Today we’d like to introduce you to CJ + Cassie Grae.
Hi CJ + Cassie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
We both come from a strong musical background – Cass was exposed to it early on as her mom sang with her sisters, through exposure at church, and bangin’ out the right notes of songs sang at school on the untuned piano at home. CJ explored music in all its different facets – from playing drums as a kid at church to high school drumline, bands with friends, and everything in between. When we met, we were both musicians and singers at a local church. When we started hanging out, we sang in the car together and were like “Oh wow, we sound good together”. Well into dating we toyed around with the idea of doing a music project together. And while planning our wedding, we decided to start a duo, which was timely because not even a week after that decision, we had the spontaneous opportunity of opening for touring musician, Josh Morningstar. So, we got a band together and came up with a quick band name for the performance that was happening in a week. That band name was quickly replaced as our wedding was on the brink and we wanted to rebrand and develop as artists. The first song we ever wrote together was our wedding vows, “40 Years (Our Vows)”, which we performed at the ceremony. The night before the wedding we set up new social media accounts, planned our website, and made sure the release was ready for Spotify. Our wedding itinerary even had a QR code to the song so our guests could listen to it. We walked back the aisle as husband, wife – The Graes. We’ve been writing, performing, and creating ever since.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Being emerging artists in such an industry where there are a million other emerging artists, one obstacle is simply just cutting through all the noise. Since it’s so easy for anyone to upload music to Spotify these days, truly honing in on our fan base, genre, and focus as musicians, has been extremely difficult. Not to mention the stigma of what is “popular” these days. We’ve submitted our music to over a thousand different outlets, to receive just about a thousand “no”s. It’s extremely humbling. It reminds us that we’re doing this because it’s a passion, and not because we want to be famous. Having the opportunity to make making music a full-time job comes with its challenges. Although it’s not easy, we’re committed to succeeding, whatever that may look like. Another challenge is learning how to navigate social media – between TikTok, reels, YouTube, etc., knowing where to put our focus is a bit of an obstacle.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We’re primarily singer/songwriters who also specialize in music production/engineering. We’re also performers/entertainers, this is what we’re most known for. We also dabble in photography, videography, and graphic design. We’re proud of the music we create and the brand that comes with it. We’re proud of our ability to engage an audience during our live shows. What sets us apart is we do it all – we’ll outwork anyone to achieve our goals. We truly believe in the power of music.
If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
Cassie: Shy and timid. I didn’t like being in front of people or talking to people, music was my escape. But I only played or sang in private, I didn’t ever want to show my skills or interest in front of an audience.
CJ: Growing up I was energetic. I wanted to try everything. As a foster kid, my home life wasn’t the greatest. My band director would send me home with different instruments to learn and I slowly became a “jack of all trades but master of none”. I was well-rounded. I was an athlete, fairly studious, a band geek, and a show choir nerd. Life of the party, not much has changed.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://wearethegraes.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/wearethegraes
- Facebook: https://facebook.com/wearethegraes
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/wearethegraes
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMb4Q_LLASXFVk7hyFPqBtw
- SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/wearethegraes
Billy Logan Creative