At school, Robert Edward Ruiz, better known as Robby, is a senior marketing major. But beyond that, there is a singer and songwriter who from the age of eight has shown great talent performing onstage. He is an artist ready to make an impact by capturing the hearts of all who listen to him.
Ruiz’s first time singing in front of a big audience was during a high school talent show where he performed “One” by Three Dog Night. This was a defining moment for Ruiz, who has since then written nine original songs.
“I was really nervous [at that talent show],” Ruiz said. “[But] as soon as [I] started, I turned into somebody else, into that inner artist that I always wanted to be.”
From that day on, Ruiz knew he wanted to dedicate his life to music.
The struggles he endured during the beginning of his career weren’t easy to overcome at first. Ruiz often felt disheartened when faced with people who didn’t believe in his success, despite the number of supporters he had.
“Even though I had a lot of people like my family, friends and managers who always supported me, I felt alone,” Ruiz said.
Looking back, Ruiz says if he had the chance to speak with his younger self, he would advise him to always stay true to himself and never pretend to be someone else.
“It’s going to be a hard ride,” Ruiz said. “People are going to be in your face, telling you differently and [trying to] convince you to do things that you don’t want to do. Avoid them at all costs.”
Fortunately, he was able to overcome the obstacles thrown his way and get back to work as a singer and songwriter, which he credits to his faith in God and the constant support of his loved ones.
Throughout his life, Ruiz’s dad has been a big inspiration when it comes to his music. This is especially since they would always practice together before each show Ruiz participated in.
He is also inspired by well-known artists such as Luis Miguel, Romeo Santos and Maluma, as well as English artists like Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra and a couple of others.
Ruiz especially appreciates the genre of bachata due to his constant exposure to Dominican Republic’s culture, as he and his parents used to go there almost every summer.
“I started listening to this music, and I liked it because it’s a very romantic [genre] — the dance, the form [and] the type of singing,” Ruiz said.
Romance ties into one of the first songs Ruiz wrote, “No Puedo Amarte,” which translates to “I Can’t Love You.” The song is based on falling in love for the first time and describes a difficult time he experienced while in a relationship.
His most recent song, “Una Pregunta,” which translates to “A Question,” brings about a different genre as a result of Ruiz wanting to bring something new to the table. This song has a combination of pop, R&B and rap.
According to Ruiz, “Una Pregunta” is a very romantic song and would make people feel optimistic and happy while listening to it. For him, the best way to overcome the madness of this world is with love, which is reflected in his song.
“I liked talking about love because the society we are living in right now is very difficult,” Ruiz said. “There’s a lot of negative things going on.”
Esmeralda Tamayo, a senior linguistics major, met Ruiz in high school and has been following his music for some time, which she says she is inspired by.
“I feel like I can connect with the song lyrics,” Tamayo said. “I’m Latina, and I feel very proud to see how [Ruiz] pays tribute to Latin American music and culture because it shows that if we put all our effort into doing something, every dream will come true. I recommend [that] everyone listen to his songs. He’s amazing.”
Chris Sanchez, Ruiz’s producer and mentor, who has worked with many other Latin artists such as Aventura, Romeo Santos and Prince Royce, among others, is also proud of Ruiz and his improvement in the field of music.
“[I’ve known Ruiz] since he was 17 years old, and I have seen him grow as an artist [and] songwriter,” Sanchez said. “He’s extremely talented, and he’s been showing a lot of promise.”
Moving forward, Ruiz wants to encourage everyone who’s following their dreams to keep going and never lose faith.
“Never give up on your hopes and dreams,” Ruiz said. “[Because] if you put in all that effort every day with consistency, you can achieve whatever you want in this world. Don’t let anybody tell you differently.”