The Ugly Mother Records concept was born out of a reaction to the music industry’s relentless fixation with youth. Singer Nicky Rubin and his producer, Daniel Steggall, both in their early 30’s at the time of recording their first collaboration, War & Peace, used to joke that they were both far too old and Ugly for the business, but here they are 22 years later, still at it, producing timeless arrangements full of swirling instrumentation on a bed of solid songwriting.
War & Peace was well received in Holland and Ireland and two of it’s songs made it on to compilation albums in America.
Several years later, perpetual globetrotter Rubin met South African couple, Paul & Annemarie Clinton at Ai-Ais Hot Springs in the Namibian desert whilst performing songs from his War & Peace album. Rubin gave them his last copy, said goodbye and drove off into the desert. Neither party ever expected to see each other again.
Annemarie, however, tried in vain over the years to contact Nicky, and it was twelve years later, that his name eventually popped up on the Internet. "We've finally found this elusive character."
Now living in Kiev, Rubin was delighted to receive a surprise E-mail from Annemarie, recently relocated to New Zealand, informing him that their first born son, conceived during that magical time in Namibia, had been named Ruben in recognition of their love of his music.
Finding it impossible to ignore such a wonderful communication Rubin, intrigued, amazed, investigated and was invited to ‘pop in’ if ever he was in the NZ area. He wasn’t; but later that year, and by sheer coincidence, he was able to hook up with Annemarie in California to discuss her future involvement in Ugly Mother.
On hearing the harrowing story of her family’s displacement from South Africa, Rubin was inspired to write the title song for his next album, Displaced. Annemarie was now label manager.
And then there were 3.
Nicky has recently returned to London to team up with his old producer, Daniel Steggall, to dip their toes back into the Ugly Mother Swamp with their latest collaboration, the aptly titled, I'll Never Forget You.