From her indigenous routes to her interests in the beyond, Carsen Gray has interests that not only invigorate her spirits but unleash themselves into her music so much so – it’s haunting at times. Her debut put her on the map, but it’s the growth she’s experienced since then that continues to push her forward. We started there and continued with her latest single, “No Joke,” and what to expect as we head towards 2020.
Kendra: It’s been a couple of years since you dropped your debut. How much have you noticed yourself grow as a songwriter and performer in that time?
Carsen Gray: I’d say definitely a substantial amount of growth. The release of my debut album is what really helped me gain notoriety, especially within the Indigenous music scene. I’ve become a lot more confident with my songwriting and comfortable during my stage performances.
Kendra: Would you say “No Joke” is a clear reflection of that growth?
Carsen Gray: “No Joke” is really showcasing who I am as an artist and sharing a message I feel is important. I sort of played it a little safe before when I first came out, and when I watch myself in the “No Joke” video, I could tell I look a lot more confident with the choreography and movements.
Kendra: “No Joke” has a lot to it. The light and dark – that balance, and also the idea that we’re only alive once. These can often be thoughts that drive one mad but for you, they drove you to create. Why do you feel that is?
Carsen Gray: I’ve always been drawn and intrigued by the spirit world. I’m a pretty deep thinker. Mastering the light and the dark energies while we’re here are so important. I was so eager to create this song upon thinking about that everything and everyone has a dark side.
We live in a world of duality, and it’s important to be the master of your own darkness. Embrace it, control it and don’t act on it. Be the eye of the hurricane! I’m also just the type of person who would really enjoy discussing conspiracy theories, ghosts, angels/demons and the unknown with someone all night. Topics that maybe others would find uncomfortable or just nonsense.
Kendra: With the idea of only having one shot, what’s your advice to those who are too timid to really jump off the edge and live?
Carsen Gray: Great question. We don’t really know what comes next after this, but, I do feel we all need to do our part while we’re here and really make it count. We all have our God-given gifts and talents and I feel it is our duty to the creator to put them to use. I believe there are darker forces at work trying to stop this from happening because it would make the world a better place.
Kendra: I’ve heard so much great stuff about the Vancouver music scene but if it were a puzzle, where would you fit in at this moment? Are you an edge piece on the outside holding it together, somewhere in the middle of the chaos, or that missing piece that leaves people searching?
Carsen Gray: Wowww…sorry I haven’t been interviewed by anyone who worded their questions so well. You really have me thinking…I like that.
In a way, I do sort of feel like I’m that missing piece that has people searching. Not to sound narcissistic or anything, but maybe most artists feel that way. I feel like I have something to offer vocally and spiritually. Maybe at first glance, I wouldn’t appear to be a “spiritual” person, but I feel I have a lot to offer people and I want to help.
I don’t just want to make great music. It’s important to me as a person of influence to help uplift and guide people in the right direction. I’m still finding my way and figuring out what I can do to help, and how I can incorporate that into my music.
Kendra: With 2020 fast approaching, what are your plans for the new year? An album? Touring?
Carsen Gray: I’ve got a few albums in the works, some touring overseas in Europe. I just went to Germany for the first time this year and I fell in love with it; THE FOOD, the people, and their appreciation of indigenous people had me feeling so honoured to be there…and about the food, I’m a total foodie and everything is organic/non-GMO and farm to table over there for the most part. It just tastes 1000000000x better and doesn’t make me want to pass out after a meal.