Thurston Ray Biography
Smooth, soulful, and jazzy are a few words that may describe the musical style of singer-songwriter, Thurston Ray. It may also be described as romantic, optimistic, and uniquely familiar. However it’s described, the Thurston Ray sound has been crafted to take the listener on a journey through emotions, melodies, and sweet inspiration. Thurston Ray is a Brooklyn, NY bass baritone vocalist who blends groovy soul music, jazzy 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. And 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, TMS Records. A single from the project, “Harmony”, was later featured on the Compilation CD “Fusion: A Blend of Poetry and Music” which was released through GPM Records-Malaco Music Group in 2005. Also during the same year, “The Mind…The Melody” was released independently and featured a cappella vocal melodies and spoken word. Although neither album gained major commercial success, Thurston was simply satisfied with sharing his gift and touching people through song and poetry.
Today, after years of quiet growth and focus, Thurston Ray is poised to step back into the music scene with more maturity and confidence. Relocation, rededication, and of course time were needed for this now. Years were spent simply writing songs in his small Brooklyn apartment, and Thurston knew that one day he’d be delivering his music to new audiences. “I didn’t know how it would all come together,” Thurston stated. “I just knew that I had to write, and do what I could with the gift I had.” During this quiet hiatus, the majority of Thurston’s project, “Becoming Thurston Ray: A Human Experience” was written. Thurston released this project with production by Matlock Robinson in 2012. Since that 2012 release, you could find Thurston performing at venues on the east coast, mostly in NYC.
After launching and completing a successful crowdfunding campaign, Thurston Ray has recently released the new EP – ‘Embrace’. This project was a collaborative effort with his core musicians, Bryan Percivall, Steve Williams, and Oskar Häggdahl. This project reflects a live experimental sound that takes the listener on a sweet journey of soul an inspiration.
Thurston Ray’s sound and messages are made to stand as a soundtrack to the ups and downs of anyone’s love and life. It marks life’s imperfect journey and reflects on its fresh new beginnings. This is something special, something real. This is Thurston Ray.