Canadian pop artist Mike Ruby has released his debut EP, You Wrote These Songs, via AWAL and all streaming services. Initially trained as a jazz musician, Ruby fell in love with pop music after touring with St. Lucia as their saxophone player.
Produced and co-written with Chris Hartz (Childish Gambino), Nicky Paul (St. Lucia), and fellow Canadians, JUNO Award winner Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen), and Joel Stouffer (Dragonette), You Wrote These Songs displays Ruby’s distinctive contemporary pop sound. The result is a unique musical twist that fits into modern popular culture with an honest voice that cuts through the noise.
“Don’t Want You Back,” the focus track from the EP, is a song about the person you do want to forget. Pairing a sweet melody with blunt lyrics captures the feeling of liberation that follows the post-breakup realization of knowing your ex never really deserved you.
Check out the new focus track and read our interview with Mike Ruby below!
Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind your new album, “You Wrote These Songs?“
The EP is about moving forwards, and getting rid of the skeletons in your closet. It starts with two songs about exes, “Close” and “Burn Again”, then transitions to “Don’t Want You Back (wtf)” which is about realizing that ex didn’t deserve you. The next song, “Unapologetic”, is about meeting someone new, who’s basically your polar opposite, and falling for them because you are starting to make that room in the closet, then “Not Your Fault” is about getting over something in your past that has been holding you back from taking it to the next level. Finally, “Story Never Ends” is about actually moving forwards with your life.
How do you think your community has contributed to your success?
You are what you eat. I’ve eaten all over the US and Canada. In other words, I’ve lived in Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles, and spent a lot of time in Nashville and Vancouver, so my community is pretty big, and each place I’ve lived has rubbed off on me. The people I’ve collaborated with, mostly from these cities, have had a big effect on me and my success.
What was the first thing that got you interested in music?
Truthfully the FIRST thing was the piano. When I was two or three I remember hearing my mom play piano sonatas on the grand piano and I used to think it was third worldly. I’d get transported into another world when listening … I was a day dreamer as a kid for sure. That’s what sparked my interest, and then from there I have way too many stories to get into for this interview, but hopefully someday we can talk about them.
Describe to our audience your music-making process.
I always try to keep things fresh. The one consistent thing I do is write my ideas and inspiration for songs down on my phone, whenever they come to me. It’s super important because if you don’t do this, you lose them. I’ll roll out of bed at 4 AM some nights just to get them down. As far as the music process, that intentionally changes every time. I find that if I fall into a habit, the creativity isn’t the same. Sometimes I’ll write on guitar, others piano. Sometimes with a production loop, sometimes just a beat. Switching it up is important.
What advice would you give other musicians?
If you’re a musician, I’d say keep your head down and perfect your craft. Listen as much as you can, get out and play as much as you can – basically immerse yourself in it. If you’re an artist – the most important thing is to do you. That’s what will come out real and how people will connect to your music.
The first release I was super nervous. First time I had put a song out there into the world as a singer/writer. I didn’t know if it would tank or if people would hear it! The day it was released, it went to radio, so I was shocked in the best way. Since the first release, I’ve been more excited than anything to put music out.
And finally, if you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?
Right now, Julia Michaels. She’s such an emotional and honest writer. Her music is also vulnerable af and that would have aligned perfectly with my debut EP, and I love her style and the way she writes.