Sarah Tracey‘s new video for her song, Camera, features the gorgeous, curvy blonde gallivanting about a hotel room in less than her mother’s ideal Saturday afternoon outfit with a sexy, hand-picked gentleman in tow. All fun and games, until she loses her camera.
Despite her scanty wardrobe in the debut video, Tracey expresses that her focus is on re-establishing the natural, curvy figure of most American-bred women as the image of femininity.
“I strongly believe that women with real bodies and real curves should be celebrated,” Tracey says. “I miss a little bit of that vintage femininity. I wanted to not shy away from that.”
Despite a bit of nervousness, Tracey has most definitely accomplished her goal with the release of her seductive, yet classy video for Camera.
“It was a little nerve-racking, but I’ve always been the kind of person who gets very excited about taking risks,” Tracey explains. “The song is about getting caught on camera wearing very little clothing and losing the camera and not knowing where it was going to end up. There was no other option. We had to go all the way with it.”
She attributes the success of the video in large part to the team of experts who worked with her throughout the process and guided her through a photo shoot with a similar theme.
“I’d done a photo shoot for promotional work on an album, and the concept of the shoot was 12 hours in my life in this mysterious hotel room,” Tracey recalls. “Doing the shoot helped me a lot in terms of the video because I kind of felt like I’d already been down that road.”
Tracey advises that when going into a situation of this sort, “it’s all about the people you’re working with.” She worked with the same stylist, makeup artist, and wardrobe designer on both projects, so they knew what she was comfortable with. She also knew the director personally and had faith that he wouldn’t push her too far.
The video for Camera is a visual incarnation of music Tracey has been writing for years and a step forward in putting images to her musical backdrop of the duality of people.
“I write about things I’ve experienced, like any songwriter does,” she notes. “I was born with this body and it’s informed my experiences and the way my life has evolved. The spy alter ego is a metaphor. I feel like everyone has a persona they show to the world, the life they live every day, and then a lot of people have a secret kind of hidden self that is a whole other life. This is just my cover identity.”
Her cover identity as a glamorous, powerful, seductive spy helped pull together the album that she describes as a “long lost James Bond soundtrack if Tom Waits and Jessica Rabbit collaborated on something like that.” Under this fun, creative cover, though, Tracey has a strong, passionate message and a lot to say.
“Every song on the album is definitely written from a feminine perspective, and female empowerment is very important to me,” she shares. “It’s about just being able to own your decisions and choices you’ve made in your life and feeling confident in your sexuality in a very non-explicit way.”
She notes that the album does deal with sexual identity to a certain degree in its focus on freedom and feeling control over individual destiny.
“Your sexuality and femininity doesn’t have to be a setback. It can be something you use to your advantage,” Tracey maintains. “I think that also people are shy and afraid to be who you really are and have that confidence. This album is very much about embracing who you are, showing your true self, whatever that might mean, and not apologizing for it.”
Though Tracey undeniably pours passion and dedication into her lyrics, she manages to save some devotion for the music as well and puts significant effort into creating just the right atmosphere for her art.
“Musically, I was inspired by vintage soundtracks, for the ambition there,” she admits. “My album also has a huge horn section and backup singers and a huge sound. It was all recorded live.”
She started off her New York performance career in a speak easy-style off-Broadway theatre run by her best friend and has retained the same sort of vibe throughout her music and performance. In early 2012, Tracey spent New Year’s Eve atop the Copacabana in Times Square celebrating the release of her first full album.
“It’s a legendary club,” she remembers. “Frank Sinatra played there and everyone from back in the day. It’s my favorite show to date. Everyone dressed to the nines and I got to wear a black velvet gown. It was awesome.”
Determined to follow the same retro, speak-easy vibe in all her appearances, Tracey admits that though she doesn’t perform as often as other artists, she is very particular about the venues in which she books shows.
“Speak-easy is a big thing when I’m booking,” she says. “I don’t play as often, but I also try to be more selective about the types of venues because I want it to be a whole experience.”
Tracey feels that her shows are geared toward special occasions and takes great care to ensure that her live performance is not only an exhibit of her musical talent, but also an experience her audience can remember as unique and enjoyable.
“The environment is such an important part of singing,” she maintains. ” It’s not just about the music. It’s about the environment, the people, the cocktails, the whole atmosphere. I want you to feel like you’re transported to another world.”
With performances at venues like The Box, a Lower East Side “jewelry box theatre and cabaret” discreetly placed behind a misleading sign and Sleep No More, the outrageously famous interactive music experience in the former McKittrick Hotel, Tracey’s shows have definitely become synonymous with classic, old-world partying from another decade. And a party is a party!