Ray Chew is the musical director and producer of such cultural icons as Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and special TV events like the Emmys and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, so even if you don’t know his name right away, you’re probably familiar with his work.
The 46th annual Macy’s July 4th fireworks display, which airs on NBC Monday night, was Chew’s next big project, which he discussed with host Janine Rubenstein on Friday’s episode of the PEOPLE Everyday podcast.
New Yorker Chew is equally thrilled to be working on a project that brings back so many wonderful childhood memories him.
I remember always walking down to the East River and just watching in awe how this magnificent thing would happen and all these incredible fireworks,” he recalled.
In order to “come on and curate a fantastic musical trip that would speak about my experiences with the Fourth of July fireworks,” according to Chew, NBC requested him to do so.
Chew saw this as an opportunity to design an encounter that captures the diversity, inclusivity, and eclecticism of New York City: “I had in mind individuals familiar with or from New York. Everyone in the world will be represented in that train car if you take a train to Midtown at rush hour, and everyone in the world if you freeze-frame it.”
Chew uses music as his language, and he will convey this concept to the audience using music. “I intended for that to be uttered musically. I made the decision to have the score reflect my journey through various countries and genres.”
Having worked on American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, Chew is accustomed to a wide variety of musical genres, all of which he intends to integrate into what he jokingly refers to as a “fantastic stew.”