International Recording Star Now New Macon Resident
By Jamie C. Dickson
Photography by Chris Smith
She’s got the song. She’s got the soul. And now, she’s got the South. World-renowned British singer-songwriter Rumer recently planted her roots in Macon, with a new sense of place and creative dedication to the past and present music scene.
It also helps that Rumer loves the area’s creative scene, affordability and beloved outdoor spaces.
Rumer grew up on the South Coast of England, but got her big break in London where she was signed to Atlantic Records and sold more than one million copies of her debut album, “Seasons of My Soul.” Since then, she’s made four additional albums and has performed for Elton John, Burt Bacharach and former President Barak Obama.
Rumer, who moved to the U.S. from London in 2013, is a music history enthusiast. Her interest in Macon began nearly a decade ago when she learned about the Walden brothers – the celebrated brotherhood behind Capricorn Records who also helped kickstart the careers of Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and the Allman Brothers Band.
Fascinated by what little of the Walden story she found in history books, Rumer sensed there was more to the story of the Walden brothers and the city that helped launch Southern rock. She decided to make a trip to Macon from her home in Arkansas, and in summer 2017 – with her husband and 1-year-old-son Denny in tow – she toured the city and met Alan Walden.
“When I got the opportunity to talk to him, I said, ‘I really want to help you write your book. I really want to help tell your story,’ ” Rumer said.
She returned to Arkansas, but not for long. Later that fall, she made the trek back to Central Georgia – this time staying for several weeks – and by August 2018, she sold her home in Arkansas, made the move to Macon and purchased a historic Vineville neighborhood home.
“It all happened in a year! We just love Macon,” she said.
Macon’s artistic vibe inspires her. She is currently working on her fifth studio album, which is slated for release later this year, and is helping produce Walden’s memoirs as well.
“Macon attracted me because of its historic buildings, its rich music history, the creative community here and the fact that it has so many live music venues,” she said.
She and her business partner, fellow musician and well-known arranger Rob Shirakbari, also a new Macon resident, have opened a recording studio in a newly purchased building on Vineville Avenue, with hopes of helping the area’s aspiring musicians.
“Macon has inspired me musically,” she said. “I love the community here. I love how much passion you find in different corners.”