The Dance Baby
By Rick Perez
With the release of his latest EP, Spirit, the New Orleans based musician Luxley has been busy gaining momentum in the music world. Born Ryan Gray, Luxley has had popular publications such as Nylon and Interview Magazine feature his single, ‘Mirrors’, adding to the momentum.
BoC had the opportunity to talk to Luxley in the midst of this excitement. He shared his thoughts on his EP, Spirit, gave his advice on what we should do if we had 24 hours in New Orleans, and even made a cocktail exclusively for BoC. Read below.
Who is Luxley and what is your music all about?
Luxley is an entity that exists outside of myself. I write music for it. People will just call me Luxley because I’m the principal writer for it. I’m an ex-medical student and neuroscience researcher. My music is about being unsettled.
If you could invite three people over for dinner, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Oliver Sacks, Prince, and Vergil (with David Byrne) as his translator
Oliver Sacks: Oliver sacks was a British neurologist, naturalist and author who spent his professional life in the United States. I read his books growing up and they changed the way I looked at both life and medicine. This man taught me that the brain really is the most incredible thing in the universe. His famous book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, is a must-read, and his novel about music and the brain, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, is absolutely riveting.
Prince: Prince is one of my musical heroes. Having read so much about him the past several years, I would love to talk to him about his life, influences, and writing process.
Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil) with David Byrne to translate: I studied Latin for several years. Vergil was an ancient Roman poet in the Augustan period. He wrote one the most important poems in Western literature, the Aenied. Would love to talk to him about the Aenid and Roman culture. It would also be fitting to meet him over pizza. He would need a translator because it’s nearly impossible to understand spoken Latin, even if you can read it. David Byrne would be his translator (lets have some imagination here). I’d also talk to David Byrne about “what is music?”
What would you eat?
You just released your first album, Spirit. What makes this album so special? Is there a general theme?
The Spirit EP was an experiment. This record was my first attempt to write songs by way of a self-prescribed home studio and whatever I had accessible to me financially (a voice, natural sounds, old keyboards, pedals, phones, bass, studio synthesizers). I think that’s what makes it so special.
The general theme is about being unsettled and suspended in a moment in time.
How did you celebrate this release? Did you have a record release party?
I didn’t celebrate the release, yet. We’re still focused on getting more music out in the world. I did get to play with Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend a few days before the record came out though. That was pretty cool.
How has New Orleans influenced your music?
Something I’ve always enjoyed about this city’s music scene is its roller coaster of emotions. I’m subconsciously inspired by the percussiveness of second-line bands, the romance of its jazz clubs, the dirt inside blues bars, and the weird grooves inside the funk scene.
I have 24 hours in New Orleans, where should I sleep, eat, and party?
Eat at Bacchanal in Bywater, and then go to Frenchmen Street to enjoy great live music. Pace your drinking and drink water. Before the sun rises, visit Snake n’ Jakes. Drink more water. Take a cab to the French Quarter to have brunch and bloody mary’s at the Court of Two Sisters. Walk around the Quarter and keep drinking. Then head to The Country Club to lay out and have more drinks. Drink a gallon of water and pop some ibuprofen. There is no sleeping.
If you can make a special cocktail for BlackontheCanvas, what would you make and what would you call it? With tequila, please.
The Dance Baby – Cimarron Blanco Tequila, Egg white, Luxardo Maraschino Liquer, Lemon.
What’s next for Luxley?
I’m remixing some talented artists right now. I’m also planning to release a new song this Fall. I’m sure there will be some show-dates around the country. No tours booked, yet.