Ritt Momney's More Than Just His 'Put Your Records On' Cover
Twenty one year old Jack Rutter, now more famously known as Billboard chart climber Ritt Momney, is IRL exactly how he sounds like on the radio. What you hear is pretty much what you get. We sat down with the Salt Lake City-based producer and singer-songwriter for a quick interview that gives us a glimpse of what he’s all about.
I couldn’t tell if it was the time difference or maybe having done a ton of other interviews before meeting with us online but there’s no ignoring the calmness the young artist emanates. Chill like the Rocky Mountains weather where he’s from, Jack, which he prefers we call him, first set off on his musical journey with a few friends from high school. Putting together an indie band called Ritt Momney, a play on the name of the Republican Senator representing the great state of Utah, the group had quite a short-lived career. All its members eventually up and left to do work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after graduation, leaving its frontman to carry its name all by his lonesome.
An artist named Ritt Momney
“After we all graduated high school, almost all of them went on missions and because I had already been writing the songs and everything, like I was doing most of that stuff for the band, they were all cool with me just taking it solo while they were gone,” Rutter shares. Well, that and the fact that there was already a folk music artist somewhere in the UK also named Jack Rutter who had dibs on the name on his birth certificate so sticking with the alias made sense.
When asked if he thinks his former bandmates regret not staying long enough to see Ritt Momney’s day in the sun, Rutter answers, “They all have stuff going on, they’re all going to school and working on things they want to do with their lives.”
Now on its 17th week on the Hot 100 of Billboard’s charts, his infectious cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s 2006 hit “Put Your Records On” has so far peaked at the 45th spot. The soft-spoken artist has also finally broken through the Artist 100 list just last week at 95th and is currently at the 89th spot on his second week there. Rutter’s so new to the chart that they don’t even have a photo of him up yet. He’s definitely come a long way from when he first started playing around with Garage Band and Logic back in the ninth grade.
“I was just messing around with this for a while. Like this was just so fun and I loved doing this,” he recalls. “It was probably at that point that I was like oh, man I want to do this as much as I can and take this as far as I can. It seemed unrealistic that I could make a career out of it at the time but I just loved to do it so I did it a lot.”
It was a treat watching Rutter’s face gradually light up as he spoke about his early days producing songs. “I had always been making music myself just not under the Ritt Momney name,” he intimates. “I had like a Soundcloud account with like 500 followers or something and I would just throw up music there all the time and that was always what I had the most fun doing, I think.”
A new spin on 'Put Your Records On'
“Put Your Records On” definitely put the world on notice. Released in April 2020, it wasn’t until September when the cover blew up globally thanks to TikTok. Hearing it played and replayed incessantly on social media and on the radio introduced us to Ritt Momney’s super chill brand of lo-fi indie-pop music. It has since made it to the Top 40 in several countries, including the Philippines.
“It’s one of those songs for me that I’ve always known and always loved for as long I can remember. I’m always finding songs that I love and songs that are really interesting to me,” Rutter fondly reminisces the song. “Driving with my family in this black, or maybe even the blue minivan my mom had. The one before the black minivan and going to soccer practice. Really just driving in the car and listening to the radio with my family and friends.”
In November, Twitter stirred up a bit of controversy with some tweets pointing out how a white kid was getting praised for an original song done by a black woman. Rutter’s maturity and character was thrown into the spotlight as he took it in stride, apologized for any feelings that may have been hurt, and explained how much he was a fan of the original version and its Grammy-winning artist. Rutter was able to connect with Rae over Zoom sometime in late 2020, confirming the latter’s blessing of the use of her much-loved track. Not like any apologies were needed. Game recognizes game. We can only hope that a project between the two could be a possibility in the future.
“We didn’t really specifically talk about doing a song together or anything. I know she’s doing some co-writing stuff with people and I actually went into a session with one of her co-writers, Steve, who is awesome and we sort of talked about maybe doing a session with Corinne as well,” he says. While on the topic of teaming up, Rutter’s list of dream collabs include Thom Yorke of Radiohead, James Blake, Brian Eno, Damon Albarn of the Gorillaz, and surprise, surprise, Corinne Bailey Rae herself. “Not in that order but that’s probably the top 5,” he says.
Gaining worldwide fame over the pandemic must have been a trip. He had just gone on the road as a front act for Dayglow when the outbreak of Covid-19 canceled the rest of the tour after just two shows. Being back home gives Rutter more time to work on his music, albeit with some challenges.
“You need inspiration from somewhere,” Jack says “If you’re just sitting in front of your computer all day everyday, it’s hard to find something to write about. If you’re never interacting with people, it can be pretty hard to pull a song out of thin air.” Hot on the heels of an international hit, we all can’t wait to hear more from the young musician.
“I’m working on an album right now, it should come out in 2021 and I’m excited about that. I have some songs coming out pretty soon and it will be interesting to see how all the “Put Your Records On” fans react to it.”
The future looks bright for Jack Rutter and resembling the slopes of the Wasatch mountains in his native Utah, the steady ascent of Ritt Momney up the charts is one that will be fun to witness. “To be in this position now is like the luckiest thing ever. I’m excited to keep going with it,” Rutter reflects. “It still feels kind of surreal like when someone says ‘Hey, we love your music in the Philippines’, it’s never going to fully process that these people so far away are enjoying my music. It’s super cool.”