Gray Luvay is an independent pop singer-songwriter from the Seattle area
What was one of your first experiences with music that made you want become a creator instead of a listener?
Music has always been a passion of mine since I was a small child. I grew up listening to mostly 90’s and 2000’s hip hop, west coast hip hop, pop and alternative rock. Being from a Hispanic family, Mexican music has always been an influence to me. My love for creating started in second grade though. I went to a low income elementary school on the central coast of California. My school just got a piano that was falling apart; I don’t even think it was tuned correctly, but I would just play and play whenever I could. I would come up with improved melodies and then preform them for my teachers later on (I’m sure I hurt their ears playing for them but it meant so much to me).
My love for music took off and shortly after I started playing the clarinet with my schools band. Which only had about four other people playing instruments. Shortly after, I was introduced to this free community youth orchestra called Yosal that helped underprivileged youth to play an Instrument, read music and learn how to play and perform. They taught classical history and other genres of music and the history behind them. I picked up different instruments while I was there and grew an ear for music.
In late elementary and early middle school I would write poetry and popish raps in my notebooks. My grandma at the time had a piano at her house, I would go over there and write melodies to my poetry and lyrics and would come up with songs like that. A few years later I moved to Washington state in eighth grade and had to completely start my life over. I hated it but I always felt safe when I had my clarinet or piano with me. I played clarinet from eighth grade to my sophomore year and I think it was sophomore year that I really wanted to start taking my own song writing seriously.
Tell us about your song. What inspired you? Tell us about the theme of the music video. How do you hope listeners will receive your messages?
The song “Remidiez” is about leaving your bad self destructive cycles in the past. It’s about being a teen and having fun with your friends, but also having so much fun you loose sight of what really matters. It’s about wanting to leave that all behind to go after your dreams. I was inspired by my past, especially my early to mid-teen years. I wasn’t in the best place in life but it got to the point where I had enough and wanted to heal. I was shown a different path and I hope I can inspire someone to take that golden path too. In 2016 I went to my first big concert, it was a really spiritual experience for me. It inspired me a lot to where I wanted to stop what I was doing all together and go after what made me the happiest, which was music. It was a new beginning for me and I wanted to write a song about my past destructive ways to help me set my choice in stone.
How has Totem Star helped shape you as an individual and as an artist?
Totem Star has totally inspired and motivated me a lot. I just recently moved to the area and I heard about the program through a friend. I signed up and had no idea what to expect but I was in for a surprise. From the first day I stepped in I was welcomed by everyone. The mentors and students were so friendly and accepting towards me. The energy of the space pulled me in so much. Not to be cheesy, but it was like gut feeling that felt light and beautiful in some way. It felt like I was supposed to be a part of this. I’m so glad I stuck with my gut feeling because I have met so many talented, inspiring, uplifting, motivating, supportive people along this journey and it’s all thanks to Totem star. The mentors are just fantastic and uplifting and I really appreciate. Being a part of Totem Star has also helped me step out of my comfort zone and has pushed me to be more expressive with my music and individuality.
What advice would you give to other young artists?
Don’t stop creating. The world needs more color and creative sound. Don’t pay attention to other people’s progress, it will stop your focus. Write when you don’t have motivation, it will train you to be a better writer and creative. The only person that is stopping you in your work is you and your negative thoughts. Don’t doubt your vision because someone else might be needing to hear or see that vision.
Just be you with your music, don’t copy or try to be something that isn’t you because when you’re not living YOUR truth, you’re just following the herd and where’s the originality in that?