Toronto, ON-born, Nashville, TN-based country-rock artist Augusta Ray took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with us. Give her newest single, “Vagabond” a listen and find out more about her in our Five Questions With segment.
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey lovely people! My name is Augusta Ray, but most people just call me ‘Gus.’ I’m a country-rock singer/songwriter originally from Toronto, ON! I currently have a new single out on Canadian country radio called ‘Vagabond,’ that was released this month. It’s a super special tune for me, so sharing it with Canadian country music fans over the past few weeks has been a pretty beautiful thing.
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.
Growing up, I listened to all kinds of music, because my parents listened to all kinds of music. My dad was the rock dude and my mom was the country girl. I like to think that if Spotify playlists were a thing back when I was a kid, a John Denver song would probably be followed by a Black Sabbath song or something.
In terms of songwriting, I’m all about putting real-world situations in the spotlight and embellishing them with eclectic guitar riffs, and country/rockin’ vibes. To me, infusing the honesty and realness of country music with the passion and grit of rock ‘n roll is the most important thing to me.
Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?
I’m so excited to be playing some super cool spots this year! Tour dates for 2019 are listed on AUGUSTARAYMUSIC.COM, and there are always more shows being added! My full band shows are a high-energy, guitar riffing, country twangin’, rock ‘n roll growlin’ good time, and my acoustic shows are a (slightly more chill) guitar riffing, country twangin’, rock ‘n roll growlin’ good time.
I love being able to share my music and the stories behind my songs with the beautiful fans of Canadian Country music live on stage. It’s honestly the coolest thing to have people come up to me after a show and say “I totally get it… My ex is a pain in the butt, too” or “I love that song where you said you sold your engagement ring on eBay… I actually did that” or “Thanks for writing that. I needed to hear it.”
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?
I’d have to say that I think my new single ‘Vagabond’ is the perfect representation of who I am as an artist, and who I am as a person, in general… For anyone that may not know too much about myself and my music, this is the perfect song to give you an introduction into who the heck I am. First off, ‘Vagabond’ was a solo-write, so the song in itself is 100% me. It’s all about being a free-spirit and having the guts to explore the world’s different avenues (whatever they may be). It’s a super personal tune for me, but I think it’s ultimately got this rad ability to be relatable as well.
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/artists?
I’m all about grooving to jams by my Canadian peeps! Scott Helman, Tenille Townes, and Donovan Woods are just some of the Canadian artists I’m getting down to these days… Then, of course, there are the Canadian greats that inspire me: RUSH, The Guess Who, Neil Young, Blue Rodeo, The Hip, and Shania Twain.
I’m always looking to discover cool new songwriters and artists, and I’ve found that one of the best ways to come across these people is to put genres aside and to listen to literally as much random stuff as possible. Give it a try… You could end up coming across a heartfelt ballad by some badass Norwegian metal band that you end up totally digging!
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.