Ruby Ibarra is not only making waves in music, but also in science. Although her voice is to be reckon with as an emcee who speaks out her truth as a Filipina immigrant in the U.S, she also makes an impact in COVID-19 research. Craig Melvin from NBC’s Today Show shares Ruby’s story on “Generation Next.”
The Today Show asks Ruby, why science? She’s fascinated with knowing why things work the way they are. Science gives her a lot of those answers and provides the satisfaction in terms of the work she does and how it impacts people globally. Ruby mentions that her current work involves testing and finding and cure for COVID-19. While she looks for a cure through science, Ruby says that music is also a medicine. It provides people with hope and help us get through tough times.
She goes on to talk about her family’s move from the Philippines to the Bay Area. Her experience as an immigrant and Filipina impacted her identity and how she thinks. Musical influences that she looks to strive for includes Tupac, Lauryn Hill, and Wu-Tang Clan. Her journey in music started with poetry and performing at local shows. Now, she has tracks like 7,000 Miles and Someday that talks about her family’s story. Look out for more music as her sophomore album is in the works.
With her success, Ruby continues to give back, especially to her community. Pinays Rising is a scholarship program for young Pinays in the Filipino community. With work still to be done, Ruby hopes to continue the movement of normalizing Asian American stories.
ABOUT RUBY IBARRA
Born in the Philippines, Ruby spent the first 4 years of her life in Tacloban City before her family eventually settled in San Lorenzo, California. Submerged in the melting pot of the Bay Area, Ruby’s adolescent years introduced her to a wide array of cultures, experiences, and most importantly: hip hop, which resonated at every corner of her neighborhood.
Known for her sharp lyricism and rhythmic multi-syllabic flows, Ruby attributes her musical identity to being a child during the 90s– constantly hearing Tupac, Eminem, and Wu Tang Clan play on the radio and television, she instantly knew rap was the best way she could express herself. Witnessing the “golden era” of hip hop during her formative years, she has never forgotten the sounds that she was initially introduced to and quickly fell in love with.
As a teenager, Ruby began crafting her own rhymes until she began to develop her own style and became comfortable with sharing her story. She quickly picked up music production shortly therafter and eventually started performing publicly, starting in the college and local venue circuits.
Cover Photo Credit: Ruby Ibarra Facebook