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We got the opportunity to sit down with Cray after her set at Contact Festival to talk about her career timeline, music, Twitch streaming, and more. Cray is an upcoming talent that everyone should have on their radar. She has played at HARD Summer, Electric Zoo, and opened for many talented artists.

 

 

RMR: Tell me a little about yourself, and introduce yourself to people who might not know you.

Cray: My name is Cray, my real name is Cheney Ray. I got it [stage name] because my parents called me Cray, C-ray, and they called me that since I was a kid. I make music, I play video games, I DJ and sing.

RMR: How did you get into making music?

Cray: I’ve always wanted to be in the scene and I’m from Vancouver. I worked in all these clubs and used to be a guest-list girl, and do hospitality. I started when I was young and loved the scene.

Then I went to college in California and considered being a manager or doing something related. My mom suggested understanding how to produce to be able to talk about it and I thought it was a good idea. So I started making rap beats and put it out for fun. Eventually, I realized that I could maybe make it work.

RMR: How would you describe your sound and how did you find it?

Cray: I think my sound is always changing. I used to make bass music, and now I make more indie-pop records. I think I’m evolving as I grow and my sound is too. So I don’t think my sound will ever stay one genre. It’ll grow with me as I grow.

RMR: You were a part of the Ninja music compilations, how did that go about?

Cray: It was getting created, and Astralwerks suggested my music since I was a musician and also twitch streamed. They thought I was the perfect fit so they hit me up, and I took them up on it. I was excited about it. It’s my two loves put into one.

RMR: How did you get into streaming on Twitch?

Cray: I’ve always been a gamer since I was a kid. When I started making music, I was making no money and I didn’t know what to do. I was always into twitch and it wasn’t cool then, but I decided to try streaming. I already had some music fans and audience, so I had a great start and being able to pay for my music stuff with the twitch money. It was basically a side hustle to make music work, and I did it full time for a year. I didn’t tour at all, and I just did twitch. I was able to live the dream; the ability to pay rent and do music.

RMR: What inspires the lyrics in your music? So honest and full of emotions.

Cray: Every lyric is about a true scenario. My life is pretty unique, and I’ve been through things that I want to share to the world. I don’t want it to seem like it’s manufactured or written by somebody else. I want it to be from me and a moment from my life. That’s why I started writing and singing my own music. I wanted to tell my own story.

RMR: You touched on your singing, and I was wondering if you had any training beforehand? Since you seem so comfortable using your voice.

Cray: Oh-my-gosh, I am not. When I DJ it’s different since the track is playing. Next year I want to transition into doing a live set and doing a full band scenario. I’m so nervous, it’s really nerve-wracking to sing because it’s so vulnerable. I’m wasn’t a born singer and just started singing last year. Although I’m getting better every day it’s still a struggle. When I DJ, I can hide behind my decks; but when you sing, you have to look at someone and interact with them.

RMR: What are the origins of your “oreo” hair [half brunette half blonde hairdo]?

Cray: Yea, I lost a bet actually. Fallout did a stream on their channel [with Bethesda]. They didn’t say what was going on, and I was like ‘If they put out a new game, I’ll dye my hair green.’ I truly didn’t think they were going to put out a Fallout game. Obviously, they did.

I was texting my manager, and my manager was like, “You’re not dying your hair green.” So I cheated and basically only dyed half. That way I didn’t have to ruin my entire head. I hated the green so much and I was sick of it after three weeks. They stripped the color out and it was left blonde, and I decided to leave it so I didn’t damage my hair with more dye. Then I loved it [the look], and kept it.

 

RMR: Do you have any tips for aspiring creatives/musicians you wish you had known?

Cray: I think it’s important to just keep going. I’m not going to tell someone to quit their job and follow their dreams, because everyone’s story is different. Start it as a side hustle and keep some savings. Don’t become a hobo just because of music. Do your dream and make music, but don’t run yourself into the ground. I did twitch as a side hustle to make music work. If I didn’t do that, I probably would’ve stopped and got a normal job. I applied to Target when I wasn’t making money. So keep going and keep learning. Put out content, put out music, and be consistent.

RMR: What’s upcoming for you that you’d like to share and plug to people reading this?

Cray: January’s all about new music. I want to put out a couple EPs, and that’s in the works. I want to do my first live show with my first band. January’s very much a new year for Cray and a vulnerable time for me. I’m excited to share it with the world.

Keep Up With Cray 

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