a huge part in becoming an artist.”
Compared to performances, the studio process is much more tedious. “When you get on stage, you’re ready to go. You go and you perform what you’ve been practicing and you show people what you’ve been working on. The studio is different because it’s broken down. ‘Stupid Boy’ took me five days to record one song. Not to write it, just to record the vocals,” Rudi stated. “At least for me, I want my stuff to be perfect. I want it to sound the way I know I want it to sound and it took literally five days, 24 hours a day going at it, back and forth, back and forth, just getting it right. It’s just more meticulous and digs into certain things that you don’t have time to do on stage. That’s why performing is a lot more fun for me rather than studio recording. I’m so picky and I just will not stop until I get what I want… I don’t have that option on stage.”
Out of her current singles, Rudi believes “Stupid Boy” is going to be her favorite song to perform. “I think it’s gonna be my favorite because it's just a summer jam. I can just see girls just bobbing their heads and I’m shaking my booty on stage. It’s just fun. The other ones are just slow and sad. This one is not sad at all and it’s a fun f-you song.”
Rudi’s music genre falls into a mix of R&B and pop. She gets her soulfulness from artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. Currently, she is obsessed with Russ and Kiana Laday. She describes her smooth, sultry voice and musical style as a mashup of those artists along with Jessie J and Ariana Grande. In addition, the artist she wishes to collaborate most with is Russ. “I would have Russ featured on one of my songs. Honestly, if he could be a feature on ‘Stupid Boy’ I would die. I can see him coming in and that would be so good,” Rudi gushed.
Being in the music industry can be extremely rewarding, especially when artists get to share their work with fans. “My favorite parts are just getting to be able to share what I create. The coolest part is when I released the first two songs and had people cover it. That’s never happened before,” Rudi reflected. “I write a song and people are sending me versions of them singing ‘Smile’ or ‘Hate LA’ and it is the most rewarding thing ever just to see people like it so much that they want to sing my song, which is one of my favorite things.”
Despite the highs in an artist's career, difficulties are inevitable. “This industry is hard, it’s up and down, it doesn’t really matter how talented you are, it helps in the long run, but it’s kind of luck of the draw and you just never know,” Rudi said. “I’ve luckily gotten used to that. I’ve been doing this forever and it’s easier to manage now but it doesn’t make it any less difficult. That’s definitely the downside for me. It’s just a crazy, crazy career choice for me.”
The advice Rudi would give to someone looking into a career in the music industry would be “don’t give up.” Her career is a great example of perseverance. In fact, she almost completely gave up on her career path. “I almost completely gave up last year. The year before any of this happened, I was over it because I was so down and I just didn’t wanna do it anymore. I had been doing it for so long and I got stuck in a contract. I was done. My parents own a shop and I was like, ‘Let me go work with you.’ I was literally about to start working at a freaking shop with my parents. Then I just woke up one day and I was like, ‘What are you doing? Go to LA, just go and try.’ I did and the coolest thing in my life happened. Just don’t give up and even if you think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, there is.”
One of the biggest things Rudi prides herself in is her ability to stay genuine and true to herself. “That is like my main thing, that’s why I feel like people appreciated me on the show and why they received my music,” Rudi stated. “It's just because I’m a real person and that’s one thing I want to be forever, whether that’s sometimes bad or good or whatever I am in that moment—I just want to continue to come off as a real, genuine person.”
In the future, Rudi hopes to open up for an artist or have her own tour. She would love to hear herself on the radio one day. She is continuously working on her writing and expects to drop her next single after “Stupid Boy” in a month or two. “I’m just consistently putting out new music and maybe a music video or two.”
Find out more about Rudi by following her Instagram page
https://www.instagram.com/itsjustrudi/ and listening to her music on her Spotify at