Smooth, soulful, and jazzy are a few words that may describe the musical style of singer-songwriter, Thurston Ray. However you choose to describe it, the Thurston Ray sound has been crafted to take the listener on a journey through emotions, melodies, and sweet inspiration. Thurston Ray is a bass baritone vocalist and poet who blends soulful music, jazzy chilled vocals, and messages about real life and love.
Thurston Ray got his start while growing up in the small town of Montross, VA. From the beginning, Thurston always had a love for the arts, whether drawing, writing, or singing. Growing up in a family rooted in gospel music helped to develop an ear for music and melodies at an early age. Somewhere in the midst of the music, Thurston started writing and reciting poetry as an outlet for creativity in churches, schools, and talent showcases.After moving to Norfolk, VA to attend Old Dominion University, Thurston gained a name for himself in Virginia’s underground spoken word community as a spoken word artist. Under the stage name ShakespeareBlak, two albums were released. “From Dust” was released in 2003 with the help of a local independent record label, which featuring production by Tyrone Marquis Smith. A single from the project, “Harmony”, was later featured on the Compilation CD “Fusion: A Blend of Poetry and Music”. This was released through GPM Records-Malaco Music Group in 2005. Also during the same year he released “The Mind…The Melody”. This project featured a cappella vocal melodies and spoken word.
After years of quiet growth and focus, Thurston Ray stepped back into the music scene with more maturity and confidence. Years were spent simply writing songs in his small Brooklyn apartment. He always knew that one day he’d be delivering his music to new audiences. During this quiet hiatus from releasing music, the majority of Thurston’s project, “Becoming Thurston Ray: A Human Experience” was written. The project was released independently by Thurston, after the record label he was signed to folded. The project featured production by Matlock Robinson. The single “Holding On” gained the most rotation on a national level. Since that 2012 release, you could find Thurston performing at venues on the east coast, mostly in NYC.
In 2017, after launching and completing a successful crowdfunding campaign, Thurston Ray released the EP – ‘Embrace’. This was made possible by listeners who supported Thurston’s music through donation. It was a creative collaboration with his core musicians: Bryan Percivall, Steve Williams, and Oskar Häggdahl. The project included a bonus track with production by Jesse Fischer. After playing many live shows, it seemed to be a natural progression to record with a live band for the first time.
Today, Thurston Ray is still creating with new music to be released in 2019. Freedom and creativity is key as he continues to explore more and reach higher.
“Beyond the reasons why I could stop making music, I still choose to remain a vessel of creativity and hopefully inspiration.” –Thurston Ray