Christon Gray Talks To GOSPELflava
Columbus, Ohio based writer, singer, rapper, and producer Christon Gray shared a moment with GOSPELflava to talk about the release of his second solo project The Glory Album, the success of WLAK and joining the Fo Yo Soul family. Here’s what he had to say:
GOSPELflava: Hey Christon, it seems that this new album is causing a bit of a buzz. How would you define this project?
Christon Gray: Well, I’m not ashamed to say I think the album is good. It’s an album that doesnt just fit in one category. The record dropped on Friday,March 11th and since then, I’m hearing all sorts of positive feedback, people are overwhelming me with how much they love the album, it was sitting at the top of the R & B/Soul charts on iTunes for the first 3 days of its release and number 10 overall as well as charting on the Christian and Gospel charts , so its been encouraging to see that. The concept of the album is Chris continuing his story from School of Roses and also just trying to find my place in God’s glory and the glory He has to reveal in me, so that journey from glory to glory is what you hear in the album.
GOSPELflava: This album brings you into the Fo Yo Soul family and gives you an opportunity to work with Kirk Franklin. What’s that like?
Christon Gray: Working with Kirk Franklin has been nothing short of AMAZING.Its Kirk Franklin, you know, he is like a historical name in music history not only in gospel, and this is that guy that has wowed so many people with songs like stomp and even did a cover of Maurice White’s and Earth Wind and Fire’s September which really was emotional to see in light of Maurice’s passing in February; all the way up to what he is doing right now with the songs that he is doing on his new album and even his work with Kanye (West). I am a part of that story now , I’m a part of Kirk’s story in a lot of ways. We have developed a very close relationship as friends, and he has told me multiple times that he is trying to live through me and I am more than glad to continue his work.
GOSPELflava: We can’t have a conversation with Christon Gray and not talk about the phenomenal masterpiece that was We Live As Kings (WLAK).
Christon Gray: YES! WLAK was just a great compilation exercise (laughing), 4 artists ( Swoope, myself, Dre Murray, and Alex Faith)that live in four totally different parts of the country coming together with a shared vision to do something different in Christian music. We all come from different backgrounds, it was a good eclectic blend of styles and we all were somehow able to make it work under God’s grace. You know we recorded that entire album without ever being in the studio together, ever, not once! I think maybe we initially made one particular meeting in Akron Ohio; we didn’t even use what we wrote, so the entire album was recorded and created apart from each other. Shout out to the new age of music. I think that the album has some shared success as a result of some hard work and obviously again just because of Gods grace on the project. It was really cool to hear myself and my homey Swoope on the American Idol commercial that ran during the Super Bowl, people just seem to really love the music and it got a lot of acclaim. I would really love to do another one with those guys in the near future.
GOSPELflava: Since you wrote most of the music for the Glory Album, can you identify one song that sticks out in particular as your favorite?
Christon Gray: There’s a song that sits on the second half of the album called My Love is Real, its very much the Spring/Summer track of the album and it has an “ode to 80s MJ”, you know, kinda “off the wall” flavor. I’m singing to my lady and just really telling her how much I am looking forward to proving to her that what I said in my vows is real and I think people in general just need to hear that because it’s a decision we have to make in marriage to really prove our love. I’m really hoping that record resonates in our culture and society as well as helps my marriage out, you know, get me some brownie points out here in these streets.
GOSPELflava: In closing, if there was some advice you could give to up and coming artists, what would that be?
Christon Gray: I would say be patient. There is a lot to learn. It took me 15 going on 16 years to even have an album released on a major label. One thing for sure is this, you can’t predict the journey, you have to believe in what you do. You have to be patient and stay grounded and really never let it get to your head, EVER.