Jack Tracy has dropped the final part of his For You trilogy, and it’s his most raw and daring release yet. Recorded at Redbird Studios in New York City and mixed by Grammy nominated sound engineer Brent Kolatalo and Sam Palumbo at Dubway Studios, For You (Part 3) continues themes from the first two albums, released this summer and fall. This release features songs showcasing a wide slice of the LGBTQ perspective. Part 1 was bold and brassy, Part 2 was thematically heavy, tackling real life subjects like body image and the legitimacy of gay sex work. Part 3 brings it all together while slowing it down, and the package is full of bedroom jams that all stem from love. I sat down to chat with Jack about this latest release, crafting such relatable material, and why taking control of all aspects of your career is how icons are made.
Michael Cook: Your new single “Insatiable” is absolutely amazing; tell me about it
Jack Tracy: That is the last track on For You which was just released as a full LP. We sort of did the same strategy as the Body Talk album that Robyn did, where she did three EP’s in a row and the last one was the LP, and it had everything. The full album is out now and “Insatiable” is the last track. We did the video in a single day around my apartment, and we also went to a large green screen facility. That is where you see me dancing through the hook up apps. We filmed in about 4-5 hours and the final product was really a culmination in really advancing my music skills. I mixed the entire song myself & I think it is the best sounding song on the album. In terms of my video editing skills, it is the most sophisctiated, complicated and I think polished of them all. I am proud of all of them, but I think this one really takes the cake and it is nice to see constant improvement that I am continuing to do this over time.
MC: After doing work both in front of the camera and behind, what aspect of the creative process do you think you prefer?
JT: If I had to choose, it would definitely be in front of the camera. I am a performer, I’m an entertainer. My favorite is just to be able to be on stage. I am such a control freak and I am very decisive and I know what I want. I know the image, and I know what it needs to look like, and the quality it needs to be. It has taken me a long time to slowly outsource pieces of it to people that I trust to put in the same amount of care, effort, and expertise into it that I would. My Executive Producer that I now use for everything is one of those people. I was so lucky to come across him and he is now with me on every project that we do. We do all music videos together, we are working on a new movie together, we are working on some comedy skits together. Also, my Creative Director that did all of the costumes and makeup for all of the For You videos, I have now hired him as a full time manager. He is helping me coordinate, strategize and scale. Once I find those people I am happy offloading tasks, but you really have to prove that you are truly in it.
MC: As you said, “Insatiable” is part of a trilogy, and the music tells a story, both when listened to together and separately correct?
Absolutely. The album is called For You and it has triple purpose. First off, my first album Older was a couple years ago. It was reinventing the album of my youth, The sounds, and the way that it was constructed, that was very much for me. This album was meant to be a little more current and a little more audience focused than just reinventing my favorite songs. This album is for you, the general public. It’s also for the LGBT community as it does not shy away from sex, of love and not changing pronouns. I am taking universal concepts and putting them through the LGBTQ lens. For You, the LGBT community, this album is for you. The title song “For You”, is a ballad to the inner child.
MC: It truly sounds like crafting music is for you, a labor of love; is that fair to say?
JT: Doing all of this, putting all of the work in, making all of these things, the audience, as much as it is the LGBT community, is the little boy practicing Janet Jackson routines in the mirror and imagining that he could do this. My vision and my beleif is that the more specific you are, the more general you end up being. You never really know how much those things that you think are just you and just so special and so specific to your experience, are actually shared by a lot of people. The more specific you get, the more heartstrings you tug and the more people you touch. What you don’t realize is that there are so many more people who thought or felt the same way.
MC: Right now, who are you finding to be truly inspiring you as a performer and an artist that you really vibe with?
JT: It’s funny, the line in the sand of what is “current and not current” is probably still further back for me than some people. For example, I became a really big Lady Gaga fan late. I was not sure if her marketing and appeal to the LGBTQ community was genuine or if it was corporate marketing, and it took me a little while to trust it. Once I saw her HBO documentary several years ago, it became clear to me; she is the best. She came up in this culture and I respect her because she is someone who has a very clear idea of who she is, what she wants to say, the image she wants to have, and is on top of every element, from how the shows are designed, to the albums, to presentation. That sort of involvement from the artist in all aspects, that appeals to me. We see it with Lady Gaga, we saw it with Beyonce in Homecoming, with my icon Janet Jackson, and Madonna is that way. Those are the people that become icons, they don’t just show up and sing the songs that are written for them or that are placed in front of them. They are the people that are really managing a brand and a message. I don’t know if there is a lot of that right now. The people that I see rise to prominence are the people that I see that are plucked out of families of famous people, rich people with connections, or people plucked off of the internet or in a singing conception and handed a corporate crafted career strategy.
MC: Where does Jack Tracy see himself an artist in five years?
JT: I want to have sold a movie, I want to have had one of my series ideas picked up my a studio, and I would like to be able to support a tour with my music. I was supposed to have a big event as part of Pride, which is now up in the air so we will see how that goes. I feel like with my first two albums, I have a good sense of my sound and my message and my production. I feel like the road ahead is conquering Spotify playlists and touring music halls and really taking the show on the road.
For more info on Jack Tracy, check him out here