Light You Up
On the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii just south of Kailua there's a place where the Mighty King Kamehameha was born. The town is called Keauhou, which in Hawaiian means, 'place of new beginnings.' Kona is a good place to heal; to start fresh. It's an escape from the fast pace of the East Coast. It's an escape from the ever-changing West Coast. Drawn by the warm crystal waters, eternal sunshine, and a very real spirit of Aloha, people from all over the world who come here have found a new definition of beauty and happiness. My name is Kristofer David Gray. I am one such person. I'm also a singer and a songwriter. But an American songwriter should know America. My journeys have taken me from the Big Valley of California to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and many places in between. I've played basketball in Indiana. I've hit the slopes in Vermont. I've cheered on the Rockies in Denver. Enjoyed the hospitality of Atlanta. Eaten gumbo in Baton Rouge. Gambled in Nevada. Visited the Land of Lincoln. Walked Mount Vernon. I've driven straight through the night from Colorado to L.A. I've recorded an album in Nashville. Surfed in Maui. And I've smelled the smoldering ashes where Two Towers once stood. The sunshine of Hawaii is the perfect place to see which memories reflect the promising glimmer of a great song. My new album, Light You Up, is a collection of these songs ranging from the optimistic piano pop of Find My Baby to the guitar driven indy rock sound of River of Lies. It's an ensemble of tunes expressing the joy of a singer and songwriter who is not afraid to let inspiration channel different moods and sounds of faces and places. The Big Island seems an unlikely place to begin a career in 'mainland style' music. But sharing an area code with songwriting greats like Neil Young, Gerry Beckley, and Jack Johnson means, at the very least, I'm in good company. For some it's a place to begin. For others, a place to reflect. For me it's a place where beauty has made me believe I was meant to be content. It's a place where the cool water has inspired faith. It's a place where sunshine sheds it's light on what my true desires have always been. Kona is my Keauhou for my songs, for my life.