Written by Kevin Bessey
Chief Music Writer
Zack Gray is an amazing live musician.
In my opinion, among the non-headlining acts at Life Is Beautiful he has the best chance at making it big.
Born in Roseville, CA, Zack moved to Las Vegas, NV. He writes, produces, mixes, and masters his own music. He has opened for big bands including Imagine Dragons, The Neighbourhood, Capitol Cities, Dashboard Confessional, and BROODS.
He’s humble and likable and he has this great edgy growl to his voice. It contrasts so well with the electronic minus tracks used. It’s such a strange sensation to hear someone with a stadium sound playing at small bars.
I sat down with Zack Gray before his bar set at the festival to talk about his music and life.
Q: How would you describe your musical style?
A: I think if I had to put it in a couple of categories, I’d say it’s alternative, pop, R&B with some electronic elements. So, I guess it’s alternative pop.
Q: If you could choose one person to collaborate with who would you choose?
A: I’ll choose two. I don’t know how it would work out, but I’d love to work with Thom Yorke from Radiohead. They’re one of my favorite bands of all time. And, so much of the alternative feel and vibe that I’ve always loved comes from that band. And, recently I’ve been trying to work with Sabrina Claudio. I just signed a record deal with Lucky Hound Music. And, I’d love for her to sing on a duet that I wrote with another friend of mine.
Q: If you could put any message on a billboard and it could go anywhere in the world. What would you put on the billboard and where would it go?
A: The first words that come to my head are be grateful. I’d put it in time square on top of some big building where everyone can see it.
Q: That’s a great message.
A: It’s the simplest thing. Especially living in America, we’re distracted by so much stuff and we’re always thinking about what we don’t have. When, in reality we have so much. My biggest lessons in life and music have been patience and gratitude to be where I am in my journey.
Q: Talking about that journey, what would you say is the biggest struggle in being an up and coming musician?
A: Sometimes I struggle with thinking, “Damn, I’m not where I should be.” But, I only feel that way when I compare myself to others. When I see a kid who is nineteen and blowing up I think, “Wow, I’m so much older and I haven’t blown up.” But, at the end of the day it’s about patience and enjoying my own journey.
Q: That’s a good point man.
A: Yeah, and everyone does it. But, we shouldn’t. We should just care about doing what we love and being the best version of ourselves. I love that speech by Matthew McConaughey when he talks about chasing his future self. I always want to chase the person I am in ten years. And, ten years from now I’ll want to be like me in another ten years.
Q: Well, thank you so much for the interview.
A: Thank you!
Give his newest single a listen!
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Check out Zack’s Official Website, his Spotify, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube Channel, and BandCamp.
Photo credit: Nicola Tolin