London-born/ Dublin- raised duo of twin sister Rooue told David Hennessy about their new single Flavour, what it was like to move to Ireland at the age of nine and about the special connection they have as twins.
Having just released their debut single What You Want in October last year, Dublin-based duo Rooue have returned with their catchy new single Flavour.
Inspired by lockdown, Flavour is about being bored of life for whatever reasons and craving a change from the same routine.
Rooue is made up of twin sisters Ro and Lou, siblings who grew up in London before moving to Dublin at the age of nine.
Ro told The Irish World: “During lockdown we had a lot of time to do some writing and recording. It was the only thing that got us through most of this lockdown.
“We were reflecting on how we were feeling during lockdown and then we were thinking back to what it kind of reminds us of: This montonous, boring life, kind of bland, every day is kind of the same. It’s kind of reflective of how we felt in previous relationships, where when you’re coming to the end of a relationship you just feel like you’re on autopilot.
“You’re not really enjoying what’s going on, you’re kind of bored, you need something new but you’re almost too lazy to even break up with the person because it’s even too much effort just to even do that.
“And it’s just this want to grab onto life and have a little bit more.”
Lou adds: “Whether it be a normal life, whether you want something new in life, a new experience or just getting out of the house in lockdown. It is just deciding you want to have a whole new taste in life and not be stuck in monotonous relationship.”
Ro continues: “But I think also it’s about reinventing yourself at the same time. During the lockdown was the first time we were releasing music as a duo so I think it was our opportunity to reinvent our future.
“I think everyone’s kind of having that epiphany during lockdown when they’re like, ‘I’m going to start doing this’ and, ‘I want to do that’.
“Flavour represents that opportunity to grab life and grab a new flavour.
“It’s so weird and it’s difficult because this is the first time we have released music and we released it in quarantine. It’s going to be interesting to release without lockdown. We’re really excited to do gigs and be with people again.”
Lou adds: “We’re just trying to keep busy and do what we can. We’re definitely living for the moment that we get to be onstage. Can’t wait.”
The twins were very young when the family moved to Dublin and although it was a big change when the family moved from Bounds Green first to Dún Laoghaire before settling in Killiney.
Ro says, “I think we were almost ten. We were pretty young but I think it was such a formative time in our lives. It was a very, very different lifestyle. We were quite city centre in London. We didn’t have much childhood freedom like you do when you’re in Ireland. I think that was the most amazing thing we had. We would be able to go to the beach, we would be able to hang around our area with our friends.
“We definitely identify as a mix of Irish and English.”
Lou adds: “We obviously have family in London that we hold in our hearts but we also feel the move to Ireland completely changed our lives for the better. We always say to our mum and dad, ‘That was the best decision you made because at that time I think we really needed it’. I think it was just a really great opportunity for us.
“It was a very big change when we moved here and could walk down the street and be on the beach and our friends lived next door.”
Ro continues: “Our dad is Irish. He met our mum and lived in the UK for 25 years. We always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day as a family.”
“We did Irish dancing. So did our sister,” says Lou.
Ro says: “We loved Irish culture.”
Lou continues: “Our grandma lived in Ireland so every Christmas, we would be over.”
Ro says: “We have definitely always had Irish in us and strongly identified as Irish before we even moved but it was definitely a huge change for us. It’s one thing knowing and visiting Ireland and then living there.”
What was it like to be two twins with English accents going to a new school in Ireland?
“It was tough,” Ro simply answers.
Lou adds: “We definitely stuck out.”
Ro explains: “When we moved, we went to a very small primary school. I think we had three other girls in our class so we went from being in London in an absolutely huge, huge school to then being immersed with only three other girls of our age and they had known each other since they were like two.
“We were like the most foreign thing coming in.”
Lou adds: “Even the clothes that we wore, our accent- We were so different. Were we little posh English girls? Oh my God, We stuck out so bad.
“As we grew older we became proud of it and just loved that uniqueness.”
Ro remembers, “It was probably a sore point at the very beginning because we were so different but then we made friends really quickly and we’re still best friends with them today so we’re very lucky.
“The struggle for us was we had to learn Irish. We were already a good few years behind. That was definitely the biggest challenge we had and it’s very difficult to speak Irish with an English accent, very weird.”
Lou continues: “We carried it through. We actually did it for the Leaving Cert in the end. We didn’t have to but we chose to. We enjoyed it.”
The girls received a huge amount of praise for their debut single What You Want and have earned comparisons to acts like Dua Lipa for their bold and upbeat sound.
Of course, the girls have been singing together since they were tiny and tell us music has always been a massive part of their lives.
Lou remembers: “We just lived in such a musical household. When we look back on old videos, we’re running around the house and playing Britney Spears in the background.
“When we were young, our mum and dad got us fake guitars and microphones and since then we have just always wanted to be musicians.”
Ro continues: “Music has always been a huge part of our lives, even before we knew what it was. Our mum works as a music psychotherapist. She is the most amazing musician herself. She’s an amazing pianist, she can play the flute. She can play everything. Our dad’s really passionate about music as well. Our older sister is actually a full-time vocalist herself.”
Lou adds: “From day one, we’ve either been dancing to it, singing along with it and as we have gotten older we started picking up the guitar and singing ourselves.”
Ro says: “That’s when we decided it was something we wanted to do together. We were so young when we made the decision. We were writing songs when we were super young. It’s really been everything.”
Ro and Lou possess that special almost telepathic connection that twins are famed for.
Lou says: “We find that when we’re apart we realise how connected we are. If I’m really stressed or something’s going on, my phone will ring and it will be Ro and she’ll go, ‘Hey, I thought I should give you a call’. I’ll be like, ‘Thank God you called me at this time’.”
Ro adds: “It sounds really hippy dippy and it must sound weird to people who aren’t twins. Sometimes I kinda forget that it’s not normal to be a twin. It really is the strangest thing, the fact that we’re so connected.
“We literally live our lives together. We’re best friends as well as twins. Everything that we do, we do together. We went to school together, we have the same best friends, we have the same interests, same degree. It’s not like we’re not individuals but it’s the perfect match up, think of the best friend that you could think of and then it’s actually biologically made for you.”
The girls were hesitant about combining their names for the band’s moniker as there is much more to their sound than the fact that they happen to be twins.
Ro says: “It was a difficult decision because at the beginning we were like, ‘It’s so cringy’.”
Lou continues: “We can’t fight the inevitable that we’re twins and that’s something that we find is very important to us and our music.”
Ro adds: “It’s why our music is the way it is.”
Lou says: “Our bassist just turned around to us and goes, ‘Why don’t you just do Rooue?’ And we were like, ‘No, why would we do that?’ Then a few weeks later we were like, ‘Actually, I kinda like Rooue’. And then we just kept it.”
Ro continues: “It was something we were quite conscious of at the start of creating Rooue. We were kind of like, ‘We don’t want it to be this cringy unique selling point that we’re just twins’, do you know what I mean? Like what we sell is just that we are similar. It really isn’t the case but it was a decision to accept the fact that people are going to know that we’re twins and people are going to make that connection.
“We’re just going to take it and make it into what we want it to be.”
The most unusual moment in their career so far has to be when the girls were approached to sing vocals on a song only to find out later it was to help provide awareness for incontinence.
The girls had to back out deciding it was not the best way to announce themselves as singers.
Lou remembers with a laugh: “When this happened, we were saying, ‘Will we tell people about it or is it just embarrassing?'”
Ro goes on to say: “There was a moment where we said, ‘Will we do this? It’s for a good cause. We can do a decent job of it’. Maybe it was the fact that if anyone was to find it, it would be humiliating for our career. We were like, ‘You know what? This isn’t going to work’.”
Lou says: “We didn’t know about it until they were like, ‘Oh, by the way, it’s about this’. And we were like, ‘Oh, okay’.
“There’s no harm in doing those things as jobs at all but we were like, ‘Maybe not’.” Ro says: “This was just after our first release. We were thinking, ‘Is this going to go viral? Is this what people are going to know us for?'”
While they are eager to get centre stage when the pandemic has passed, the girls could have easily been in the middle of the health crisis as Ro strongly considered nursing while Lou also flirted with the idea.
Ro remembers: “I told my mum I wanted to be a nurse. She trained as a nurse as well and she was like, ‘Are you sure? It’s a really hard job’. Thinking back now, I don’t think it would have been suitable.”
Lou also considered working with animals and teaching.
“We both wanted to help. It was more what suited our personalities and then luckily we found our college and it was just inevitable that we were going to do music.
“We have a bunch of friends who are in healthcare right now and have such respect for everyone who’s doing what they’re doing because it’s incredible.”
Ro says: “Our cousin is in her final year of medical school. She’s now working full-time in a hospital and it’s just such a crazy time to start that career. She was telling us about how tense it is and how little we know about what goes on behind the scenes and how difficult it actually is.”
Flavour is out now.
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