Taylor Gray talks new single “Crisis,” announces EP

Vincent Anthony
4 Min Read

Indie R&B artist and playlist curator Taylor Gray is kicking off his first full-length project in five years with a futuristic new single “Crisis,” which dropped on Friday.

“I’ve been in my Normani bag, for sure, so it’s time for a project,” jokes Gray.

Following the album “Teo” in 2018, Gray dropped a string of singles, one per year (indeed, just like the elusive Fifth Harmony singer). In 2020, he began curating an R&B playlist, Flavor Waves. Now, though, Gray is focused on curating his sound.

“I’ve had a concept in mind for a couple of years now, and I’m finally getting to execute it,” he says of the track. “It’s an official launch into this world of futurism that I’ve been wanting to embody.”

That futuristic, time-traveling concept Gray refers to is not only present in the song’s artwork but in its production, too.

“I really wanted to fuse this idea of time flying by when it came to the pacing,” says Gray. “No matter what you’re doing, no matter if you’re in a state of productivity or depression – time is still going, you can’t cheat time.”

“I wanted to have that chaotic feeling mixed with my intrusive thinking and depressive thoughts,” he says.

While Gray credits the UK Garage sound and acts such as Craig David and PinkPantheress as sonic inspirations, it’s the song’s exploration of an existential crisis that sets it apart. Written when he was 29, going on 30, the song is steeped in vulnerability.

“With ‘Crisis,’ I really pride myself on the lyrical content and the statement that it makes,” says Gray.

“It’s a message of solidarity to everyone like me, who goes through these feelings, of just not understanding their purpose and feeling frustrated by how fast or slow it’s taking to accomplish the goals that you have.”

In both the song and our interview, Gray notes the impact that living in LA as an indie artist has had on him. The crisis he sings of is not solely personal, it’s professional as well. Save for a handful of lightning-in-a-bottle examples, succeeding in the music industry is an uphill battle for indie artists like Gray. And, he’s not afraid to speak on it.

“I directly call pieces of my music career out in the song, I mention specific ways that I’m not progressing. It’s a harsh reality,” Gray admits.

“A lot of artists, signed and unsigned, don’t like to appear in a vulnerable state with their own careers, because part of being an artist is this illusion, or this mystery or allure that you are at some kind of echelon that is unattainable,” he adds.

“I kind of break all of that down, you know, so I can move forward.” 

Gray notes Janet Jackson’s “The Velvet Rope” (which used the Adinkra symbol Sankofa to represent its theme of learning from the past to move forward) as a major influence at the moment. He also cites Maxwell, Babyface, Musiq Soulchild, Usher, and “Mariah Carey, of course.”

Tinashe is someone I really look up to in the current landscape of art as well,” he adds.

“I just love people that are able to combine visual and audio elements to really create a world or universe themselves,” says Gray.

Beginning with “Crisis” and culminating with the release of an EP titled “RESET” in 2024, Taylor Gray is ready to take listeners on a journey into his universe.

Take a listen to “Crisis,” and keep up with Taylor Gray on social media.

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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.