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Thursday, May 13th
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lydia gray
Lydia Gray

An exclusive interview with Musiqtone
lydia gray
Over two years has passed since North Carolina native Lydia Gray put her stamp on a then-nascent feature called You Gotta Know. In those two years, one wonders what kind of talent the feature would have gotten if not for chief head Alan Ho finding the “hidden gem” on Since then, this “hidden gem” has evolved with a new sound and sense of musical style and we sit down with her once again on our Hot Seat and check up on how and what she has been doing these past two years.

Alan Ho: Thank you for sitting down in the hot seat with us again! We still have your old music clips from being a You Gotta Know two years ago…how have you changed in these two years since we last showcased you?
Lydia Gray: Well, I feel like my music has grown up a little...which comes from me continuing to grow up also. I've collaborated and co-written these with some seriously amazing co-writers/production team. In my wildest dreams- I never imagined clicking so quickly with someone. We just made these three songs into our babies. It was an amazing experience for me. One of the best in my life. The production of these are one million times better than any of my previous work. I cried when I got the final cuts. I was so proud.

AH: Music is always evolving and so does the people that play it…how would you say yours has evolved in the past two years? Did you pick up any new pointers along the way?
LG: Well, I have never worked so hard at anything in my life. I've made writing such a practice for me that it's just become natural instinct. Now it just happens. I spend a lot of time pouring my heart out on my macbook. And even if some of these hundreds of songs I've written never get released-- they are my therapy. I think we've finally found a good sound and I feel like I'm very confident of my voice now and extremely comfortable in it. I'm starting to take more risks and I'm so excited because I know there is so much more to explore with it.

I think the pointers I have picked up are to just sound like myself. I'm not gwen- I'm not kelly. I'm Lydia and I'm really happy about that. I'm really content in that. I've also learned that it just takes one person to really believe in you and think you've got something. I've had a lot of wonderful people helping me over the past year. I consider myself lucky.

AH: I've listened to your three songs on your Myspace and they're great! Is this a sneak peek into a full-length debut?
LG: I'm not sure what this will turn into honestly. Let's hope something amazing will come of it.

AH: Out of those three on your Myspace, what's your favorite one?
LG: Oh gosh, well there are parts of each of them that I just feel very connected to. Each are very special. Quicksand really means a lot to me though. There are parts of me through the song. It's about a secret and how everyone has secrets and how they can really pull us down. I think its a beautiful concept. They were all so much fun to sing in the studio-- but this one was just kinda magical.

AH: Who's influencing your music these days?
LG: I gotta love me some PINK. She's just got so much attitude. I love it. I never get tired of KT Tunstall, Regina Spektor, Taylor Swift, Brandi Carlile. But of joni Mitchell will always be the women who changed my ideas on music.

AH: What's the inspiration behind the new sound and lyrics?
LG: I was listening to " Who Knew" by Pink at the time and a lot of KT. But at the end of the day, I just really clicked with my co-writers/producers and we just had so much fun creating our own identity for me... and I'm still evolving.

AH: We have to ask this: Any news on the label front, are we going to see you finally get your wonderful talent on a record label?:)
LG: I'm so private on this subject. I don't like to talk about things before they happen.
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AH: One of our readers wanted me to ask you this: What's the process behind writing a good song and what inspires you to write one?
LG: I think each songwriter has their own ideas on how a song must start or be birthed. I think for me lyrics come first. I'm not insane with melodies...that's something I'm working on and have to kinda work a little harder for. The inspiration is always life. I get ideas from watching people, from family or friends going through tough situations or my own trials. I love going to a coffee house and sitting for hours and writing and just seeing what comes out. 99.9% of the time I get a good few songs out of it. Lyrics always come when I'm driving or in the shower too.

AH: What are your goals—5, 10 years from now?
LG: Eh, I'm still trying to figure out tomorrow:). I'm going to start doing shows more often. I hope (as any singer/songwriter desires) to have a record and a record deal. There's so many things I want to do and try. I hope to be living in NYC or Chi. Hopefully, NYC then Chi. I can't stay away from a city for too long.

The Burn:

The thing or things you'd be doing if it weren't for music…
modeling, producing, VJing, EXTRA correspondent, stylist

What's spinning in your music player right now?
Lily Allen, Ross Copperman, Brandi Carlile, Mandy Moore

The things you can't live without as a musician?
my MacBook

The things you must have before you write a song?
my glasses, macbook, coffee or a big sweet tea

Your ultimate venue and why?
Madison Square Garden, Gotham Hall...see a theme?

Music none of your friends (or fans) expect you to listen to:
Jeff Buckley or some hard stuff I listen to.

Who would like to tour with or who would you bring on a headlining tour?
KT Tunstall or Brandi Carlile OR Mandy Moore

Your three favorite music acts, all-time?
Goo Goo Dolls, Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell

Non-musical talents you have?
Modeling... is this a talent? I'm not sure. Being creative, cutting other peoples fingers and toe nails, finding amazing vintage finds!:) Keeping my calm in really nerve wracking situations.

Who would you have dinner with? Three people.
Doris Day, Den, my mother when she was my age.

Favorite food(s)?
Rainbow sherbet, pickles, french fries.

Favorite movies? TV shows?
Almost Famous, Walk The Line, Love Actually, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Hills( bad, bad addiction) Grey's, Desperate Housewives.

Favorite color?

Your most embarrassing moment on stage.
Continuing to play violin...not noticing that the whole orchestra had gotten up and left. I think I finished anyway.

Your best moment on stage?
My first show by myself.

Alan HoAlan Ho is the chief head of Musiqtone. You can reach him at

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