Nick Gray – “Slow Motion” [Official Music Video]

By: Shamus Hill

More than four years since the initial debut of the song, Nick Gray has finally unleashed the official music video for his timeless single “Slow Motion”.

This track in particular comes attached with an extreme level of nostalgia for me, being that it was one I played a countless amount of times when I first started working at UMass Amherst’s 91.1 WMUA. Despite the song’s age — and the amount of times that I’ve played it — I found myself watching the video for “Slow Motion” and falling in love with the record all over again.

Ryan Schaefer, who shot, edited, and assisted with direction on this visual, really knocked this project out of the park. A listen through “Slow Motion” is highly comparable to day dreaming — in a sense that the listener feels transported to an entirely different time and place. This hypnotic, yet powerful feeling is wonderfully represented in this video, making it one of the more prominent music video releases that I’ve seen in some time.

Watch the official music video for “Slow Motion” below:

Photo Above by Ryan Schaefer

Directed by Ryan Schaefer + Nick Gray

Shot + Edited by Ryan Schaefer

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Nick Gray Speaks on Brand New ‘Bittersweet’ EP

By: Shamus Hill 

This past weekend, Massachusetts’ own Nick Gray released his sophomore project, Bittersweet — an introspective EP that seamlessly balances wonderful sounds and genuine meaning. One of the most outstanding aspects of Nick Gray’s artistry is his innate ability to speak on life experience in a manner that’s borderline addicting to listen to, and while Gray’s entire discography is filled with these profound talking points, his latest effort brings this sentiment one step forward, marking some of his best artistic progression to date. Alongside the main act here, we need to dish out some well-deserved shoutouts to Shame, BBY J, RolexDaytona, 10Fifty, and FlashBeats for their phenomenal work on production throughout Bittersweet. Watching how Gray’s sound has developed with time has been an absolute privilege to see, and it’s safe to say that Nick Gray is only going to continue to blossom in the future.

To honor the occasion, I took a few moments to speak with Nick about the meaning behind the Bittersweet EP, and some of what he’s learned throughout his tenure as an artist. Read all about it down below:


What is the meaning behind naming this project Bittersweet?

I’ve noticed you can’t have all good without something going bad. Putting time into one thing means less time for another. It’s sweet for the thing you’re putting time into but, bitter for the other. And that’s what I’ve been feeling lately. It’s life I guess.

Money appears to be a large portion of your motivation on Bittersweet, but what else drives you to be the artist/person that you are? 

Emotion. Seeing things get done. Seeing people be affected by things I do for a positive outcome. I wanna take care of people. It’s just who I am as a person. A provider. I’m selfish for my side. Deeper down though, maybe it’s a flaw, but I want to feel of value. That I have worth. I think it’s a general human thing to feel like that. But, I guess the things I do are because I’m trying to appease that feeling.

Prior to the start of working on this EP, what did you want your listeners to take-away from this body of work? Did it pan out as you had hoped? 

I just wanted to give people stuff I like listening too. Stuff I enjoy making. The stuff I make stems from emotion, even if it is just about money or hustling. I also wanted to put some deeper personal stuff in it. It’s tucked away behind the metaphors but if you can break through them you’ll see who I am. I’m hyped on the outcome. All the tracks hit exactly how I wanted.

Despite the use of an array of producers on this project, you still managed to achieve a formidable sound that develops throughout the entirety of this project. What were you looking for in terms of production on this project? 

I don’t really ever have an overall whole sound I’m thinking of. I just listen to beats and if they hit I make a song. Once I get enough songs that hit on sort of the same wave, I see how I can put them together. I like emotional slaps hahaha. I like bangers and stuff I can get introspective on. I think this project has a little of everything.

How has Massachusetts/Boston helped to mold you into the being that you currently are?

I grew up in MA my whole life. In the cold ass winter. Having to work outside, then moving to the city and learning how to navigate the underworlds and inner workings of it. It’s made me appreciate some things I’d taken for granted and also showed me sides of human nature I hadn’t previously seen. I think it’s turning me into exactly who I want to be.

You’ve been making high-quality music for a very lengthy period of time now. If you could give a single piece of advice to younger artists, what would that be? 

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find what you’re good at and get better at it. Everything costs money in this world and making your music into a finished product is no different. If you truly believe in yourself, you’ll invest in yourself.

Stream Nick Gray’s Bittersweet EP below:

Click here to stream on all other platforms

Nick Gray – “Dark Days”

By: Seamus Fay

The sun always shines a little bit brighter when Boston artist Nick Gray blesses the world with new music. Today, continuing the absolute hot streak of songs that the rising talent has unleashed in the past few months, we receive Gray’s newest effort, “Dark Days”. And trust me – for anyone who is on their way to a full-blown glo-up in any sense of the word, this song should act as the soundtrack to such a triumphant moment. Nick Gray is past the darkness of the past and onto brighter, better, and bigger things, just as we should all be.

Produced by SonoBeats, the way that “Dark Days” communicates such a strong message while simultaneously making sure it comes across in a memorable, catchy way, is through the lens of a bouncing instrumental that has the power to electrify any listener. The beat fits Gray’s lyrical and vocal strengths with perfect precision, and by bringing such unique elements of the track together in perfect unity, we have received yet another anthem to add to our playlists this summer. The dark days are officially behind us.

Embrace Nick Gray’s impressive return to the spotlight and give “Dark Days” a listen at the link below:

A Reflection On Cousin Stizz’s House of Blues Homecoming Show

By: Seamus Fay

From a kid in Fields Corner to a star in the making. From basement shows to a sold-out House of Blues. From 301 out of 305 in his high school class to a national tour and a deal with RCA. From Dorchester to the world.

Since his beginnings as an artist, Cousin Stizz has proven time and time again to be destined for success, and now, years removed from these very beginnings, it has become clear that Boston has a hometown hero on our hands.

Here enters November 24, 2017. After moving to Los Angeles to work on what would become his critically acclaimed third mixtape, One Night Only, Stizz returned to the light with a vengeance this past summer (word to Big Leano) and turned a hell of a mixtape into a national tour. To end this tour, he played a sold-out homecoming show at the House of Blues – an incredible story in itself when you think about how far the Boston representative has come.

Today, I’m here reflect on the importance of the show and shed some light on a few moments that I found to be most impactful when you think about the rich history behind them.

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Within Friday’s historic concert, two moments in particular spoke out to me as a testaments to the growth that fans have seen since the Suffolk County days: one being the presence of Guillermo Antonini and Tim Larew at the show and watching them interact at the end of the night, and the other being Stizz’s performance of “Talk” with Jefe Replay.

When reflecting on the journey of how Cousin Stizz’s success came to be, one specific freestyle event called “12 For 12” cannot be missed. Initially helping to introduce the ambitious Dorchester rapper’s lyrical prowess, BU students (at the time), Tim Larew and Guillermo Antonini were two of the head figures responsible for organizing the “12 For 12” Freestyle events – a series of cypher sessions focused on uniting Boston artists and building working and personal relationships as the city came together and showcased its underappreciated and often times relatively unknown skills.

In a full-circle moment that not everyone may have caught eyes on or understood, right near the end of Stizz’s show this past Friday, I watched Guillermo dap up Tim near the back right corner of the stage. A simple handshake and a nod of approval and gratitude couldn’t have meant more. When seemingly no one was paying attention, these two saw the potential and talent in their city and went above and beyond themselves to make sure it was recognized. Pair that with some truly honorable work ethics and sharp ears for talent, and you’ve got the basis for a story that will never again be imitated in such an incredible manner.

That one handshake meant the world for me to see, and I can only imagine what Stizz, Tim, and Guillermo alike would have said back then if you had told them that their story would eventually lead to a sold out, 2700-person show at the House of Blues. What a sight to see.

Okay, so I sort of went on a rant with that one. Sorry. But now we can revisit the second impactful moment I mentioned: Cousin Stizz’s performance of the Suffolk County cut, “Talk” featuring Jefe Replay.

This song has always been one of my favorites from the tape even before I understood Stizz’s history with Replay. By utilizing an ominous atmosphere to paint the unforgiving images of life in the city, both artists are at their finest on this track in their lyricism as well as their stone-cold deliveries. Slow-paced but chilling in its nature, this is one of those songs that comes around every once in a while and sets the tone for an undeniable classic.

Taking a step back, before Cousin Stizz was “Cousin Stizz”, he was in a group by the name of Pilot Nation alongside fellow Boston artists Nick Gray (who also performed on Friday) and Jefe Replay. Almost reflecting on these humble beginnings when the three talents first began to establish their names as acts to watch out for locally, Stizz’s performance of “Talk” at the HOBs was another full-circle moment for Boston.

His well-documented chemistry with Replay has been impressive from the jump, and to see two artists who have remained among the most promising talents in Boston still performing together today is nothing less than historic. Hearing the lines of “I hear whispers of death come from many men/ But I still walk through my city, man” and the ever-important outro from Stizz, saying, “Still on that same shit, that never change shit, you know/ Stick with it, you gon’ get it, I promise”, acted as nostalgic reminders of the progress that has been made as well as reminders of the the sky-high potential that still exists – both of which rang out in the importance behind the handshake that Replay and Stizz shared at the end of the song with the instrumental playing in the background.

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Boston’s music scene has seen quite a few changes since the 2012 days, yet the one staple that has remained consistent throughout and has personally been my favorite element to watch has been the unrivaled loyalty. Whether it’s observed best in Stizz bringing Replay out for “Talk”, Stizz’s come up with Big Leano, or something else, there’s no denying that the love still remains among some of the pioneers of Boston’s resurgence in rap.

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I could go on and on about the importance of this past Friday, but it’s probably best to leave it there. Let some things live in legend, you know? To end this article off, I first want to say thank you to Cousin Stizz, Tim Larew, Guillermo Antonini, and everyone involved in such an inspirational journey. Seeing those 2012 dreams come to fruition has been motivation for all of Boston, me included, and I can’t wait for the success that the future holds.

Here’s to a night that that will go down in history as the day a Boston rapper, or better yet, a hometown hero sold out the House of Blues. The story continues.

Thank you to @photokohli  and @Perspec7ive  for the photos used in this article.