Written by: Samantha Stemmer
The University of North Carolina Wilmington’s association for entertainment welcomed a special guest on March 17, Jack Rutter who is more commonly known by his stage name, Ritt Momney. The 21-year-old, Salt Lake City local recently signed with Columbia Records, and is the newest feature for “Arts Freshest Faces.” Originally, Ritt Momney started out as a band, but because his bandmates prioritized their Mormon lifestyle, the band became a solo act. Momney pointed out that the stage name started out as a spoof of well-known politician, Mitt Romney, and explained that “If I could go back and change it, I probably would.” Like many other artists on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic, Ritt Momney’s journey to success is a story of being a TikTok sensation.
Momney released a cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” which quickly went viral. The song now has over two million videos on TikTok and was used as the theme song, somewhat, to a trending make-up challenge on the app. Within two-days of the song doing well Momney said, “I was on a bunch of label calls, and luckily since I had a career before this with a great manager, that I love, it is not a solo effort.” The young singer, songwriter, and producer is currently averaging about eight million monthly listeners on Spotify.
While in seventh/eighth grade Momney really delved into his passion for music. He jokingly remarked that it was his older brother that inspired him to get into music because “all the girls thought he [Momney’s older brother] was cute because he sang.” As Momney started learning to play the piano and guitar, he listened to James Blake’s first album and STRFKR over and over, which he said shaped who he is as an artist. He is “striving for that and I want to make music like them.” Excitingly, Momney hinted that he has been in communication with the lead member of STRFKR, Josh Hodges, and his dream collaboration just may be realized.
While Ritt Momney is more than grateful for his career path, the young adult explained that it is not always all fun and games. Momney noted that distinguishing between “the balance of the fun side and the work side of [music] has been really hard.” When making his first album “Her and All of My Friends” he explained that the album took him two and a half years because he did not work when it was not fun for him. As a result, the album took longer than desired and he had to force himself to work towards the end, putting a strain on Momney’s relationship with music. Lesson learned and moving forward, the artist is now thinking of music as a commitment to his future and striving to set aside time every day to write, sing, and produce songs.
As more and more people receive the vaccine for COVID-19 and life slowly starts to return to normal, Momney hopes to be able to do a national tour in the beginning of 2022. Although the artist is appreciative of the time he has had at home to work on music, he is ready to get on stage. Keep your eyes and ears open so you don’t miss Ritt Momney’s next big hit.