HCM. How did you come by your stage name?
Jayne Gray. I was in London with my ex-girlfriend and we signed up for a ghost and murder tour of the city. Among the sites we visited was Tower Hill in northwest London. There, we learned of the execution of Lady Jane Grey. As soon as I heard the name I felt a connection to her and her story. My middle name is Jayne and I am named after my grandmother, Jane. I have always felt a connection to the color grey as well, as it is the blend of the two opposite ends of the color spectrum. When I heard the story of Lady Jane Grey’s bravery in the months leading up to her imprisonment, as well as my personal connections to the word Jane and Grey, I knew with certainty that would become my name.
HCM. When did you discover your love for music and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Jayne Gray. I have always had a love of writing stories and poetry. I felt that poetry, in particular, allowed me to communicate particular feelings and experiences in a more abstract and concise way. I also loved the structure to it. Figuring out syllables, meter, and flow was like a puzzle to me. From there I began writing rap songs with my friends and eventually opened up Garageband and learned basic recording and arrangement through trial and error. The first time I heard my words put to music it was like something connected in my mind and heart and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. In high school I’d hear people talk about wanting to be teachers and doctors, etc, and I felt like there was something wrong with me that I didn’t have any interest in pursuing a traditional career. It has always been evident to me that music is what I want to do and I have never doubted it.
HCM. To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Jayne Gray. My biggest musical influences right now are Saint Jhn, The Weeknd, 6LACK, and Drake. Producer-wise, London on da Track and Lil Cece. I still bump Money in the Grave daily. Lil Cece snapped on that.
HCM. On your current release… How did you come up with the concept for this project?
Jayne Gray. “Art decorates space, music decorates time.” I just want to decorate time for people. I just released my first track of 2020 on January 3rd. It is titled “Look at Me” and it is intended to give my followers a taste of what is to come for the rest of the year. I want to compose hip-hop music that makes people feel things. I love jamming out in the car on a road trip or at the club to my favorite songs and that’s the kind of content I want to create for my fans. Something that is listenable whether you are at the club or driving to the grocery store. Sometimes you can’t even put a finger on why it makes you feel good, it just does.
HCM. What are some of your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
Jayne Gray. I am not really sure about challenges. Navigating the music industry is by no means a walk in the park but I knew that when I signed up for this. I have bad days and I have good days but that is all a part of my growth and development as an artist. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, therefore I try my best to stay in a clear headspace and embrace the grind. Nothing of true value comes easily. Not even close.
As far as work ethic, I think that getting in the headspace that the composition of a track is only step 1, and then you have 10 more steps ahead of you after that is important. First, you have to make a sick track, yes, but then you have to brand it, and market it, and push it, and submit it to labels and blogs, get DJs and radios to play it, etc. The music market is so oversaturated that you can drop the most fire track ever, but without proper marketing it, it will go nowhere. Understanding that, fully believing in my music, and pushing it heavy I think is my greatest attribute of work ethic.
HCM. Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
Jayne Gray. I would like to thank my family for fully supporting me on this journey. All my listeners and people who push my music to all corners of the globe. That’s crazy to me. And my friends and team for being the biggest and most badass second family I could ever hope for.
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