Tell us about your current projects…

I am currently embarking on my first solo project ‘C.C. Gray.’ After many years of playing in bands, I decided the best course of action for me would be to release music as a solo act. While I do consider it to be very much a solo endeavour, it would not have been possible without my amazing band. I have currently released two singles, ‘Fleeting Thought’ and ‘Creature of Comfort’ which you can find everywhere. My full E.P Overgrown releases everywhere on May 3. We are celebrating the release of Overgrown on May 27th at The Hug and Pint in Glasgow. Click here for tickets!

Tell us about your own musical background/influences…

This is a difficult question to answer as my influences range widely. Starting out with learning guitar around age 8, I was heavily influenced by classic rock bands like AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, everything changed for me when I was introduced to Jimi Hendrix a few years later. I then became fixated on replicating this sound and I delved deeply into other blues guitarists and psychedelic bands. Two of the main influences throughout this time were Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Shortly after that, a music teacher from my secondary school introduced me to John Martyn, and I was sent down another rabbit hole.
I fell in love with Martyn’s style of guitar playing, leaning more towards folk, blues, and country. Martyn’s slap back technique – where he hits the guitar strings rhythmically in time with the song, has become a staple of my songwriting tools.
The most recent musician who has influenced me a lot is English guitarist Guthrie Govan. All of these influences are easy to spot within my music I believe.

What would you say are the differences in working as part of a band in comparison to as a solo artist? Is there a different approach to songwriting/promotion/branding?

There are a few main differences, namely that the brunt of the work and worry falls onto one set of shoulders. However, this also means I can focus on the artistic vision. As I’m used to always writing by myself, this process hasn’t changed too much. Although now with the addition of the band I do not have to worry about writing every part, which has sped up the process of idea to finished song. In terms of promotion and marketing, it’s still very much a team effort however.

Why did you want to study at Riverside Music College?

I lived in Aberdeen prior to moving to Glasgow to pursue my studies. I was working in a well-paying but soul-destroying job, using my toilet breaks to research potential music opportunities down south. When I stumbled across an Instagram ad for Riverside, it made perfect sense to me. I really appreciated the working musician aspect of the course and the fact that the lecturers were all active within the industry. I enrolled on a music course in Aberdeen in 2019, and I was left dissatisfied with how the course was operated. The feeling you got from the lecturers was that this was just a job for them. At Riverside however, you can feel that the lecturers are all professional musicians, working in the field that they are teaching. To me, this was invaluable and a major reason why I decided to study at Riverside.

How has the Music Performance course helped you – which skills/ knowledge/classes have been the most useful for you?

The music performance course has helped me in many ways. Being a mostly self-taught musician, theory was an area where I had many holes and gaps in my knowledge. Through Kevin’s theory classes, I was able to understand concepts that I had struggled with and implement them into my own songwriting. Due to the way Kevin explained and broke everything down, it was very clear and easy to understand.

The daw/composition classes were also a huge help for me. As a songwriter, having more mastery over DAW’s and knowing the ins and outs of composition was extremely valuable. I can feel the effects of these classes directly in my songwriting!

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Extracurricular Project Development Programme

Employers and Universities already view our students in the highest regard in terms of their skills, knowledge and professional attitude – RMCplus+, our extracurricular project development programme, aims to take this to the next level and gives our students an even greater advantage in this competitive industry.

We are unrivalled when it comes to practical learning!