by Christine Urio
While mourning the hiatus of fun. is inevitable, lead singer Nate Ruess’ decision to go solo is ultimately what is best for everyone.
Met with overwhelming success in 2012 with their breakthrough album Some Nights, fun. sold over a million copies and won two Grammy awards. The band had intentions to release a new album and go on tour, but Ruess had other plans.
“It would have been very easy for us to jump back in the studio and capitalize on our momentum,” he said in a Huffington Post article, “but making records and touring when it’s ‘good for business’ means nothing to us. We make records and tour when we are inspired to do so.”
And inspiration is exactly what hit Ruess when he started dating fashion designer Charlotte Ronson.
“This is the first time I’ve been comfortable in my own skin, and it’s with someone who’s comfortable in their own skin. The reason I’m making a solo album is because it’s the first time,” said Ruess.
Although Ruess’ separation from the band may seem egotistical, it is selfish in all the right reasons. Music is about expressing oneself, and if an artist feels confined, he cannot create the desired product.
Instead of being a sellout and complying to the expectations of the industry, and the public, Ruess set out to do what is best for him—he has a story that needs to be told and separating from fun. was the only way to tell it.
The new tracks Ruess started to write could have been shared with the band, but kept them for himself, not wanting to compromise his creative integrity.
“You get a little selfish about the songs that you write, and it’s really hard to do that in a group setting…where you have to think about everybody else’s feelings,” he said in Rolling Stone, “I’m writing and singing these songs about myself. When you work with producers versus bandmates, that line becomes a lot less blurry.”
By keeping the songs for himself, Ruess was allowed the freedom to block out the opinions of others, which gives him the opportunity to please no one but himself with his work, allowing him to stick to the true form and feelings he wants to portray in his music.
When music can be that raw, it typically holds the capability to reach out and relate with a larger audience because the songs were not altered, but hold a vulnerable element of truth.
According to Billboard.com, Ruess is not backing away from his bold decision and solidified his commitment to his project when he “announced his new release under his own name Wednesday with a video teasing a new song that will be released Monday called ‘Nothing Without Love.'”
With an industry that is consumed with image, it is a leap of faith for artists like Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, or in this case Ruess to resist becoming corporate and leave a group to go solo.
Even if Ruess’ album plummets, he should be applauded for giving up on caring what others think—instead of submitting to create popular catchy lyrics and cheesy melodies, he has gained respect as a true artist for producing something that is worthwhile and important to him on a personal level.
Lyrics at times can be like reading a diary entry, and if he’s willing to share that, then the public cannot mock him and invalidate his feelings.
“People thought I was nuts, but I’m not out to chase something. I’m out to be happy,” he said. That’s what really matters.