Ruth Samuels - Heavenly melodies

"I am Ruth Naomi Samuels, a daughter of a king. I was chosen by Him to bless others with my playing. I'm confident in who I am, not because of myself but because my confidence comes from the Lord. I'm very patient and understanding. I strive to treat others as Christ treats me. I am a child of God."

In introducing herself, Samuels, a saxophonist who started playing a little over a year ago, makes no bones about the seriousness of her relationship with God, and His role in her development as a musician. A student of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and a saxophonist available for gigs, Samuels (IG: @Heavenly_Melodies) told All Woman that it is her dream to bless each and every soul that hears her play.

"I don't play music just for myself, I play for others. I believe God called me to serve," the 20-year-old shared. "He blessed me with this gift so that I can bless others. I always tell myself this, 'It's not about what I want, it's about what God called me to do.' "

Hailing from Bog Walk, St Catherine, young Ruth attended Jericho Primary School and The Enid Bennett High School. She's currently pursuing a degree in music performance and says success for her is "simply doing the best that I can do".

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"I want when I play that each and every soul feels blessed," she said of the desire she has to bless people with her music.

"I want people to forget about their problems. I want them to feel relaxed. Just as how when we listen to motivational speakers speak we get motivated, I want to motivate people. I want to make them happy. I don't want to just be a musician who plays well, I want to be a musician who makes an impact on each and every soul that hears me play."

Samuels said music is more impactful than most of us realise, and it influences our character.

"We are what we listen to sometimes," she explained. "Some of us listen to relaxing music when we are going to our beds because it makes us calm, it allows us to be fully relaxed. When we listen to uplifting music it makes us feel empowered. Music is important because it helps explain what we go through and we also channel our feelings into it."

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Her motivation to excel lies in making her mother and God proud; in fact, she said she hopes to one day travel the world and repay her mother who always believed in her.

"My mother has been my biggest supporter from day one. When I first got my saxophone I had to go outside and play because the members of my household would get annoyed. But my mom always defended me. But because I hated to be a bother, I'd still go outside... other times I'd go on the train line and play for nature."

She added: "My household is now very supportive. My mom bought me my first personal saxophone last year. I'm super grateful for her. She worked very hard for that saxophone and I wasn't able to get anything after that for some time because she had put all her money into getting me it. She also got me my first amp, pedal, in-ear, and some leads."

She also credits her friends, who have been very supportive, encouraging her not to give up.

"My good friend Kyle has been a very big part of my journey. He was the person who lent me his saxophone when I just started learning. He has never left my side. He used to teach me songs via WhatsApp. If I didn't know anything, I could text him and know he'd respond. When I feel discouraged, I know that I can call on him and he'll be right there to reassure me of how great I am. My horn brothers have been there by my side. They have protected, guided, and loved me ever since I met them. My circle is filled with some amazing persons who continuously cheer me on."

Samuels said she is "patient with the journey" because she knows that each and every lesson and opportunity is important to her area of interest.

"I treat small gigs as big ones. Everywhere I go and play, no matter how small the crowd is, I always try to play my best," she said.

And each day she strives to help someone – her greatest contribution to the world, she said, is providing herself as a safe space for many to confide in. She loves to counsel others and hopes that after completing her degree at Edna, she can pursue studies in psychology.

"Each and every day I strive to help someone mentally because I believe that's where most problems start," she asserted.

Playing music allows Samuels to communicate with others, and it allows her to express herself.

"Edna Manley has provided me with the opportunity to associate myself with others in my field and they have been giving me that push I needed," she explained.

For other young women looking to music as a career, Samuels said to note that "we are not called to be just singers".

"You'll be discouraged because being a good saxophonist will take time and patience. Your tone is going to develop the more you play. When others say you don't sound good, let them know that you will one day. Whenever you're playing, play louder than how they speak. Never give up, because I too was once where you are. The same persons who told me to stop back then are the same ones coming to me now telling me, keep going," she encouraged.

PETULIA CLARKE-LAWRENCE

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