Every Monday evening I meet with Ru Johnson for our weekly Roux Black meetings. Ru Johnson is one of kind; she is smart, driven, classy, creative, and most of all she is a genuinely good person. She is a talented writer and also the owner of Roux Black Consulting. I work under Ru as a consultant for a few hours each week with some of her clients and although its work, it’s fun and she lets me utilize my talents to compliment hers. We talked about our business for a little while and then she gave me a few minutes of her time as we sat on the deck of Green labs and watched the amazing Colorado sunset- let’s just say it served as the perfect setting for this interview.
To start off I asked her to tell me what her favorite part of Colorado was and I think many of us can relate with her answer. She told me that she grew up in a place where she couldn’t see the mountains, but in Colorado you can look west from pretty much anywhere and you’ll see the majestic Rocky Mountains every day. For Ru, It’s all about the geography here because it‘s a constant reminder of why she lives here. We are pretty blessed right? Not only are the mountains beautiful but they sure help me because I am directionally challenged (ha-ha).
Ru launched Roux Black last November and has taken Colorado by storm. She is passionate about her clients and will work day and night (literally) to get things done. I asked Ru why she wanted to start her own consulting business. She explained to me that as a writer about hip-hop music she is able to see things differently in ways that artists can, “expand their repertoire” and she wants to utilize her creativity and skills for artists that she is passionate about. So naturally I wanted to know why she chose Denver to be her headquarters for Roux Black. Ru first moved to Denver because her work was centered on the independent movement. She learned from living in New York that Denver, “had all the components of being a big city except for its size.” For this reason independent music, media, entertainment and the arts in general thrives here in Denver and that’s why she picked this amazing place to be her headquarters. In her words, “Denver is incredible and impressive.”
Ru has had the opportunity to work with some outstanding people, F.L of the Foodchain, H*Wood, and Tommy Brown just to name a few and that list is growing. I asked her what part of Roux Black has been the most rewarding for her and she said that being able to work with artists with a lot of “internal movement” has been inspiring. Ru describes herself as a “Hustla” and if you know Ru, you know there is no better way to describe her. She goes after what she wants and she gets it. She told me that she feels like she relates a lot with the artists she works with because, “they have made Colorado work for them through their knowledge and experiences of living in Colorado for a long time.” Ru has definitely made Colorado work for her too. Roux Black has some exciting things happening in the coming months so expect to be seeing a lot more of Ru and her team. For starters, they are collaborating with the Yes to Cannabis campaign where together they are putting on a 3 day festival that will feature Snoop Dog (+ more artists to be announced) and provide education to voters. Roux Black is also endorsing a candidate in advance of the November 5th election, essentially they have formed their own political action committee.
On top of all that Roux Black is working to expand their artist roster to encompass rock, electronic and alternative artists. You can also expect to see more partnerships and collaborations with businesses and venues as her ultimate goal is for her team to be working on their artistic development. Like I said, amazing things are underway at Roux Black.
My favorite part of these interviews has come to be when I get to ask what Colorado Culture means to each individual that I talk to. It’s such a beautiful thing to hear about why Colorado is what it is, listen to how similarly and differently we think, and get the opportunity to see Colorado from someone else’s eyes. Ru said Colorado Culture to her means a growing metropolis in terms of fashion, communication, and infrastructure, and because of all this we have so much pride. Because we have all of this pride collectively we also have so much opportunity. She says, “there is no way a place like Colorado wouldn’t’ grow and thrive because the people here love Colorado so much.” So from Ru’s eyes, Colorado Culture is our pride. Pride that we can see the sun go down at eye level every day or look to the west and see our gorgeous Rockies. Colorado is also different and unique because it has such a spiritual lay out, it’s accessible to love and as Ru put it, “you have no choice but to love this place because it loves you back.” She also said Colorado Culture is exclusive because the people of Colorado have a “vested interest in the direction of the culture.” Beautifully put. We truly live in the BEST state with the most incredible people. We love our state and it loves us back, there aren’t many places you can say that about. So Culture heads keep your eyes and ears peeled because you haven’t seen or heard the last from Ru Johnson and the Roux Black team.
You can learn more about Roux Black Here.