CRAY is an artist of many talents with a fan base encompassing multiple mediums. She games, DJs, and has a vast collection of horror memorabilia. In the midst of her blooming career, she was diagnosed with autism in her late twenties. CRAY (a childhood nickname, short for Cheney Ray) shares her vibrant personality, music industry experiences, and highs and lows with autism as a way to connect with her fans. A big part of making that connection is ensuring that her fans know that her corner of the internet is a safe space full of music, love, and acceptance.

Gaining Momentum

The Vancouver native began her entertainment career by live streaming video games on Twitch. In 2015, she was a twenty-something living in Southern California, attending university with intentions of becoming a talent manager. CRAY learned the ins and outs of producing music. Soon enough, she was playing live sets of her own songs to her Twitch audience. Her music does not color inside the lines of just one genre; CRAY creates dance music, indie pop, and alternative beats. 

The following year CRAY performed as an opener for DJ Anna Lunoe’s tour. She gained the physical and emotional momentum she needed to throw herself fully into her music career. CRAY toured internationally with Skrillex in Japan. She also headlined her own tour in Australia and has played at major festivals including HARD Summer and Electric Zoo. Her newest release is a track with boyfriend Kayzo titled “Love Me Hate Me.”

CRAY Uses Her Music As A Tool To Raise Awareness About Autism

CRAY on stage | Image sourced from Instagram (@CRAY)

Searching for Answers

Fast forward about five years, CRAY’s career is thriving. Yet, she is seeking answers. Answers not found in her childhood diagnosis of ADHD and an audio processing disorder. As a kid, CRAY was often pulled out of classes for testing and special education classes as she struggled in ways other children did not. It wasn’t until recently that autism was understood to be as common in females as it is in males.

CRAY mastered the art of masking, a term used to describe neurodivergent people putting on behaviors to blend in more with neurotypical society. Though the idea of going back to testing as an adult was triggering, CRAY “felt the biggest relief in the world” upon receiving her diagnosis because it answered why certain things in life were more difficult or triggering for her. CRAY states she is so proud of herself and her autism, which she views as a gift as it makes her who she is. 

CRAY Uses Her Music As A Tool To Raise Awareness About Autism

Photo sourced from Instagram (@CRAY)

Creating a Safe Space in Music

Using her social media platforms, CRAY has created a community to help others, like her younger self, feel less alone. The autism highlight on her Instagram begins with CRAY sharing her diagnosis with fans and offering to go over it more in depth and answer any questions on a Twitch live stream. She is appreciative of her fans staying by her side and helping her make a virtual safe space full of acceptance and positivity.

When asked about her auditory sensitivities while working in the music industry, CRAY listed a few things she’s always done that help her. She approaches producing in a particular way such as the booth monitors being really low and tracking the vocals differently. As well as wearing earplugs all the time at live shows. CRAY never hesitates to call out bullies and haters, especially those that say she does not “seem” autistic, reminding viewers that masking takes a lot of energy and that social media is a small percent of real life. Her song “Mean Girls” calls out the bullies and the music video pays homage to the early 2000s film of the same name. 

CRAY “Mean Girls” Music Video

CRAY stated that she will continue to share her experience with autism until the stigmas stop. She will continue to connect with fans through love of music, live streams, and community to ensure others feel like they are not alone.

To learn more about autism head to autismspeaks.org

More Music Content

RAPPER WEED: WHICH RAPPERS HAVE CANNABIS PRODUCTS IN THE MARKET?
5 BEST TIKTOK MUSIC TRENDS OF 2022 AND WHY THEY’RE POPULAR
10 UNDERRATED FEMALE RAPPERS YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO RIGHT NOW
9 RAPPERS FROM DETROIT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS YEAR
R&B FESTIVALS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS IN 2022
Crafting Engaging Music Ads: Learn From RMR Founder Mitch Pfeifer

FOR MORE MUSIC NEWS, FOLLOW RESPECT MY REGION ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER

TO HAVE A STORY FEATURED OR YOUR BRAND OR PRODUCTS REVIEWED, PLEASE EMAIL US.