Tell us everything will need to know about you.
My name is Gray Whitney, I go by graymattr, and music is my favorite thing. I have been playing drums since the age of ten, and piano since I was nine. I like to exercise, play my drum set, and am constantly looking for ways to get better and become more knowledgeable in everything that I do.
State your favorite genre of music and your reason.
I grew up on classic/alternative rock (from my mom), and punk rock (from my dad), but when I heard Noisia and Feed Me at the age of fourteen, I knew I was hooked. I’m 22 now, and to this day I still can’t get enough of the raw energy that a lot of EDM provides. With that said, I love it all – funk, hip-hop, metal, jazz, rock; but dance music reigns king for me.
Tell us your experience as a musician.
I have been in lots of honor bands, jazz bands, and concert bands. I was the center snare for my high school’s marching band both years we won state, and have made it to the final rounds of drum corps auditions with the Blue Knights. I taught jazz and percussion at Milliken Middle School in Colorado for two years, and play drum set almost every day. I’ve been producing music on Ableton Live for the past two years, and do all of my own mixes and masters.
Tell us the production of your composition.
The production of my composition involved Ableton Live as well as multiple different vst’s, such as Serum and Massive. I use iZotope and Waves plugins to mix and master my track, with a T-racks stealth limiter at the end of my master chain. This particular track came together over the course of about three days.
Name the people behind your success and thank them on this platform.
I wouldn’t consider myself successful in music just yet, because it isn’t my career. However, for all the progress I’ve made I’d credit my parents for their endless support and encouragement, my best friend Josh for being there with me every step of the way and sharing the same lifestyle vision, and to my band director Dan Berard, who showed me that music is an infinite form of self-expression.
Tell us about your future goals.
Producing music has quickly become a passion of mine, and I am very determined to make it my career. I am very motivated in almost every aspect of my life and tend to always be hungry to get bigger, better, faster, stronger, smarter, etc. A milestone for me would be to headline a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. Shit, opening for an act there would be a dream come true. Red Rocks is my “home venue”, and I have been to more than 25 shows there.
Go into detail about your opinion on religion and politics.
Haha! I mean, I pray when I go to bed sometimes, and I am very thankful for all the things I have in my life, but I am very open-minded when it comes to what I think the “answer” might be. Above all, I believe in acceptance and trying to see things from other people’s perspectives. I think that (and again, nobody knows, I could be way off base here) there is certainly something greater than what we are experiencing here on Earth, and I try to live my life every day leading by example and giving off an energy of love and compassion.
As far as politics go…… I think everyone deserves to work hard for their dreams. Eat dirt, make sacrifices, make mistakes, grind hard every day, fall off the horse, get back on the horse… Life isn’t easy for those chasing success in the limelight, and if I “make it” in music I will have come from the absolute bottom; working four jobs, with no money, and no path laid out for me.
Elaborate on how you think your music is inspiring your fans.
My productions range from ODESZA to Zeds Dead-type vibes, so I think they are in for a surprise with every track I release. I am extremely inspired by Sonny Moore, who makes incredible tracks across such a broad spectrum of EDM sub-genres, and that is the avenue that I find myself pursuing. I’ve been playing drums my whole life, and because of that, I think “my sound” is more rhythm-based as opposed to a specific arsenal of synths or samples. I write tracks at different BPM’s, in different keys, and with an open mind. I just want to be great, and I think my fans can see that I am dedicated to making each song as fresh as I possibly can. Also, I am starting a weekly mix called “Tracks That Smack”. It will be a 30-minute mix of songs I love, that should inspire my fans because I’m helping them gain access to great new music.
Explain the changes you have observed so far in the music industry.
I think Soundcloud, YouTube, etc. puts everyone on a somewhat even playing field, which is a big change from before either of those existed… Big record labels can no longer run laps around the little guys. With today’s accessibility to music, a bedroom producer can turn into a sensation. With that said, it still takes an immense amount of work and marketing to get to a level where you can survive in this industry. Very few people post their music with little to no marketing and have it blow up to 10m plays overnight. The opportunity and tools are all there for up-and-coming musicians, but it remains a game of who-wants-it-the-most.
State the artists you cherish most and your reason.
GRiZ, 20syl, Bassnectar, and Skrillex. There are SO many honorable mentions, but too many lists. Those four guys have helped me see life through such a positive lens and feel inspired in a way that words can’t describe. Their music has changed me for the better, and I am so grateful for all the work they have done.
Give us the links to your social network and stores.
Boom. A follow on Soundcloud is the biggest support you can give. <3
Tell us if you enjoy collaborating with other artists or just singing as a solo artist.
Well, I’m not a very good singer, and I love working with other people, so yes! I certainly enjoy collaborations and am always open to doing a track together.
Brief us your opinion on making music that makes people dance or making the kind of music with a genuine message that inspires them.
I think high-energy music is key to a live setting. I love to feel full of energy, and I think a lot of other people do too. This type of dance music is great for getting pumped for the gym or having a blast with friends at a show, in the car, at a party, etc. There are lots of times when high-energy EDM is applicable, and I think this kind of music is what most kids my age like to dance to. Connecting to music with a genuine message I would say tends to be more low-key and, at least for me, in an environment where I am by myself or with one/two other people. Of course, there are exceptions, and at the end of a day, a tight melody with great production and unique rhythm placement is always a good time.
Tell us what you know about copyright.
Well, I took a class about it in my VERY extensive college career (thick sarcasm), so actually a decent amount. My whole first album is all copyrighted, and the four singles I’ve released since then are “poor mans copyrighted”, pending legitimate copyrights. COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK.
Discuss the impact of a Performing Rights Organization.
BMI and ASCAP are imperative in ensuring artists receive the royalties they’ve earned. Every artist should belong to one of these groups because they keep tabs on where your music is being played and how much money you will receive.
Elaborate on how you develop your melody and instrumentation.
Actually, because I have such a strong rhythmical background, typically note placement and patterns come before the actual melody and instrumentation. From there I grab Serum, Massive, or Sylenth, and we’re on our way. Writing melodies is certainly a strong suit for me, and it usually takes just a handful of minutes to build a solid foundation of where I want the track to go melodically. That is, once I’ve crafted a sound that I want to use as a foundation for the rest of my work. THAT part can take hours. Finding and crafting the sound that the whole song revolves around. Then layering it, panning it, mixing it, etc… The misconception that producing is easy is funny to me. It takes a long time to get “studio quality” material. I’m not there yet, but I’m certainly getting much closer.
Go into detail on the recording process of this song.
No recording necessary on this one, just a boy and his imagination and a shit ton of samples. 🙂
Discuss your music performance.
Performing music is where my deepest passion lies. It is a culmination of all your hard work coupled with an in-person connection that can never be replicated. I am very outgoing, so I naturally feel comfortable performing in front of others. I play funk drums every Monday at a local venue called Hodi’s Half Note, and DJ on the weekends. I have been playing recitals and performing in bands since I was 11 or so, and am used to being in front of people.
Tell us how you will rate yourself as an artist.
Hmm. It’s all so relative, and there are so many facets of being an “artist”. I would say from an ambition standpoint I feel like can’t be stopped. I go to the gym six days a week, make music every day, and am doing everything I can to get my name out there. I push myself very hard. My hunger for knowledge feels to be an all-time high every day, and even though I am still in the beginning phases of making an impact with my music, I truly believe that I have what it takes to inspire others and make a real difference in the world. I believe that we ALL can do WHATEVER it is we want in life, it just takes an absurd amount of dedication and resilience. I am obsessed with bettering myself both inside and out of music and strive to inspire as many people as I possibly can.