Behind The Song: Tracy by Jump The Underground

today14 March 2024 35

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Painting of Newport music history

Who is Tracy?

I was curious to know who Tracy is in this song by Jump The Underground. I asked the lyricist, Antony Smith and this is what he told me.

Tracy is a song about a young naive student who went to art school, His background and knowledge of art was purely based on his love for graffiti and he was active in the graffiti scene in Southampton, prior to going to art school.


In art school, he was dumbfounded. He had thought art was for everybody but he began to learn about elitism in the art world. He understood nothing about the art world he was getting into and felt the realist form of art was graffiti and street art because it had no boundaries. It existed only as the purest form of expression, simply because of one’s need and want to do it.

Then, he was refused entry to the Tate Gallery because he didn’t have the entry fee to go in and view the Turner Prize or whatever it was he was there to see. This confirmed his opinions about elitism in art.

So the song is written from a naive point of view of a young artist who has yet to come to understand the art world: a world very different from the one he has known.

The song references Tracy Emin’s The Bed and Damian Hirst’s Skull of Diamonds.

“I ain’t seen the skull of diamonds, I’ve been painting walls with Tyrants”

The song is about the meeting of two different art worlds from the mind of a young naive graffiti artist.


Anthony’s mural shown below is in the artists’ dressing room at The Corn Exchange music venue.

Antony’s street art can be seen around Newport. Why not look out for his work, next time you are out and about?

Written by: Kym Frederick

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