NAS 10 Questions with Emily Gray
This time, we get to know Emily Gray, an English singer/songwriter living in Catalonia, Spain. She has been writing and performing music for over 10 years, playing at various bars, pubs and festivals throughout this time. Emily has won two singing competitions, 'The Voice of Suffolk' in 2019, and 'The Honest Vocal Coach Online Singing Competition' in 2021.
The track "Depths" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:
1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
I was born in the UK. I moved around a lot when I was young, but eventually settled for a bit in a s
mall village in Norfolk when I was a teenager- I went to university in Ipswich, and found a real home for the first time there. Now, I'm living in Catalonia, Spain! It's beautiful, but unfortunately the music scene here is virtually non-existent, because of that, I'm focussing on writing, recording and building an online fanbase and community.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
For as long as I can remember, I've been drawn to writing and singing. I picked up a guitar for the first time when I was around 10... I never looked back. I've been writing and playing music ever since. It's always been a way for me to express myself and regulate my emotions; it's how I understand the world.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
I have a variety of influences so it's pretty hard to choose just 3 but I'll give it a go- Freddy Mercury, for sure. I love how unapolagetically himself he always was, and obviously his voice was arguably the best voice to have ever existed (and Bohemian Rhapsody will alw
ays be the best song ever written!) Passenger has always been a massive inspiration to me. I love that it's just him, a guitar, and the stories that he tells through his music. I never get tired of listening to him. And finally, although it's pretty far from the genre of my music, my favourite band Enter Shikari have always been and will always be a major inspiration! I grew up listening to their music, I love how they've matured but kept the essence of their music... it's all about solidarity, politics and making the world a better place. What's not to love?
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
Honestly I'd love for it to be a full-time job. That's the main goal, anything else is a bonus. Obviously it would be absolutely amazing if I could make a career out of writing and playing shows, even better if I could build a fanbase big enough to support that. It's always been a dream of mine to play a large venue and hear the crowd singing my lyrics back to me...
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
Maybe this sounds a little cliche but a lot of the time the songs just kind of fall out of me. It's almost like I need to do it in order to process my experiences and emotions. I tend to go lyrics first, I add the music after using my guitar. If I like what happens, I turn it into a full song! For a year or so now, I've been writing a little something every day. Sometimes it's a poem, sometimes it's a random scribble, but occasionally a decent song comes out. It's a helpful practice because it helps me tap into that creative energy when I need to.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
This is such a big question! Well, as I've already said, I think 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is objectively the best song ever written. But my personal favourite... At the moment it's probably Money Game by Ren. He's one of my favourite contemporary musicians, just amazing!
7. What is the best advice or council you have either given or received in terms of music?
I think to not compare yourself to all the other musicians and artists out there. We're all unique and brilliant in very different ways, we all have specific strengths and weaknesses, and we all want to better ourselves. We're not in competition with eachother, we are a community, a support network. We can work together, not against each other.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Honestly, the fact that, somehow I've won two different singing competitions. 'The Voice of Suffolk' in 2019 and 'The Honest Vocal Coach Singing Competition' in 2021. I still have no idea how I managed to win either of them... but logic says there must be some talent involved somewhere maybe? Or just a unique ability to make people think that I'm talented...
9. What is something about you that might surprise someone who knows you the best?
This is a tough question. No one really knows me that well to be honest, these days I keep myself to myself- it's tough with a language barrier although I'm trying! I think just all the things I have to do every day to keep me sane... My daily routine consists of practicing Spanish, Catalan and French, responding to social media messages, doing weights/yoga, meditating, writing down everything I need to do for the day... doing all those things. It's only surprising to anyone who maybe knew me when I was younger, I was awful at life. I literally didn't wake up until 4pm most days. So for me, the fact that somehow I've managed to develop all these healthy habits is surprising.
𝟭0. Tell us about your highest and lowest points in music so far.
My highest points would be the singing competitions (as I've already said), playing Bardfest with The Feeling and Scouting For Girls was pretty amazing. Every gig I've ever done is always a high point, and looking back at how far I've come always makes me feel pretty good. In terms of low points, I get discouraged a lot because of social media. Honestly I'd prefer not to do it, but I know that I have to in order to build a fanbase. It's just very taxing on my mental health.
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