Sol Ruiz
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Sol Ruiz


Band World Funk


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"Sol shines as an alternative musician who happens to be female"


Editor's note: One of the hottest musical movements Miami has to offer is its unprecedented fusion of "world beat" sounds. The only thing the all-encompassing experiment appears to be lacking is a representation of female voices. Blame it on machismo, marianismo, or any other culturally appropriatismo. Yet there are a few pioneering chicas who have spent years trying to balance the musical scales. New Times has dedicated a four-part series to their contributions...


"Sol Ruiz Does Some Soul Searching A Miami Cuban-folk-fusion singer"

On a recent evening on the deck of The Standard Hotel, singer-songwriter Sol Ruiz wears a sophisticated black-and-white polka-dot dress and slowly nurses a vodka and cranberry. Her conversation is laced with self-reflective commentary. It's a big change in aesthetics and attitude from two summers ago, when New Times last interviewed her. At that meeting, she slurped down a couple of margaritas and swore sassily from underneath a pink-and-green baseball cap tilted sideways on her head before joining stepfather Juan DeLuque and then-boyfriend, Cuban pianist Michel Fragoso, on the Tapas y Tintos stage.

Sol Ruiz, White Room, Tobacco Road, Churchill's Pub, downtown Miami, Little Haiti

"I've been doing a lot of soul searching," says the now-24-year-old artist, who has recently returned from two years of traveling the Southeast on a songwriting odyssey into what she calls her own Cuban and American folk fusion. The sound coming off her new self-produced album, Ten Unprofessionals, is part Jewel, part Ani DiFranco, a little bit reggaeton, pop, and Cuban folklore. Some of the 10 tracks could easily rock the ties off music industry execs looking for a hit on commercial airwaves, while other songs could just as easily work their way around the more pensive college radio circuit. The album vacillates much the way Sol has done herself, since EMI told her it was time to quit writing so much for pop stars such as Mexico's Belinda and Kalimba and begin developing her own material.

She parted ways with Fragoso, packed her bags, and headed for a farmhouse outside Orlando. Then she did some writing in Tampa, and finally picked some street corners in New Orleans to test her tunes and take inspiration from passersby. "The bohemian in me came out on the streets," Sol says. "To really understand where you are as an artist, sometimes you have to be among regular people. At the clubs, you don't encounter old people or the working class."

And she's glad she's now projecting her newly found voice all over Miami — at White Room, Tobacco Road, and Churchill's, to name a few. "I came back and it was a totally new Miami," Sol notes of the burgeoning cultural scene. "The depression really brings out the best in people. We get closer together as a community and we start realizing it's not about making money; it's about making art."

For more information about Sol's new album and upcoming shows, visit

- Miami New Times


Still working on that hot first release.



EMI Music Publishing singer/songwriter and Miami native SOL Ruiz fuses son Cubano with smoky midnight moan blues melodies. This Neo Hippie rain maker uses the cultural mix of her environment along with the influences of the Gritty Blues from the Dirty South, to evolve her music to what it is today. She has been compared to the late Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Celia Cruz by the Miami New Times and has been hailed as "the voice that speaks for this generation" by She Magazine. "Sol's music could easily rock the ties off music industry execs looking for a hit on commercial airwaves, while other songs could just as easily work their way around the more pensive college radio circuit." (Miami New Times). She's been touring most of 2008 promoting her last album, Ten Unprofessionals. This year she is focusing on writing her next album, which she plans on releasing in early 2010. She's played at venues - The Gusman Theatre, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Miami), Conga Room (LA), Hothouse and Empty Bottle (Chicago), S.O.B's (NYC), Knitting Factory and Bowery Ballroom (NYC) amongst many local venues and festivals such as, Sunday on the Mile Jazz Festival, Suwannee River Music Festival, Chicago World Music Festival and the Calle Ocho Carnival.
Her songs have appeared in Showtime’s the L Word, Discovery Channel and in recording artist albums such as Noelia and Sound Side. She has also collaborated with Grammy nominated writers, Juan De Luque, Michelle Fragoso, Goya and Billboard Winner December Bueno and Belgian TMF Songwriter of the Year, Lissett Alea.

Sol suggests seeing her play live to get the whole grasp of what she does and get a feel for her vibe. Chances are if you are living somewhere in the world or in outer space, she'll be there soon.