The music from Pittsburgh performer Ruger Rome can best be described as a sound born from pain. This young man with a signature voice has experienced a lot in his life. He lost his mother at the age of 10 and his father was in and out of jail and battling a drug addiction. He moved from youth home to youth home and family member to family member. At the age of 15, he became a father. At 16, he lost two very close cousins to gun violence, and then to cap it all off, he began to lose his eyesight in 2015. Corneal eye failure made him go blind, and he both literally and figuratively went to a very dark place for a while.
Out of that darkness came some of the most heartfelt and powerful music the industry has heard in years and it takes center stage on the new album “The Phoenix,” set to drop across all streaming platforms this October. It’s a project that takes the painful stories of his past and uses them to inspire listeners to keep pressing on and chasing those dreams. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Ruger Rome is an artist who has overcome the odds and is now on a trajectory to superstardom.
“I started rapping with my boys in 2013, formally known as Grimey Click to the Pittsburgh underground music scene. We had a good run and did a bunch of work that was getting us noticed,” Ruger said. “But in 2015, I started losing my vision because of corneal eye failure, and when I started going blind, I quit rapping. I went through a lot and it felt like life was over for me. I came to a dead end and didn’t want to do anything. I was blind and losing my damn mind. The only thing that saved me was that I kept writing. Wrote this whole album while I was blind – the pain, the anger, the good and the bad. There’s a whole lot of emotions on this project. After I got a cornea transplant, it gave me back 77 percent vision in one eye and that helped pull me out of my depression. But it ain’t over yet and I know I have to keep pressing. But I’m like a phoenix who is rising from the ashes, and I’m on fire. My style is kind of aggressive – I’m raw and you’ll hear my pain because I’ve been through a lot. My music reflects my pain, sorrows and my hunger for more.”
A great example of that is with his debut single, “Anything Can Happen.” Produced by Brodie Cassonova, it’s a song that explores his journey from the first moments he started rapping as a 7 year old up to the success he’s experiencing today. A video for the single is currently available on his YouTube channel and was shot by Case Filmz.