Honky Pop…. Remember when you were in grade school and they said “write a story as if an alien is reading it and has no idea what you’re talking about…” Maybe not… but Mack Ray describes his music as Honky Pop which is about as clear of a picture as you are going to get without the necessary auditory information.
It’s a little Nashville twang, a little Memphis dirt, A bit of NYC rock and Roll, LA beat driven and a whole lot of pop sensibility.
Mack Ray has lived in Nashville for the past 8 years, working mainly as a songwriter. He has worked with industry greats such as
Craig Wiseman (Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton), Rodney Clawson (Luke Bryan/Keith Urban),
Kendall Marvel (Chris Stapleton/Trace Adkins), Joey Moi (Nickelback/Florida Georgia Line) and
Howard Willing (Cheap Trick/Smashing Pumpkins).
“I used to ride my bike down to the bluebird twice a week to listen and learn from the best of the best”, says Mack Ray. “I’d sit outside on the railing just taking it all in, about 3/4 of the way through the show the door guy would let me sit on a stool at the bar, you can’t imagine what it was like when I finally got to perform on that stage”.
After Years in Nashville Mack Ray decided it was time to pursue the Artist side of his career.
“I had spent years focused solely on songwriting and honing my craft, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything but when I lifted my head to consider my career as an artist I saw that everything had changed. I was no longer a “country artist” or a “rock performer”, I was frustrated with traditional genres and styles, I wasn’t interested in trying to fit someone else’s rubric for how I should sound and look”.
Soon afterwards Mack Ray took some time out of Nashville, without plan or exact purpose he ended up in Brooklyn, NYC. Spending some lATE NIGHTS AND LONG DAYS there, soaking in all the culture he could, Mack Ray left knowing that something had changed.
“I was driving from Brooklyn to Toronto with a friend and halfway there I heard the words Honky Pop come to mind. It was loud and it was potent, it gathered all of the confusion and widely spread inspiration into a singular focus. I set up some recording gear and started in on writing the project. I wanted 10 songs in two weeks. Once I had written the 10 new songs I would decide whether to continue with it or go back to my Nashville style of writing. After the second track I knew there was no turning back”.
Mack Ray is a finely balanced inclusion of styles, all genuine, all personal and sure to become a long term fixture among music’s best and most progressive artists.