For Bulgarian-born, New York City based, singer-songwriter Ruth Koleva, music has become a lifeboat that she uses to ride down the river of life, braving strong currents and finding a rhythm and flow along the way. Her newest single “Moving On,” a collaboration with artists Rachel Row and Gueorgui Linev, is a charismatic, summery, self-empowering tune with a catchy chorus and upbeat melody.
Released first as a fully produced single and then as a live, acoustic version, “Moving On” is a powerful, resounding track with bouncy and bright instrumentals and tantalizing vocals from Koleva. Mixing soul, early 2000s R&B, pop and more, Koleva creates a grand sound with a rich tone and danceable beats.
The lyrics paint a picture of someone on the cusp of finally making a decision on an on again, off again relationship. Even though the person is entangled in the infatuation of how their lover makes them feel, they have questions about their partner’s true feelings and whether or not it’s even love.
Koleva has release two other singles this year, a remix of her emerging from covid single “Wassup” by Fabrizio Parisi and The Editor, and the new “Kiss My Attitude,” a feminist battle cry bucking the norms. Both singles reflect Koleva’s feisty and persevering attitude as does her catalog of music.
Koleva found music after she and her father left post-Communist Eastern Europe hardship that hit hard in her home country, Bulgaria. For Koleva, music became an unexpected love that helped her navigate some of the unusually tough situations she found herself in.
Over the span of a decade-long career, Koleva has become a national Bulgarian treasure and continues to expand her fan base internationally. She has shared the stage with legends such as jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin, enigmatic trip hop icon Tricky and dub legend Mad Professor and performed five sold-out concerts at Bulgaria Hall with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra.
Early in her career, Koleva showcased her unique style through her live performances at local venues and during her stint at the Hollywood Pop Academy. Her debut album RUTH took top prize at the Bulgarian Radio Awards in 2014 while Koleva herself became the youngest Bulgarian recipient of the BG Radio “Singer of the Year” award. This past year, Koleva made history as the only representative of her native Bulgaria to perform at SXSW, opening up her music to a larger, international audience.
Since 2019, Ruth Koleva has been based in New York City where she continues to hone her musical skills and widen her audience. In addition to her new single, she also has a new album down the pipeline.
Words: Patti Sanchez