Ruby Fradkin, more commonly known as Ruby Jaye, has been creating and playing music since she was six years old. From performing as a child ragtime and blues pianist at festivals in Southern California to releasing her ukelele-infused album, Everything, in 2016, Fradkin has always been on the search to create new music.
This past year, she wrote several songs on her acoustic guitar for her soon-to-be released EP. She said she’ll start collaborating and recording with her producer, Daniel Sion, next month in New York to finalize the new tracks. Fradkin said these songs will be different from the classic jazz-pop style of music she’s most known for. They’ll sound like retro and classic Americana meshed with modern pop.
“One of them is a pretty modern jazz-pop sound influenced a lot by Lana Del Rey,” she said. “Another one is more like heartbroken gypsy style, and then another one is basically folk-pop, so they all stand on their own in different senses.”
Fradkin said she’s going back to revisit every aspect of her new songs by taking time to make sure her lyrics are relatable and the best that they can be. She’ll also collaborate with Sion to add new sections to an old song from 2012 that never got released because, to Fradkin, she never quite completed it properly.
Fradkin said the songwriting process was completely different for her on her Taylor GS Mini. When she’s writing a song for guitar, she said that she imagines playing the song from start to finish even though she may not know the direction she’s going in yet. According to Fradkin, these songs were all written with an innocent nature, meaning she just fumbled around with her guitar and explored various chord patterns.
“Guitar has a richer sound,” she said. “There’s more to it, and it’s a whole different element that inspires a different type of writing—a whole different vibe.”
Fradkin pulls a lot of her lyrical inspiration from Carole King and Joni Mitchell. She said Mitchell’s songwriting influenced her during her teenage years to write in weird ways—composing sections that don’t really connect, then later figuring out how to bring the song together.
More recently, Fradkin has been listening to different decades and genres to expand her musical knowledge.
“My genre has expanded,” she said. “I started out just writing on piano when I was a teenager, and I came up with a lot of depressing downers and teenage songs, and from there it evolved. I started playing ukulele and wrote a lot more upbeat stuff. I’ve dabbled in pop, in jazz, in ragtime blues, folk, and all sorts of stuff.”
Fradkin plans to release her new EP this year and to perform an array of shows all across Northern Nevada and Northern California. She also hopes to make a couple of new music videos along the way.
To Fradkin, the best part of performing live is having little, unexpected moments where she’ll go off on a funny tangent on stage or take a song in a new direction she didn’t see coming. Sometimes she even enjoys recovering from a downfall on stage.
Fradkin doesn’t have a name for her new EP yet, but she said listeners will be able to find her new tracks on iTunes and Spotify in the coming months.