Behind The Scenes – Aaron K Gray talks about his new album ‘A Journey Into House’
Gifted New York based Soul and Gospel house singer songwriter Aaron K Gray, who has been turning heads on the soulful scene with his distinctive voice, reveals his brilliant 2nd artist album, ‘A Journey into House’. Ihouseu go behind the scenes to find out more about this special album…
Tell us about your musical roots and what inspired you to start writing songs?
So musically I would say that I’m rooted in Gospel, my parents were both Pastors, so being a Pastor’s kid kept me around a lot of Gospel music that help mould how I interpret music. Honestly, I’m not really sure how I got into writing music, I wasn’t very big on being a writer when I was younger, but like my mom says, “some gifts in us are yet to be revealed”.
You’ve just released your 2nd artist album ‘A Journey Into House’ on Dj Spen’s Quantize label, what inspired the music direction for the album and the move away from the R&B sound of your first album?
I’ve always had a love for house music, I just didn’t think that I would be able to get into house music as a serious profession. But I just didn’t have anyone in my life at that time that was really connected to it, so the actual journey itself that I am on is what has inspired the music in the direction and how everything is coming along. So the music that you’re hearing is a true inspiration behind its own creation and for that reason the name of the album that was chosen. On my first album I was never really interested in creating an R&B album, but I was interested in helping a friend of mine who was looking to start his own label and he needed somebody with a voice, so I said I’d help him by creating an album and hopefully that would help him out, but everything after that had to be gospel or inspirational.
And where do you see your sound moving forwards in the future?
I plan on moving into a more refined area of house in terms of how I deliver my vocals, as well as opening up to more than soulful house As you see in the album, we have Afro house on there and music that kind of pushes the envelope, rather than just straight up house, so I do want to sing more styles of house.
What are your songs about?
The songs on this album are about love, inspiration, connection to God, motivation, conquering things in one’s life, or letting go of things that don’t do you any good.
You haven worked with a lot of different producers across the album, as a singer /songwriter what were the benefits of working so many rather than with just one?
The benefit is that each producer has their own style and their own point of view. They have their own take on everything that you present to them, so even if I brought the same song to different producers they’re all going to give me something different and it’s beautiful thing to be able to appreciate each producer and learn from each one.
The album features several tracks produced by Junior White, including the brilliant Gospel House song ’Jesus’, how did you first link up with him?
So first before I answer that question, I would like to say a big shout out to Junior White and thank you so much for everything that you have done and are still doing to make me a better individual, which goes beyond just me being an artist. Junior White found me performing in a chapel and he introduced me to both Noelle Barbera and Tony Humphries, which resulted in the creation of ‘Wonder Why’, my first track released on Tony Records produced by Junior White, so that’s how I got started with house music. Junior and I still to this day have a very healthy friendship and I thank God for him constantly.
Please talk us through a couple of your favourite songs from the album
So it’s very difficult to find favorite songs on this album for me because I appreciate all of them for every angle that they bring. If you ask me now I might say ‘All I Need’ and I Got A Feeling’, but next week I might say to you ‘Continue’ and ‘Rejoice’, or the week after could be ‘Wonder why’ and’ Jesus’, so it really just depends on the mood that I’m in because truthfully all songs on the album would be considered favorites for me.
There are 17 tracks on the album, how long did it take to complete the whole package and are you happy with the results?
It took approximately 2 years and I am very happy with the results as it is a beautiful album that was put together seamlessly.
Which was the hardest track to make and what has been your biggest learning curve throughout the whole project?
I would have to say ‘All I Need’ was the toughest song to create on the entire album, but I had to write it because it really comes from a very true and personal page out of my life. It took me some time to even be able to sing it without getting all choked up, so that was definitely the toughest song to do.
What’s your studio set up like?
I don’t have a studio set up per say, I work with various studios and producers. Some producers have their own studio connections, some don’t, but if they don’t then I always recommend to work at DJ Gomi’s lair because it’s a very comfortable working environment for me and you are guaranteed to get some top notch sound.
What’s your Achilles Heel when it comes to writing?
I’ve not found an Achilles Heel yet, so I’m prone to think that I might not have one.. I hope I don’t have one.
Who would you most like to do a duet with?
I would absolutely love to do a track with Noble More, so remember this interview as hopefully one day I’ll get to a place where it would be possible for us to work together.
What else are you working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
Well, we are working on a possibility of re releasing ‘Hallelujah’ all remastered and resung and I also have a track that I am recording with a Brian Pope and some other really awesome producers that we’re connecting with on Date Night Music too.
What do you like to do to chill out when you’re not making music?
So I’m pretty hands on, I like to build stuff, repair stuff, also love cooking those kinds of things, and I have a dog so I’m always running around with him.
‘A Journey Into House’ Album is out now on Quantize Recordings.