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Ruby Frost Nicholas Gunn

It's refreshing to encounter an artist who meets the tenets of her genre as easily as Ruby Frost. From the sequins she adores to her heart quenching tunes, Frost is a pop talent who looks to the likes of Björk and Kate Bush for inspiration, one whose natural ability has allowed her to ignore the formula and cut straight to success.

The petite singer has always written. Poetry, short stories, anything - since her early teens. Now 23, armed with a guitar and a penchant for programming her own beats, she uses lyrics to express her winsome yet wizened take on the world. Alternatively, as she puts it: "writing is where I untangle the mess in my mind."

A childhood in the Gospel music scene gave Frost opportunity to travel the world, sparking a nomadic itch that today only touring can sate. Other musical influences range from Elliott Smith to Michael Jackson, Joanna Newsom to Biggie, TV on the Radio and, "all Scandinavian pop." Add to that a fascination with Tokyo, an obsession with Korean soap operas and the ability to tailor her own theatrical costumes - not to mention her brilliantly arresting voice and onstage charisma - and the world has itself a mesmerizing new star.

Renowned producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, The Walkmen, Aesobi Seksu, Mumford & Sons) agrees. He's signed on to produce Frost's debut album and the pair have already worked together on recordings of 'Hazy', 'Smoke and Mirrors' and 'Young'. "Life whirls around so quickly with flashing lights and different incidents," says Frost of the latter, "but 'Young' is just about remembering that it's not all serious and you don't have to let things push you down. The truth is, when you're young you can be carefree and naive. I wrote it trying to remind myself that."

Frost released an acoustic EP, How Long, in 2007 and has gigged around New Zealand with various artists, including Dear Time's Waste, Glass Owls, Black Jagger, Ghost Wave, Lisa Crawley and Lydia Cole. In the last year, she's ditched her day job, worked with the likes of songwriter Phil Buckle (John Farnham), producer Paul Mac (Silverchair) and Evermore's Dann Hume, and spent hours scouring op shops for inspiration and stitching costumes for her shows.

Late nights spent writing have turned her into a night owl; lyrically, the turbulent waters of relationships, infatuations and disasters act as muse. Ironically, Frost admits, music has become her full time boyfriend. No fleeting crush, it's a love affair destined to bloom.

Expect a debut LP from Ruby Frost in 2011

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