Recently Hip Hop Drip DJs Tyki and JMO welcomed 24 year old music producer Heather Grey to K-UTE Radio. The guys learn the origin story for his pseudonym and get to know each other while sharing some laughs. We also fit in some time to discuss his newest project, A Mosaic, which just dropped the day after Thanksgiving. The new project features collaborations with a number of his favorite artists and DJs, both locally and abroad.
The Man Behind the Beats
When first meeting Heather Grey, his down to earth and unassuming demeanor will immediately strike you. And as for his music, it is professionally developed, full-fleshed, and substantial. He embodies the subtle flex and his music stands up under closer scrutiny. Heather Grey got his start at a young age, playing the drums and eventually producing and composing original music. He admits that he wasn’t always great at it; but that it was something he couldn’t help but continue doing as a hobby all throughout high school.
These days Heather Grey sees his production as a personal endeavor, first and foremost. “Music and production, it’s something I can’t not do…Even if nothing happened with Heather Grey, if no one listened to my music, I couldn’t not do it. You make it for yourself and obviously you want other people to like it, but you make music that reflects your own experience first”. When asked what Heather Grey sounds like, he said that he doesn’t “want to feel tied down to one sound.”
On that note, Grey wanted to crush any prior expectations that people may have had for the album. He did this by releasing the funky RnB single entitled “Tell Me Something” featuring female vocalist Ebony. He remarked that on this track he wanted to recreate the kind of catchiness and funk you would hear from an early 2000’s Usher track. Although he is predominantly a hip hop head, Heather Grey also appreciates Nina Simone’s music. He says that she was a large influence on the furthering of his musical taste. His description of Simone showed a deep reverence for the groundwork laid by the late singer songwriter and a passion for reviving and experimenting with that sound with his own work.
Process and Motivation
We pressed Heather Grey to open up to us about the production process and motivation behind A Mosaic. We learned that every step of this process was intentional. He wanted to create 14 tracks, produced in order, which mirror moments in his life that had an influence on his musical journey. “Through my life I’ve had a pretty eclectic group of influences. When I sat down to plan A Mosaic, I asked myself: What if I make a list of pivotal events in my life and make tracks for each one.” The project, curated to represent Heather Grey’s evolution as an artist, feels deeply personal, thought out, and meticulously developed.
With regards the collaboration process with other artists, Heather Grey always makes sure to allow room for their own creativity to blossom. His formula is to let the artist know his general idea, and then lets them run with it. This cultivates an atmosphere of collaboration and allows for the continual progression of meaning and substance by offering multiple persepctives. In addition to this, it was refreshing to see how much hometown love Grey showed to other SLC artists. The song “Bamboo” features a good friend of K-UTE Radio, local hip hop artist Rahz, as well as cuts from Salt Lake City’s resident DJs DJ Juggy and BoYork.
We at the Hip Hop Drip and K-UTE Radio continue to be blown away by the caliber of music to come out of our local scene and Heather Grey with his new project, A Mosaic, follows this trend. We look forward to being alongside him for whatever musical journey he decides to takes us on in the future. If you want to listen to our full-length conversation with Heather Grey you can follow this link and get to know the man behind the beats!