Interview: Tray Little

Rising Detroit Artist, Tray Little, is making his mark by sharing elements of soul that naturally pour into his music and philanthropic missions. Beyond being a musician, Tray continues to lead from the heart while using his platforms for the altruistic good of all by showcasing a real-time portrayal of life in Detroit. I caught up with Tray for an inspiring conversation about fighting for racial justice, life experiences that have molded his character, reaching millions on TikTok, learning through Gary Vee’s business acumen and philosophies and more.

Photo Credit: Jon Deboer

You have stepped up and played a major role in the BLM movement in Detroit. Tell us about your experiences protesting and how they have personally affected you to do better for yourself, your community and the world. 

This was my third time attending a protest but first time leading a protest. My purpose has always consisted of being a voice for my city while traveling the world performing my music that reflects my experience in the city.  Leading the protest in Detroit became a way to fight for racial justice and do it publicly with hundreds of people from different backgrounds marching for the same mission. It’s given me a stronger purpose beyond just traveling, social media and making music.

Being from the Midwest, you continue to portray a perspective that tells the truth behind day-to-day life for many within your music. Tell us about how Detroit has helped shape you as an artist. 

Growing up in Detroit has given me the grind, hustle and resilience that makes me who I am today. It has given me the story that I tell that has changed thousands of lives and has changed my life along the way. That’s the reason that I’m finding success and reaping the benefits that people are now seeing. People are inspired by my story of having a 15-year-old mom, losing my dad when I was four-years-old, living actively in the street wars of Detroit but still making it out alive and successful despite the setbacks. 

Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you had recently and were able to overcome over time? 

I have a lot of friends and family that are still in the streets risking their lives to make it day by day so I’m constantly losing people either to jail or mostly death. I have to remind myself that I have to make it far in life to display and provide different opportunities to those watching me. 

Being that you’re in your 20’s and pursuing your career independently currently, tell us how utilizing TikTok has been a source to elevate your platform and how TikTok has changed your career so far.  

TikTok has helped me find success because it took me less than a year to get 1.1 million followers and that is a big milestone that has gained me credibility in the music and entertainment industry. The platform allows our content to be shown to millions around the world and even celebrity creators see my videos so I’m constantly getting opportunities to work with well-known artists and influencers. It has also given me a rapidly growing fanbase that supports my music and gives me the voice that I have today.

No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in. 

It makes me feel good that I don’t have to lose my character and still be able to maintain  relationships. I love having the support of great friends and family that love me no matter what or what I don’t have. 

Photo: Olivia Seyfarth Photography 

If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone who has guided you through your journey as an artist, who would you choose and why?

I would sit down and talk with Gary Vee because watching his videos has help me understand that coming from nothing can be an advantage if I stay hungry and learn how to tell my story to connect while relating to my audience. He’s also helped get the context of knowing that the fruits of my labor comes later as a result of my hard work and consistency. I learned from him that I should chase contentment in the process and not just chase the final destination of what I am working for.

Going back to when you were 12-years-old, if you were stuck at home as we were at the peak of COVID, what would your 12-year-old self be doing?

If I was 12 years old during Covid I would be in the house playing video games and maybe riding my bike around my neighborhood. I might sneak and hang out with some of my childhood friends in the neighborhood.

Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?

I want everyone to know that we never have to sell ourselves short to become someone we don’t want to be for success. If we are patient and are willing to learn from any interaction that we have with someone we could apply that knowledge and keep growing. There is no limit with how far you can go if you learn how to take the hardest things in your life, use it as your story and learn how to motivate people. Never doubt yourself or the things you’re passionate about.

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Header Photo Credit: Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press

Music Reviews

Chicago Electronic Artist, Acidic Base, Releases “Tachyon”

Chicago Electronic Musician, Acidic Base, is back with another round of musical gold with the release of a batch of new singles behind the project, “Tachyon”. At the ripe age of 13-years-old, Acidic Base has put forth consistent effort toward expanding his skillset through maximizing his ability to soar through the social sphere to get his heartfelt musical delivery further out into the world. Here’s our track-by-track review of ‘Tachyon’.

Kicking off with the first and title track, “Tachyon”, Acidic Base creates an atmospheric landscape of heavy bass beats that dip and dive to incorporate a wide-range of genres in the Electronic world including Chillscape, Ambient and Downtempo which showcases his ripening ability to reach audiences around the globe. “Dawn” is a track that begins by tying in a cultural twist that leads into a Deep House explosion that instantly mimics the likes of Tiesto as Acidic Base caters to the masses with his eclectic delivery. Ending with a dose of heat, “Spectrum” drive listeners home with a bold blast that gives off the impression of a veteran curating the piece as the piano fluidly is laced in to deliver a serene landscape of House and Electronic that appeases to crowds both young and wizened.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Adventure Club, Suicide Sheep Remixes on YouTube and Tiesto, then keep an eye on the promising ride ahead for Acidic Base on SoundCloud.

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Music Reviews

Brooklyn Artist, Aradia, Releases New Single – “No One Can Stop You”

Brooklyn-based Musician, Aradia, has an uncanny way of drawing listeners deeper into the crevices of the soul through her multidimensional artistic world that stems from years of traveling the world and deepening her perception of life both within and around her. As an artist who has had her hands in a variety of endeavors, Aradia continues to trek forward with pride as she recently released her latest single, “No One Can Stop You”. Embracing her highs and lows throughout a lyrical journey taking listeners through a hefty dose of motivation, Aradia strips down to bare bones to show the world that there is nothing that could ever get in the way of your desires and dreams other than yourself. Through beautiful songwriting that metaphorically speaks to the wise with a line speaking of a butterfly emerging from chrysalis, Aradia approaches her artistry from her colorful and soulfully rich mind that is alight through the lens of endurance and strength.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Charli XCX, Lady Gaga and Halsey then keep an eye on the promising ride ahead for Aradia on Soundcloud.

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Music Reviews

Toronto Independent Musician, Delyn Grey, Releases New Single – “Battle”

Toronto Independent Musician, Delyn Grey, approaches one of the worlds most prominent current epidemics with grace throughout the release of their emotively rich new single, “Battle”. As the world becomes more conscious of the mental health struggles that individuals face day-to-day, artists are becoming more candid in their approach to showcasing that the battle is the field in which we shed light on our opportunities for growth amongst the variety of changes that we have to create to become a better version of ourselves. Mixing the beautiful vocals from Lead Vocalist, Delyn, with storytelling lyricism that tackles the highs and lows that an individuals encounters throughout mental disarray, “Battle” faces the present day and leads listeners’ toward opening their minds to the reality of mental health and how we can all contribute to the betterment of society by being more empathetic within our approach toward an individual facing the frightening disease both inside and out.

Unafraid to distort the version of mental health that a listener may have conceived from societal perception, “Battle” is a beautiful ode to hope in the light of dark. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as PJ Harvey, Tori Amos and Poe then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Delyn Grey on SoundCloud.

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Music Reviews

Indie Pop Singer, Sarah Schonert, Releases New Album: ‘Songs About Sounds’

Indie Pop Singer, Sarah Schonert, has released her deeply feminine and serene self-produced album, ‘Songs About Sounds’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “All This Noise”, Sarah eases listeners in with instrumentals that sound akin to Death Cab For Cutie as she creates an array of sound that meshes with the lyrical idea of the world being abounding with noise yet there is pleasure in stillness and silence. The second track, “Chamade”, lyrically addresses a relational conflict that has led to disconnection as Sarah attempts to slow down and face the friction. “The Sound of Falling Down” is the third track in which Sarah’s vocals come forward as a highlight through her delicacy that cunningly meshes with the lyrical trajectory that faces a period of indecision. The fourth track, “Not Swearing”, kicks it up a notch instrumentally as Sarah dabbles with a variety of sounds while tying in the piano which creates harmony in the mind of listeners. “Formular” is the fifth track which showcases Sarah’s production skills as she fluidly meshes a variety of instruments and Electronic sounds to create a slow dose and ooze of tranquility.

The sixth track, “Waffles Over Pancakes”, slows it down to metaphorically lyrically face the highs and lows that come through love as Sarah contemplates bringing forward what is truly resting on her heart. “Where Were You” is the eighth track in which Sarah lyrically tackles the inner conflict that she has faced while accepting the fact that another that she extended her hand for simply wasn’t there for her when she needed them. Closing out with “Oh Gretchen”, Sarah ends from a space of peace as a sonic landscape is brought forward with ease.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Tori Amos, Bat For Lashes and The Field then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Sarah Schonert on SoundCloud.

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Music Reviews

Russia Rock Band, Apache Rose, Release New Single – “Tiny Love”

Russia Rock Band, Apache Rose, lead listeners to flow fluidly into a state of ease throughout the release of their soul-infused new single, “Tiny Love”. Lacing feelings of lust throughout instrumentals that are abounding with spunk, Apache Rose is a band that is full of talented musicians that have come together for their genuine love for making music. Stemming from Moscow, “Tiny Love” is a track that is full of high energy that stems from their underground movement yet their lyricism focuses on utilizing the English language to attract further listeners in North America. The songwriting style by Lead Vocalist, Ilya Novokhatskiy, is simple yet precise and hits the nail on the head for the overall Rock niche that the band fits into.

Embodying the energetic and loose energy that the world of Rock needs, Apache Rose is a promising act that is bound to make their music spread far and wide throughout 2020. If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Cage The Elephant, The Black Keys and Foster the People then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Apache Rose on SoundCloud.

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Music Reviews

Adult Contemporary Artist, Rob Alexander, Releases New Album: ‘Being Myself’

Adult Contemporary Musician, Rob Alexander, laces his South Florida style and smooth approach throughout his latest full-length release, ‘Being Myself’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “This Hollywood Road”, Rob lyrically travels down the road of highs and lows that naturally comes through working in the music industry as instrumentals that are upbeat and fun uplift listeners with a sense of freedom. The second and title track, “Being Myself”, highlights Rob’s deep vocals that carry immense depth as he lyrically takes a deep look into himself to find pieces of wealth beyond the shield of materialism. “We Own This Town Tonight” is the third track which instantly mimics the likes of Elton John as Rob lyrically talks about a fun night out on the town where freedom reigns and innocence is at the peak of his interests. The fourth track, “Life as We Know It”, slows it down into a smooth expression of reflection as the piano gently soothes the senses of listeners who are enamored by Rob’s charm. “Never Gonna Let You Go” is the fifth track that instantly mimics the likes of Tears for Fears and swiftly shifts into a slow balled that is abounding with lyricism that is laced with feelings of love and longing for a friendship that is gone too soon. The sixth track, “Friend Of Mine (Elton’s Epic)”, is an uncanny dose of lyricism that speaks of the memories that Rob carries with him as he gently mourns the passing of someone near and dear.

The eighth track, “We’re Living in a Dream”, picks up the pace and takes listeners back to a space of contemplation as Rob lightens the mood with lyricism that highlights the importance of living in the present. “Fed Up” is the ninth track which begins with a smooth guitar gently pouring forward serenity as Rob lyrically travels down the path of frustration. “American Love Song” is the tenth track which sends an ode of strength into the hearts of listeners as Rob speaks of the peace that he attempts to find within the death of his dear friend. The eleventh track, “I-O-U”, showcases Rob’s dynamic approach as he revs up the mood with a sultry instrumental groove that is appealing to a variety of listeners both young and seasoned. “Another Love Affair” is the twelfth track which lyrically highlights Rob’s perspective on love swiftly shifting as he aches for a more firm and settling experience of romance. The thirteenth track, “Secrets & Lies”, lyrically approaches lust with an open mind as lines such as “catering to sinners” reminds listeners that Rob is a bundle of soul that won’t settle for a dull and cold fling. Closing out with “Loved By You”, Rob ends with charm and grace as he lyrically welcomes love into his life with open arms even though one single experience didn’t work out the way the two thought it would.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Elton John, Billy Joel and Rod Stewart then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Rob Alexander on Apple Music.

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Music Reviews

Chicago Ensemble, Magical Beasts, Release ‘Yes, My Love, I Am Reaching’

Chicago Ensemble, Magical Beasts, tune into their hearts and dive into elements of romanticism, love and connection throughout their beautifully written new release, ‘Yes, My Love, I Am Reaching’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Come Find Me”, Magical Beasts begin soft and slow and instantly mimic the likes of Mumford and Sons over lyrics that seek and speak of guidance when it comes to interpersonal connection that has sparked feelings of adoration in their hearts. The second track, “7 Nights”, lyrically travels down the road highlighting a period of time that meant the world to members of Magical Beasts who swoon over the seven days that were spent connecting with another that has left a lasting imprint of their spirits. “Darling” is the third track which is the dream track for a lady to receive as songwriting speaks to the soul and speaks of the rewards that come when a human being consciously decides to let down their guards and open their minds and hearts to what love can simply be. The fourth track, “In Praise”, trickles into listeners minds with grace as the members of Magical Beasts lyrically tackle the phenomenal feeling of fate that comes when an individual walks into your life and leaves you feeling at peace knowing that a natural connection has begun to sprout.

“Little Buds” is the fifth track that picks up the pace and instantly instrumentally mimics the likes of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as Magical Beasts add in elements of Folk that mesh smoothly while showcasing their ability to expand their talents as a genre-bending act. Closing out with “Farthest Shore”, Magical Beasts lyrically express that they are willing to spread their wings far and wide to receive the love and life that they desire.

If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and The Head and the Heart, then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Magical Beasts on SoundCloud.

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Music Reviews

LA Post-Hardcore Band, Chotto Ghetto, Releases New Album: ‘WILDFIRE’

LA Post-Hardcore Band, Chotto Ghetto, bring the noise and elevate their fans perspective of their artistry as they dive into a pool of balls-to-the-wall Hardcore/Punk throughout their latest album release, ‘WILDFIRE’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “Debrief”, the guys mimic ignorant news-lines that have come across our screens as mass society members sit and wish away their lives and minds through what’s on the idiot box. The second track, “Multiversal Receiver”, revs up listeners’ engines with an array of instrumentals that come together with ease as the guys lyrically travel down an uncanny imaginative world that is entirely their own. “New Horror” is the third track that picks up the pace as lyrics tell the tale of how technology has taken over our entire world and has subconsciously caused wildfires in the minds of vulnerable souls. The fourth track, “The Work”, begins with an intro that mimics the likes of Rob Zombie as the guys of Chotto Ghetto lyrically bring lack to the forefront and how individuals’ realities become a drain when they are stuck in the horror of routine and greed. “Unstable Isotopes” is the fifth track that once again ties in news-lines that are swarming and taking over innocent minds as the guys of Chotto Ghetto subliminally try to portray the importance of learning to think for yourself. The sixth track, “The Odd Man”, is the ideal title that speaks of the group of men which are Chotto Ghetto as the guys slow down to a nearly acoustic spill which speaks of being and feeling like the fly on the wall in spaces that aren’t of their own. “Dr. Gerald is Trying to Chill” is the seventh track that begins with a long instrumental that feels like a trip back to the 90’s as blurry and scattered vocals and lyrics elevate the intention of showcasing how subconsciously triggered we all are when it comes to distractions.

The eighth track, “Like Old Times”, highlights the strength of Chris Candy’s vocals that mimic the likes of Davey Havok of AFI. “Eternal Return: Temple FuckIt” is the ninth track that picks up the pace as instrumentals mimic the likes of Explosions in the Sky as the guys lyrically attempt to return back home into themselves. “HIRO AI” is the eleventh track that slows it down into a deep and dark instrumental that meshes with the Sci-Fi attempt toward mental closure. Closing out with “Charlie Cluster 8”, the guys end with a bang as they lyrically take back control of their minds away from the debris of modern-day TV.

If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Bad Brains, Rob Zombie and Minor Threat then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Chotto Ghetto on SoundCloud.

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Music Reviews

Brooklyn Musician, XI.ME.NA, Releases New EP – ‘Before You’

Brooklyn Musician, XI.ME.NA, takes listeners to a space of connection as she reflects upon her personal experiences, growth and downfalls throughout her mesmerizing new EP, ‘Before You’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.

Kicking off with the first track, “High Moments”, compelling instrumentals open up to lead into XI.ME.NA’s astounding vocals that are both deep and rich in soul while mimicking the likes of Paula Cole. Throughout “High Moments”, lyrics that take listeners down a road of reflection come back to the forefront of XI.ME.NA’s mind as she tunes into her divinity and reminds herself that it is within her present that she is able to receive and be. “Before You” is the second and title track that slows it down and instantly mimics the likes of FKA Twigs as haunting echoes add an element of mystery and darkness that compliments the lyrical trajectory that is drenched in sadness and emotions felt in moments of silence.

The third track, “There’s Me”, dials it down to a nearly A cappella spill of self-love as XI.ME.NA lyrically speaks of how deeply words can cut as her soul erupts with fury and fire that she knows in the back of her mind that she has held within for too long. Closing out with “Lions”, XI.ME.NA picks up the pace and elevates the minds of listeners as she lyrically is aware of her power and lioness nature as a woman while not being in fear of diving into danger to clear the debris and come back into her life as a bolder and brighter version of herself.

If you’re a fan of a mixture of fellow musicians such as Adele, FKA Twigs and Sampha then keep an eye on the promising ride ahead for XI.ME.NA on YouTube.

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