No Place Like Home For the HolidaysDecember Edition Shane Gray, The Makers
At the age of 22 I had already failed everything in life, in that area I found music to be a place where I could express all the heartaches and all the bad choices I had faced in life. Growing up I always sang, I just never took myself seriously. I decided to pick up the guitar at 22 and I taught myself to play, “Knocking on Heavens Door”. I played all the time. I thought maybe I could touch someone else if I chose to really take music seriously.
In 2008 I signed up for Goldies Survior Show. I got selected to be one of the 12 contestants and I made it to number 4. I didn’t do as well as I thought I could, but to me this wasn’t failure. I had failed at many things and I knew music was the one thing I could hold on to and do well. I used this moment to build on. After the show I got a job at Texas Road House where I was allowed to serve and sing during my shift. This is where I developed my craft. Yeah, I missed notes left and right, but I loved it because I was expressing in that three minutes, my whole life. It was my way of releasing everything I had gone through. Hearing people say I was good and that they were proud of me gave me a sense of acceptance.
I then moved to Nashville to be groomed as a country music singer. There I was confronted with a hard decision I knew if I sold my soul I would lose it all. So I left and went to get grounded. I wanted to have a stronger sense of who I was. I decided to sacrifice momentary success to develop more as a person that could be ready to be an entertainer. I started playing mostly in small settings, or for friends who were down. I used it as a way to bring them joy!
When I was ready I moved to California. I started playing music in Orange Country and working for different organizations, but what I really wanted was a band. I chose in that moment to believe it would happen. I wanted to be more than a singer song writer. One evening I was in Hollywood at “Whisky a GoGo” where I met Brad Fite who was playing the cello for another artist. I went up to him and asked if he would ever play for anyone else and mentioned I had a gig coming up if he was interested. We have been playing together every since.
We are now known as The Makers and we are finishing up our Album in Guns and Roses Studio. Some major artist, producers, and engineers have worked with us to complete this project. Our album will be released in January! Be sure to look for it.
My road has not been normal. I am so blessed. I am a guy who grew up in group homes with foster parents. I was a drug addict. For me God brought me out of this lifestyle. As a kid I grew up singing in the church. Everyone kept saying you will do something in music. I never understood it, and then I started getting in trouble at the age of 12. From that point on I was in and out of jails until I was 20. By 14 I was on every drug you could imagine. In those dark times music was still my way out. I felt like no one knew the pain I was going through. Music was the one thing people could not take from me. Music became the way I expressed what I didn’t know how to communicate what I felt or what I needed!
I came from nothing and was forced to deal with one loss after another. I battled with suicidal thoughts and even came close to it. Everyone knew me to be a mess…a wreck. Someone full of potential but wasted potential. I was a failure who never finished anything I started. This pushed me to work at music even more. I can remember the people who would tell me I was a failure and would never make it. Instead when I wanted to give up I chose to remember the encouragement I was given and push harder. Now I can look back and thank those same people for pushing me to get here.
Music that Inspires
I like to give encouragement, hope, joy and peace to people through music. We have set this as the goal of our band to bring food to the hungry and wandering soul. Music can aid us through difficult times in life. I want people to feel me empathizing with them and helping them find a way out. I intentionally want my music to be inspiring. If I can make it, anyone can make it. The best is yet to come and I haven’t fully tasted it.
I know most people wont understand, but sometimes you have to go lower to get higher. You can’t sell yourself to get the dream. A much bigger dream will unfold when you are committed to not doing it your own way and compromising who you are.
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