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Daily Inspiration: Meet Ruby Greenberg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruby Greenberg.

Hi Ruby, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a singer and songwriter based in New York. I was born and raised in Colorado and spent my childhood learning various instruments and performing locally. I eventually moved to NYC for college to attend jazz school – I studied music for four years at The New School and after graduating continued to perform in New York. I eventually started writing my own music which is inspired by the likes of Brandi Carlile, Joni Mitchell, and Norah Jones. I’ve toured throughout the U.S. as a sidewoman and with my own band and performed as a solo act on tour in The Philippines opening for R&B duo Tropic. In addition to performing, I’ve spent the last few years recording my newest original songs, which are available on all streaming services. The most recent single was released on April 29, a brand track called “Roses” available on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, all anywhere you stream or purchase your music.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
One of the challenges of being a musician is getting the music in front of other people-playing live shows! The importance and excitement of performances may seem obvious, but booking shows is a lot of work. I wanted to play as many gigs as possible, but early on I didn’t know how to identify which shows were good for me. Modern musicians are expected to wear many hats. We’re singers and writers, but we also have to be our own content producers, website designers, and social media managers. We build release strategies and book tours. Although this gives the artist autonomy, it’s also a lot of responsibility. I learned to navigate concert bookings only with a lot of practice. I learned how to book shows that we’re a good fit for my sound at venues that had their own crowds, or promoted the shows if they didn’t. This is an ongoing work in progress for musicians, but it’s a muscle that I’m building! Singing for an audience is where I’m in my happy place. It feels so natural and peaceful for me to be onstage. I love connecting with someone and feeling their response when I sing. Learning the business is necessary to make those musical moments happen, so it’s challenging but also empowering to figure it out, especially as a female songwriter.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a singer, songwriter, and performer. I perform acoustic indie folk music-very lyric-heavy, storytelling original songs. I typically perform with my band or play solo, and my original music is written on piano and acoustic guitar with stacks of heavy vocal harmonies and choral arrangements. I take inspiration from artists like Brandi Carlile, I’m With Her, and Lucius.

Since first learning to songwriter, my songs have developed a voice. I’m proud of the fact that my authentic sound has come through. My writing is probably influenced by the years I spent performing covers and learning jazz at university. I spent years listening to records on repeat that were pretty different from one another – Ella Fitzgerald duo ballad albums, Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark, Tapestry by Carole King. But after all that time of studying the great female songwriters, I started to write by just naturally letting my songs come out. I didn’t try to steer it much into one genre or another, I just started writing and waited to see what happened. The songs that emerged were folk, acoustic progressive singer-songwriter music, sometimes with weird harmony or melodic turns that jump out from time to time. I love songwriting because it’s a person’s unique voice telling a story for us to hear instead of reading.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I was very lucky to have some amazing music teachers as I was growing up. I took voice, piano, clarinet, guitar, and any lessons that I could. It’s such a privilege to have teachers to nurture musical inclinations at a young age and to encourage those interests. My music teachers in high school not only taught me music but gave me incredible performance opportunities. Traveling to competitions and music festivals in New York, California, and Tennessee to perform as a teenager were really important experiences because I started realizing I was obsessed with performing.

Now that I’m an adult, I have an amazing vocal teacher. She’s a true vocal coach, so we work a lot on technique and vocal health. Staying healthy and keeping your voice in good shape is really important for when you’re playing a lot of shows or when you have recording sessions that can’t be moved. When I started college, my voice took a turn for the worse. There were several months where I lost my voice completely. I was totally hoarse, couldn’t take any auditions, and couldn’t even speak up in classes because the Laryngitis was so bad from misuse. Once I got my voice back, I could sing again but my sound was damaged. My voice coach in New York, Kate Baker, completely healed it and brought it a new sound that I’d never had before. She also believed in me and was a mentor who supported my writing and goals. I’ll always be grateful that I knew her during those years.

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Image Credits
Jo-B Sebastian

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