INTERVIEW: Exploring ‘My Own Volition’ with Kaleb Rudy

Kaleb Rudy, an emerging singer-songwriter, recently released the highly anticipated debut visual EP, titled “My Own Volition.” The project features stunning visualizers that bring the love story of two drifters struggling with life addiction. In “My Own Volition,” Kaleb blends traditional balladry with a diverse range of sounds to create an exceptional and alluring audiovisual experience.

Photography by @adamandaa

Born in Grand Junction, Colorado and partly raised in Virginia, Montana, Iowa, and California, Kaleb Rudy has had a diverse upbringing. The presence of small rural towns and his father’s profession as a Christian pastor posed challenges for the young artist, but he navigated these obstacles with resilience. Art became his sanctuary, allowing him to explore his emotions and channel them into various creative outlets, including songwriting, acting, and filmmaking.

Kaleb’s passion for storytelling takes centre stage in “My Own Volition.” The songs are self-written, showcasing his deeply personal and introspective lyrics. The visualizers, also directed by Kaleb Rudy himself, serve as visual representations of each track, further immersing listeners in the emotional journey of the drifters. Additionally, he stars in the visualizers, embodying one of the star-crossed lovers, adding an extra layer of authenticity to the narrative.

With his debut EP, Kaleb Rudy aims to shed light on the struggles and triumphs of individuals navigating the complexities of addiction and love. Through heartfelt melodies and evocative lyrics, he brings the listener into his world, creating a powerful set of songs.

Now we have Kaleb today with us, sharing all the details about “My Own Volition,” from inspirations to details about his most intimate moments. Join us and let’s see what this promising artist has in store for us today. 

Tell us about yourself, Kaleb. How was your childhood? What was it like to move from one city to another?

I have great memories of backpacking with my family in Colorado, playing street hockey with the other apartment kids in Virginia, and watching moose lick the salt block in our Montana backyard. I’m grateful I got to live in different places and experience other cultures. It expanded me. Now that I’m an adult, I crave a sense of stability and routine. Maybe I picked the wrong profession.

You grew up in a religious household, your father being a Christian pastor. How did that affect your life?

There are stereotypes about pastors’ kids and they’re honestly true. You learn early on that people are watching to see if you mess up. You either try to be perfect or try to provoke them. I got a dose of both. I’ve mostly deconstructed out of religion since then, but I still believe in God. That relationship has been unshakable.

Did you ever come out of the closet with your parents?

My parents found out on their own. They wanted me to try conversion “ex-gay” therapy, and I did. It was traumatic. I felt like a specimen in a lab with everyone analyzing me. My parents are fully accepting of me now. They just didn’t know how to handle it at the time.

What made you move to Los Angeles?

I think I wanted to move to LA my whole life. I just finally got the guts.

Your most recent EP “My Own Volition” deals with the heavy subject of addiction. What can you share about those dark times and how you overcome them?

I think you can get addicted to anything when you want to escape. Food, exercise, drugs. Alcohol was my biggest one. I loved the oblivion – that place where all your thoughts slow down until they stop.

My sister has this phrase about addiction, “You’re not done until you’re done.” Eventually, I got done. I knew I had to cut out alcohol if wanted to become the person I was supposed to be. Therapy helped. There’s a specific kind called EMDR.

Could you walk us through the creative process behind “My Own Volition” and how you came up with the concept for it?

I told producer Scott Smith I wanted the record to feel like one long story. I also wanted it to feel like a drug trip with a peak and a crash. That was before I even knew I’d make the visuals. We recorded it over a summer at his home studio in the Central Valley. It was the most hands-on and collaborative process I’d experienced.

“Lot’s Wife” is my personal favourite. It is a very powerful song. Do you have a special tune?

I’m most proud of “Lot’s Wife.” I finally told my side of a story I didn’t feel I had the agency to before. The production is very ambitious, and I think we pulled it off. You can hear my sister singing in it too, which is really special.

It is not very common to see so many musical videos for an EP. What made you take the decision to take the visualizer route instead of a more traditional approach?

I realized I could split the money for a music video into five visualizers instead. That way, each song could have a proper release. I dreamed up a narrative, got the most incredible crew on board, and it just grew bigger from there. Much love to cinematographers Joseph Padilla and Genevieve Rico, and producer Haiden Citrine. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Are you working on any project? Can you give us any details?

I’m working on my debut album! You can expect some pretty wild stories in it.

Anything else you would like to add?

I’m going to read this interview when I’m in a self-doubt spiral alone in my bedroom in a few months. So thanks for the push to keep going.