INTERVIEW: Mason Rose Gray Releases Debut Single Survive

Meat Mason Rose Gray, a singer and songwriter based in Florida, has recently released her debut single Survive. A track that is personal and inspired by the ending of a nine year relationship and the emotions that come with that. The single is really emotional and I wanted to find out more and I got the opportunity to talk to Mason all about it.

Hello Mason, tell us three unknown facts about yourself?

  1. I love starting my morning with almond butter toast sprinkled with chia and flax seeds. Mmm!!
2.I have the most adorable, Australian Shepherd. Her named is Bexley, she turns heads everywhere she goes. A definite chick magnet (thank you BEX)
3.I’m super goofy with many silly voices and laughs. Watch out!

How did you get into music?

Music makes my soul come alive! When I was younger I used to write on napkins and fill notebooks with lyrics. I would listen to Hillary Duff’s Metamorphasis album and hear my name screaming in the background. I’d turn off the music and run around the house thinking someone was yelling for me (no one was home.) I took it as a sign that music was “literally” calling me haha.

I had a tough childhood so I didn’t pursuing music professionally for financial reasons. I went to college and got a nursing degree, but never feel completely fufilled.  It wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I started revisiting songwriting and singing. As I began tapping into my creativity miraculous things began cultivating. It’s been a blast since! 

Who do you find your inspirations? 

Wow, that’s a tough one. There’s so many amazing and talented artists. I find inspiration through many of them. If I had to choose, I’d say David Bowie. His eccentric style and jovial personality is intoxicating. In an interview he stated he wears outrageous clothing to get reactions to later write about. I thought that was so cleaver and I now incorporate that in my songwriting. I say bizarre comments to turn heads and make people laugh. 

I also find Justin Bieber’s career to be very endearing. He went through a lot in his life, having public highs and lows. HIs authenticity and faith through it instilled hope in my music career. 

Tell us all about your latest single Survive?

Sonically, the single is simplistic in its approach to the production. Resulting in a tender and intimate song, “SURVIVE” features raw, visual lyrics that point to the depth of pain, while the vocals are husky and restrained. Moments of emotional breaks add to the authenticity and utter heartbreaking aura of “SURVIVE.” The gentle tambourine beat, buzzing acoustics and haunting, echoing backing vocals are a mirror reflection of the warmth and desolate feelings that come with the mixed emotions and freedom of a breakup.

How long did it take to write the song? 

The writing process was an adventure. I wrote my first lyric sitting at the dinning room table. I looked to my left to see the old flowers covered in cobwebs. It was a metaphor for my life at the time. I was heartbroken and needed to find love in myself, rather than seeking outside validation. I began hiking in the mountains where I received an astronomical amount of inspiration.  Nature taught me about myself and life. The lyrics started pouring out of me. I recorded the melody on my phone, but played around with it to add variance and keep it fresh. 

Where does the inspiration for the song come from?

The inspiration came after a 9 year breakup. I fell into a mundane rut, “playing housewife” and not expressing my creativity. Although it wasn’t easy, I felt it was important to be on my own and I begin soul searching. I used pain, heartbreak and love from my childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Writing SURVIVE helped me to properly grieve the heartbreak. It wasn’t easy, but found it cathartic. I definitely spent time rewriting and finessing the song as I tend to be a perfectionist.

Did it surprise you the reactions that you have been receiving for your music?

Yes absolutely, I was taken back by the love and support I received. This being my first single, I was tremendously nervous about the response, especially because the song was so vulnerable. I’m very sensitive and have a hard time expressing my feelings. Songwriting and singing is an incredible outlet, opening my heart and soul. I’m forever grateful to be on this path and continue learning about myself and others everyday. It’s beautiful to witness someone relating their story to your music. 

What is the most challenging thing when it comes to producing a record?

The process as whole can be challenging and daunting. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it. It’s similar to being at a casino, you win some and lose some. Welcome to life. I live by the advice, “It’s about the process, not the product.” Each song is unique in it’s own special way. I see it similar to birthing a child, it’s a special and sacred experience. It comes with a lot of hard work and patience. Rewrites and finessing are absolutely involved. Finding the right words, melody and instrumentals to best tell the story. 

What other artists do you find inspiring?

Billie Eilish is a musical genius, the way she navigates words with her voice is an out of body experience. I find it magical and mesmerizing.  

Maggie Rogers vocals, lyrics and production style is outrageous and I absolutely look up to her. 

I adore Sam Smith. He wears his heart on his sleeve. His soft yet piercing vocals make me feel I’m on a different planet.

How do you warm up for a show?

I have a few different vocal coaches that challenge me to use different parts of my voice. I take the advice and techniques used by each of them to build a vocal warm up. I always try making it new and exciting. 

Also let’s talk tour will there be live shows coming soon?

I’m currently working on a full length album and plan to begin touring after the release. Definitely stay tuned! 

What is one of your favorite songs to perform live? 

I haven’t performed live with my current music, as I’m still in the process of producing. Although, I’ve performed cover songs. My favorites are Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis, One and Only Adele and Holy War Alicia Keys.  

What are the toughest songs to perform live and why?

The toughest songs are belting songs as I tend to be more of a soft emotional singer, but I’m always down to expand my vocal range and up for a challenge. 

Our site also is about improv – in a musical sense, what have been some of your favorite improvised melodies that you have created and been able to use in songs and why?

I love improv! I’ve taken several improv classes with Groundlings and UCB. I come up with each song and melody spontaneously. I find it super fun and exciting. I also play guitar or piano for inspiration.  

What are your plans for the rest of 2021?

My goals are to continue making music and growing as an artist. I have five songs currently produced. I’ll be releasing my next single, perfect design August 4th, 21 (my birthday, woot woot!). Perfect design is a folk pop song. It’s catchy and groovy, grabbing people’s attention. I also plan to finish my full length album, OMNIPRESCENCE. 

And finally why should people check out your music?

People should check out my music because it’s raw, real and vulnerable. My intent is to shine light in the dark places and have conversations we’re afraid or neglect to have. I believe people will relate and feel connected through my music. I hope to be a mirror and help others to see their beautiful story and know they’re not alone. 

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