By Valerie Shelton
Shoppers couldn’t miss the melodic voice of Roseanna Brown echoing throughout Sierra Vista Mall last Friday evening. The soprano sound reverberated throughout the stores, accompanied by the strumming of Roseanna’s guitar, the strings of younger brother Jonathon’s violin, and the keyboard, played by older sister Alanna.
Combined the three siblings, who hail from the United Kingdom, form the band The Rua—a name derived from the Hebrew word “Ruah,” meaning the essence of the group.
The Rua traveled all the way from their home just outside of London to perform for Y101 listeners gathered at the Clovis mall.
“Y101 has been a big supporter of us and our music and played our last single to death, which is fantastic,” Roseanna said. “We’ve been touring around the states for ages now with our first single, our second single and now our third single. Somehow each time we go to a new place, radio stations want to come on board and that is the reason why we’re here—because Y101 asked us.”
“They asked us to come along and we said yes we shall come and play for you,” Jonathon added.
The free concert hosted by the local radio station is the first in a revival of Y101’s Unplugged series. DJ Davey D said the station hosted several unplugged shows in the past, welcoming famous 90’s artists like the Backstreet Boys, Fits of a Tantrum, and Sugar Ray, and now several years later the station is planning a resurgence of unplugged shows.
“We thought this was the best way to kick off the new unplugged series is with these guys,” Davey D said. “It’s a new group so even though they are popular where they are from sometimes record companies will offer us groups to expose them and share with our listeners on our radio station so it’s a cross promotion—they are trying to gain exposure and we really like them so we decided to bring them to Clovis and here they are.”
Sierra Vista Mall was chosen as the spot for the concert because of its central location, the DJ added.
“We have a huge number of listeners in the Fresno and Clovis area so we wanted to partner with a place that was centrally located and easy for our listeners to get too,” he said.
The Rua has a unique modern pop sound influenced heavily by the band members’ Irish heritage.
“I hate comparing artists to other artists because they are all independent, but their music sounds almost reminiscent of Jewel, but the [vocals] are on the smokier side of that tanginess Jewel has,” Y101 DJ A.J. in the morning said.
The band performed several songs, including each of the three singles from their album “Essence.” Their first single, “Fight For What’s Right” was released in 2015 and reached No. 42 on the Hot AC (Hot Adult Contemporary) Mediabase Airplay chart. Their second single “Without You” was released in 2016 and made it among the top 35 in the Hot AC. Their most recent single “Fire and Lies” was released in February and made the Hot AC’s top 30. Another popular song from their album is “Into the Crowd” which was co-written by Nigel Harrison, the former bass player for Blondie who is best known for writing the hit “One Way Or Another.”
“This is really exciting because I think these guys are going to blow up and we’ll be able to say they performed here at the Sierra Vista Mall,” AJ said.
While The Rua continues to gain popularity for its music, each individual in the trio is also known for appearing in the Harry Potter movies. Both Alanna and Roseanna played house extras in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” while Jonathon appeared as a house extra in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Each sibling belonged to a different house—Alanna was a Gryffindor, Roseanna was a Slytherin, and Jonathon was a Hufflepuff.
The group share a few Harry Potter anecdotes with the audience, but while they clearly had fun on set of the films, it is their music they are most passionate about.
Growing up, all three were classically trained on piano and violin and had voice lessons. While they have always performed together, they didn’t form an official band until 2011 and even then the group remained nameless until becoming The Rua in 2013.
“We’ve always had piano lessons, violin lesson and singing lessons growing up and then the family suggested we try playing all together so we did,” Alanna said.
And while the siblings bicker as all siblings do, they said they haven’t had any issues playing together.
“We bicker and argue obviously, but it’s forgotten a few minutes later,” Roseanna said. “Since we’ve been in the band, I actually think we’ve grown closer. We hardly argue and there isn’t really any sibling rivalry unless it’s who gets the best seat on the airplane or the nicer room. It’s just silly bickering. We all just want the best for each other.”
For more information about the band, visit www.therua.com.