Canadian singer-songwriter/producer Chris Gray has released his new EP Together, but Barely, demonstrating his mastery of modern R&B and Pop, effortlessly weaving fragments of Rock, Hip Hop, and orchestral music into six intense and captivating tracks. It’s an innovative sound that Gray can proudly call his own and is highlighted by his unforgettable voice and signature falsetto.
Kicking off his newest release is “Seamless”, an emotionally charged and sensual track that has seen an enormous amount of success since its release as a single. Buoyed by the combination of a Hollywood-inspired music video directed by Gray, a performance of the track on Grammy.com, and viral TikTok’s that garnered more than 4.5 million views, the song ultimately propelled to over one million streams on Spotify.
Three songs on the EP focus on different aspects of uncertainty and insecurity. On “Collateral Damage”, featuring Benny Mayne, who is one of Gray’s musical influences, he takes a frank look at how individuals can self-sabotage relationships. On “No More,” Gray pleads for the truth as he’s poised between caring and indifference and needs to know whether to move on. On “I should be happy,” Gray explores why he is inexplicably unhappy when everything is going well.
Gray saves one of the EP’s most thrilling statements for last with “Dancing on the Edge,” a duet with Allegra Jordyn. Driven by a pulsing bassline, replete with an 80’s worthy synth solo, “Dancing On the Edge” is the moment of accepting the inevitable ending of a relationship and coming to terms with that. Gray offers, “There is an understandable sadness but also a moment of saving the last moments together.”
The video for the track, which he directed and edited, captures the irrefutable chemistry between Gray and Jordyn while at the same time evoking an aching poignancy.
Hi Chris, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’m good! Thanks for having me. It’s been nice to finally be able to get out to live music events recently. I’ve been seeing a lot of super inspirational shows. And it’s cool to finally meet a lot of the people I’ve only known online for the past 2 years.
Congratulations on the release of your new EP “Together, but Barely”. What can you tell us about it?
Thanks, it’s great to finally have it out and I’m really looking forward to playing these songs live! I originally wrote 30 tracks and then had to narrow it down to the 6 that are on the EP. I was producing for several other artists during that time and the diversity of all the different genres of music inspired me to be more creative with these songs. I’m really satisfied and proud of the final product.
You released several singles from the EP since last year. Of those songs, which is your favorite single and why?
It’s hard to choose but Seamless is probably my favorite single. I recorded a lot of live violin, which was a first for me, and I also recorded live drums and the guitar solo with Oscar Rangel, who was the live bassist for the iconic Canadian metal band Annihilator and current guitarist for symphonic metal band Operus. It was fun to experiment with more sounds on that song. Also, the way Seamless has resonated with people is still crazy to me. It was the first one of my singles to take off and pass a million streams on Spotify so I think it will always have a special place in my heart because of that.
The feature track from the EP, “Dancing on the Edge” is a beautiful duet with singer-songwriter Allegra Jordyn. What was the inspiration behind this song?
Dancing on the Edge was one of the last tracks written for the EP. Allegra and I wrote the song before we officially started dating. The idea took shape after we had a conversation about how our past relationships had ended, which ultimately inspired this song. I think writing the song closed that chapter of our lives individually and helped us start a new one together. Originally we had written it as a solo song for me but eventually realized it worked a lot better as a duet!
“Dancing on the Edge” is accompanied by a music video for the track. What can you tell us about the video? Any behind-the-scenes stories you can share?
The video went through a lot of different scripts and ideas before we landed on this. Originally we were planning to include Ballroom dancing in the video and even started taking lessons, but then we decided we wanted a more contemporary, casual dance. The night before the shoot there was a last-minute cancellation, so we had to scramble to reschedule everything but it ended up giving me time to make some last-minute changes that worked out great. We shot the whole video in 8 hours.
What role does Canada play in your music?
I’m super inspired by the Toronto Sound and the artists who are coming out of Canada. It’s great because as a producer I also get to work with so many artists directly such as 88Glam. Working with them was crazy given that I had been a fan of theirs for a while, and especially with how close they are with The Weeknd, who is one of my biggest inspirations.
What’s happening next in your world? Any live shows coming up?
Yes, I have one on May 3rd at the El Mocambo in Toronto that I am very excited about. I’ve been in rehearsals all week for this show and it’s gonna be amazing! I’m also busy producing, and writing more new music for my next release.