Interview – David Bray

Toronto, ON-based songwriter and producer, David Bray has released his new single, “Nothing Left” featuring Lorraine Reid.

A follow-up to his critically acclaimed, internationally heralded and widely played previous single — and premiere preview to the new album — 2020’s “Overdue,” “Nothing Left” wastes no time to spotlight Bray’s compelling lyrical flair and ear for musical hooks once again. The song is a devastatingly sensitive take on divorce, and Reid delivers one of the finest R&B performances likely to be heard this year; she stunningly captures the heart and soul of Bray’s striking and poignant lyrics resulting in dramatic, noir imagery.

David Bray has been working for over a decade on a musical trilogy of three separate releases, of which 2016’s Night Rains was its first installment, and 2018’s Crowded Isolation it’s second.

As the artistic project’s final installment, Land of Extremes picks up where Crowded Isolation’s musical range from R&B to Soul and Blues — and focus on a soul searching examination of “crowded isolation” and the challenges of urban life — leaves off. His collective discography at large has garnered extensive international airplay, as well as upwards of 200,000+ streams across platforms.

In addition, Land of Extremes continues Bray’s knack for assembling an assortment of legendary musical friends, as well as the best and brightest of today’s talent across all three albums, including Motown legend Bob Babbitt (Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder), Garth Hudson of The Band, Colin Linden (Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn), Gary Craig (Bruce Cockburn, Jann Arden, Tom Cochrane), Justin Abedin (Nelly Furtado, Jack Soul), and more.

The album has multi-JUNO Award winning and Platinum-selling producer and composer Chris Birkett (Steve Earle, Sinead O’Connor) on board as associate producer, and will be available via The Pangaea Music House and Under Duress Music this year.

Check out “Nothing Left” below, and find out more about David Bray via our mini-interview.

First off, care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Over a decade of work has resulted in a trilogy of three separate releases. Night Rains in 2016, Crowded Isolation in 2018, and the forthcoming Land of Extremes (due out later in 2021). The first single from that album, “Overdue” was released in 2020. The second single “Nothing Left” has just been released. Covid has resulted in a delay with the completion of the album, but we are almost there. We have been fortunate to garner rave reviews, streaming, and airplay around the world. My material covers the eclectic musical territory, ranging from R&B to Soul, Blues, Rock, and Folk. My influences are varied, to say the least, all tied together by the lyrics. Thematically, the songs focus on a soul-searching examination of “Crowded Isolation” and the challenges of urban life. The strength of the lyrics is an essential component for me. I work to make them accessible with evocative musical hooks. Joining me on these albums is an assortment of legendary musical friends as well as the best and brightest of today’s talent. These include Garth Hudson of the Band, Motown’s legendary bassist Bob Babbitt (Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder), Justin Abedin (Jacksoul, Nellie Furtado), Colin Linden, Jeff Healey, Kim Mitchell, Gary Craig (Bruce Cockburn, Jann Arden), Bill King (Linda Ronstadt, Pointer Sisters, Martha Reeves, Janis Joplin), Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel), John Dymond (Bruce Cockburn, Natalie McMaster) and a host of other all-star musicians,

I penned and produced all of the material, sharing vocal duties with performers best suited to each song, most notably my long-time musical partner, Lorraine Reid, one of Canada’s most soulful new vocalists. She is as good as it gets. For proof, listen to “Nothing Left”. Multi-award-winning producer Chris Birkett joins me as associate producer. In addition to vocals, I also perform on keyboards and guitars.

Tell us about the recording process behind “Nothing Left”?

“Nothing Left” is a devastatingly sensitive (at least for me) take on divorce featuring Lorraine Reid. I believe that her performance is as good as any R&B performance you will hear anywhere this year. It breaks my heart.

First I demoed the song, then went in the big room at Revolution Recording with Bill King, a spectacular grand piano, and a vintage B3. Not to mention Lorraine. It was magic.

What was the highlight of 2020?

It was a tough year due to delays caused by Covid and personal health setbacks., Still, I am thrilled by the new material we have been recording and I am eager to unveil the rest of it to the world.

What do you hope to accomplish in your career in 2021?

Releasing “Land of Extremes” plus exploring new themes and writing new material.

I would also like to compile a volume of my lyrics.

Is there anyone out there you’d like to collaborate or open/close a concert with in the future? 

I have been fortunate to work with a number of my musical heroes. I love listening to their stories and it is thrilling to play with and produce such eminent pros. If I can dream, who else would be on my list to work with in the future? Perhaps Bruce Cockburn (members of my band record and tour with him), Gladys Knight, Marc Jordan again, Elvis Costello, and current artists like Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, and Drake. The best of the past, present, and future. That’s just a dream. But always with Lorraine. She is my musical rock.

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