Interview – Mike Ruby

Mike Ruby may have started his career as a touring sax performer, but his vocals & stellar songwriting skills have now taken the spotlight, including for his debut EP, You Wrote These Songs. Mike wrote the 6-track release with his own stories in mind, but hopes it allows listeners to “pull some emotions out (of you) that have always been there.”

You worked with a superstar team last year, including Chris Harts (Childish Gambino), Nicky Paul (St. Lucia), Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen), and Joel Stouffer (Dragonette). What was the biggest take away for you in working with such musical vets?

Nicky (St. Lucia) and I went to school together, and he introduced me to Chris (Childish Gambino) so it was super fun to work with friends, always is! Joel, I met through a great producer and friend of mine too, Mike Wise. I think it’s important to make music with people who you trust, and who you can break boundaries down with to create. I’ve learned a lot from all four of these guys over the years and they’re all so incredibly talented – I feel lucky to have worked with each of them.

Coming up on the release of your debut EP, You Wrote These Songs, how do you hope to leave fans feeling following their first listen?

With the feels. This EP is meant to get under your skin in a good way, to pull some emotions out of you that have always been there but also to have fun with them. Each song is written about someone important in my life, and I hope the listener has a cathartic experience and attaches different people in their lives to these different songs on the EP.

With all six tracks on the EP touching on extremely personal topics/experiences, is there ever hesitation of sharing so much of yourself or is that all part of the creative process?

There was definitely hesitation on sharing “Not Your Fault.” Listening to it blindly, it could be seen as a song about loss of any kind; a parent, ex, friend. For me, though it’s all about losing my father in high school and it was very difficult to write. I think authenticity and being truthful is so important no matter how difficult that may be, so I didn’t shy away from including it on the EP, but I embraced it.

We have to touch on starting your career as a saxophonist & touring all over the place with your jazz quartet! How did you start in that area of music? What do you miss most about it since launching into your singing career?

For sure! I started playing sax in middle school and my dad introduced me to some of the greats, specifically Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley – I fell in love pretty quick. When my dad got sick, music really became an outlet for me, and the rest is history! I think the only thing I miss is touring. I’ve had to start back from square one in the pop industry, so I haven’t had the chance to tour very much yet, but as a jazz musician, I spent most of my time touring the world and honestly there’s nothing like playing a different city every night. I want to get back to that as an artist.

What’s next for the next six months?

After the EP, music videos, and all the fun stuff that comes with releasing an EP happens (minus the tour because of COVID 19) I’m going to press the reset button for a couple of weeks – disconnect and really get back into creative mode for album 2. Hopefully, I can start gearing up for shows/tours, but we just don’t know how long that will take, so creating album 2 will be taking up most of my time!

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