Within listening to the first few seconds of one of Gray Hardee’s songs, you immediately are moved to a different mindset. He raps over a wide range of beats, with each rap providing its own unique feel. No matter who you are, Gray Hardee has a song that you can relate to. He raps about everything from relationships, to partying, to being yourself and just living your life. As he says in his song “Sticks&Stones,” “…cause people gonna hate on how you look and how you walk, so let’s go and give them something else to talk about,” and this is the case with his music-it is definitely something to talk about it.
Hometown? Portsmouth, Virginia
How long have you been making music? Probably 7 years. I’ve played guitar since I was 9 or 10 but I didn’t start writing until I was probably 13 or 14.
What made you decide to start making music? My best friend who lived across the street had an older sister who always played hip-hop music for us, and so we wanted to start rapping. We found beats off of YouTube and used verses we found and rapped them, but then we realized we didn’t like them and that we should write our own.
Where do you get your inspiration? Everyday situations and experiences. It totally depends on what’s going on in my life at the time. If I’m in a bad mood, I’ll probably make something slower and more meaningful, but if I’m in a good mood, I’ll probably write an upbeat, “turn-up” song. The songs that mean the most to me are the ones that I write when life isn’t going as well as I would like it to be going. If something’s not going how I want it to, I write about it. When you break it down into a story or something that directly happened to you, I feel like that’s where people can really relate to it. My inspiration comes from all around and the people who I have in my life at the time.
How do you record your music? I use Garage Band on my laptop, my headphones, and a microphone with a sock on top of it. It’s taken years of trial and error to get it right.
How many songs have you written? I don’t even know anymore. If I had to guess it would be around 500.
How do you promote your music? Social networking is really where I promote the most- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. And I have my music on sites like ReverbNation, YouTube, Soundcloud, and Hot New Hip Hop. I’ve made mix tapes and handed them out, but it’s a work in progress.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far with your music? Doing shows and getting paid. It’s really cool because I’m getting paid to do something I love to do. What’s the most satisfying is doing a show where people sing along to the words because that shows they’ve listened to the music before and enjoyed it. It’s so surreal.
Where do you see yourself in five years? When I was 19 I envisioned my life five years from then and I saw myself being able to do a show at Ultra Music Festival, so now I have three years to do that. Hopefully by the time I’m 26 I’ll have a solid fan base that recognizes me and appreciates the music I put out. In my high school, people never chased any dreams. People would sacrifice their own happiness to fit in, but I’ll just fit in where I get in. I’d never sacrifice my happiness for society. I’d much rather live my life as a happy person than sitting in a cubicle making money and hating my life everyday.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you? I surf. I love the beach more than anything. I love diving and fishing too.
Anything you’d like to add? Listen to my music.
Check out Gray’s music on the following sites: