GRAMMYs on the Hill 2018 letter to me on 4/25/18 re: MMA bill

GRAMMYs on the Hill 2018

Dear James,

When music creators speak, Congress listens.

Moments ago, the House of Representatives voted unanimously 415-0 to pass the historic Music Modernization Act. The vote came one week after thousands of Recording Academy members wrote to their legislators.

As you have participated in the Recording Academy advocacy efforts, this historic vote is because of you.

Now it’s up to the Senate to pass comprehensive music licensing reforms that protect the creators of today and tomorrow. The future of music is in their hands. It’s up to us to make sure they follow through by supporting music creators.

Thank you,

Recording Academy Advocacy Team

ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO May 7-9, 2018 Hollywood, CA

Stars Join Multi-Platinum Recording Artists Meghan Trainor and Jason Mraz, Songwriters Hall Of Famers Desmond Child and Paul Williams, Jazz Legend Marcus Miller, Grammy-Winner Marc Cohn and More

Photo: Nedda Afsari

NEW YORK, March 19, 2018 — ASCAP adds over a dozen chart-topping music creators to the 2018 “I Create Music” EXPO lineup, including GRAMMY-winning musician St. Vincent. These new additions infuse this year’s lineup with some of today’s leading hitmakers from across the worlds of rock, pop, country, hip-hop, electronic and Latin. The additions combine the expertise of recording artists JoJo, Betty Who, Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s), Anna Waronker (That Dog) and St. Vincent with songwriting teams like The Futuristics and executive Peter Asher with chart-topping producers Needlz and Tuo. Engineer Marcella Araica will join “Masterminds Behind the Boards,” and artist/songwriter Adam Sanders will discuss how ASCAP helped him go from playing dive bars to writing his first #1 single. Other newly added songwriting talent includes multi-genre standout Priscilla Renea; Greg Wells, whose work has sold over 85 million copies to date; J Kash, Spotify’s reigning Secret Genius of the Year and Leland, a music professor turned go-to pop collaborator.

Registration is now open for this year’s EXPO, to be held Monday, May 7 through Wednesday, May 9 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. To register please visit:

St. Vincent – after winning her first Grammy in 2015, as well as ASCAP’s Vanguard Award the same year, the indie icon returned with her fifth album MASSEDUCTION last fall, which earned her highest-ever debut on the Billboard 200 and was named the #1 record of 2017 by Jon Pareles of The New York Times.

Marcella Araica – the groundbreaking engineer has mixed and recorded tracks for Britney Spears, Pink, DJ Khaled, Timbaland and Mariah Carey.

Peter Asher – a two-time Grammy Producer of The Year who was head of A&R for The Beatles’ Apple Records and a chart-topping musician in the 60s pop duo Peter & Gordon.

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go’s and her sister-in-law Anna Waronker of That Dog – collaborated on the Clueless theme song “Ordinary Girl,” founded their own label Five Foot Two Records and wrote “Lovelace: A Rock Musical,” an LA Times Critics’ Choice.

The Futuristics – the songwriting duo first gained notoriety writing the parody song “3-Way (Golden Rule)” forSaturday Night Live and have since gone on to write hits for Camila Cabello, Halsey, Flo Rida, 2 Chainz and G-Eazy.

JoJo – each of the pop star’s three studio albums have charted in the top ten of the Billboard 200, and as a teen sensation she scored a #1 on the Billboard Pop charts with “Leave (Get Out).” In 2016, JoJo released her first albumin ten years, Mad Love, which debuted at #6 in the US.

J Kash – after penning some of the year’s biggest hits, including Charlie Puth’s “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” and the Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign collaboration “Swalla,” Kash was presented with Spotify’s top songwriting honor for 2017 – the Secret Genius of the Year.

Leland – a songwriting professor turned professional songwriter, Leland’s first credits came from his work with Troye Sivan and Daya in 2015. He has also written with Kelsea Ballerini, Selena Gomez and Martin Garrix.

Needlz – a leading hip-hop producer for nearly two decades, he has worked with Drake, Bruno Mars, 50 Cent, Lupe Fiasco, The Game, Rakim, Talib Kweli and Busta Rhymes.

Priscilla Renea – the songwriter has worked with a wide range of artists including Rihanna, Miranda Lambert, Meek Mill, Madonna and Train. Renea has also lent her vocals to tracks by Big Sean, Diplo and B.o.B. Her song “Something Bad” is currently the theme to NBC’s Sunday Night Football coverage.

Adam Sanders – discovered by an ASCAP representative while playing the day shift in a small Nashville restaurant, Sanders has gone on to become one of country music’s most in-demand writers, scoring #1 hits for Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch. As an artist, Sanders has toured with Luke Bryan and Eric Church, most recently releasing the single “Thankful For” in 2017.

Tuo – as one half of Da Internz production team, he has worked with Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, Ludacris, T-Pain, John Legend, Nas and Jennifer Lopez.

Greg Wells – a musician, producer and songwriter whose songs have sold more than 85 million units. Wells has worked with Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Adele and Twenty One Pilots.

Betty Who – her unique brand of synthpop earned the Australian singer three #1 hits on the US Dance charts in four years, including her double-Platinum version of the Donna Lewis-penned “I Love You Always Forever.”

The music creators above join previously announced panelists like multi-platinum recording artists Meghan Trainorand Jason Mraz, Grammy Award-winners Marc Cohn, Darrell Brown and Dan Wilson, multi-time ASCAP Latin Songwriter of The Year Claudia Brant, jazz legend Marcus Miller, Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees Desmond Child and Paul Williams, rising pop star Billie Eilish and her close collaborator Finneas O’Connell.

Now in its 13th year, the ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO is the largest conference of its kind in the United States, attracting over 3,000 music creators for three days of panels, workshops, master classes, keynotes and one-on-one sessions with the industry’s top hitmakers. The 2017 “I Create Music” EXPO included nearly 200 panelists from across the music business covering dozens of compelling topics, from Congressional legislation benefiting songwriters to expanding the role of women in film music to a case study with the team behind Justin Bieber’s Purpose.

The New Music Scene Reunion Jamboree Sat. Aug. 19th, 2017 7:00-11:30pm

The New Music Scene was at the genesis of a vibrant scene in So. Cal. Creativity, community, and collaboration resulted in countless records, tours, song credits, TV/Film placements, and careers in the process. We are all gathering together again for a great evening of music, food, community, and all for a great cause – to help one of our tribe’s non profit organization to keep music alive in the very communities this one started in.

Eventbrite for tickets.

NAMM Show Performance – The Hilton Hotel Stage, Saturday, Jan. 23rd, 2016 2:00pm

JAMES GREY with Bob Hawkins on electric guitar

2016 WINTER NAMM SHOW, Anaheim, CA.

The Hilton Hotel Stage, SATURDAY, JAN. 23rd, 2:00pm

This is a public performance. NAMM trade show attendance is closed to the public.

James Grey appearance courtesy of NAMM. Special thanks to corporate endorsement partners  Taylor Guitars, D’Addario,The Recording Academy, Digitech, LR Baggs.

Looking back….in gratitude.

Looking back at 2015 in word snapshots….


And all the while being blessed enough to surround myself as much as possible with some of the most amazing people on this planet. Thank you each and everyone of you for allowing me into your world- you know who you are. I hope I have brought you as much love and joy as you have given me. And I am grateful for the growing discernment to recognize and avoid those folks who are less than cool. This singular act has profoundly improved my well being.

So, that about brings it up to date. Wishing you health and peace this season. I believe in the prince of peace, Jesus. But whatever your belief, I respect that and want peace for you, in your heart and mind. This truly is the season for believing in love. May the pain and fear of this old year vanish on new years day, and all we carry forward are the best memories. And may 2016 be the best year yet for us all!

God Bless,


Gratitude and Trust #140 Conference, June 24th, 2015, 92Y, NYC

It was an honor and a privilege to be invited to the Big Apple to speak at the 1st annual Gratitude and Trust #140 Conference. Formatted similar to TEDTalks conferences, I was treated to a full day of insightful and educational talks on subjects related to wellness and personal empowerment. I was told that prior to our afternoon panel moderated by Paul Williams that the event was the #1 top trending event on Twitter. Thats pretty cool!

What was a surprise and delight was just how many amazing people I met and made a connection with – either drawn to me by my public words, or sharing a moment in between. I got a sense that I met friends I will have for a lifetime. Visit Make a connection. You never know where it will take you….

I also met up with Brian Beckwith, a talented music producer out of Brooklyn. We ate and  walked around Williamsburg – the evening was alive with summer sounds and colors! We are working on a summer remix of “Everyday’s A Sunday” featuring a rising star spoken word artist and Brian’s undeniable sonic touch. I’m excited!

I found a few hours prior to my journey back home to attend the 911 Memorial and Museum. It opened only weeks prior. I cannot say it was a lighthearted entertainment venture, but I can recommend that everyone should visit it when in NYC. They did an extremely good job paying homage to a day that changed history, and honoring everyone who lost their lives innocently, or in service. I remember what I was doing that morning….

A summer in Newport….

Private duo performances throughout the summer and fall season to the members of the acclaimed Balboa Bay Club & Resort. From Memorial Day until late October the Yachts will be at our backs, friendly people around us, and baby blue skies above. If you are a member, or know one, come on out and say Hello!

The Grammy Awards, Sunday, Feb. 8th, 2015

The highlight of the pre-telecast Premiere Awards was when 20 Feet From Stardom won as the year’s best documentary. The Director lost his battle to cancer as he was finishing the credits to this amazing cinematic capture of the industry’s top back up and session singers. His young son spoke with his younger sister by his side, as their mother stood behind them, along side one of the iconic singers featured in the film. The boy, who looked to be about 12 years old spoke about his father’s wishes to bring this story to the world, and how proud he was of him. There was not a dry eye in the house. Beautiful. Another gratifying moment was watching my friend from South Africa win for the best new age album. His genuine joy and excitement epitomized a true music creator’s highlight of his creative life.

Telecast Awards Show: AC/DC’s opener jump started the night, with the entire audience encouraged to wear their provided devil horns headband for effect. Fun! From there the night flew ( sometimes watching from TV is not the same experience ) as you could feel the electricity of music’s biggest night. We did not notice the subtle Kanye West drama. It was only when the chatter after the fact, along with seeing the footage, that it really sank in. I purposely wanted to wait to post about the show to let my distaste for his energy spill out on my otherwise positive accounting of the evening. I will say this though….there is no new ego under the sun. We have seen those like him before and will see them again. Diseased egos darkening the community that otherwise is seemingly rising above the industry stereotypes of old. One very prominent figure said we should hold Kanye to his word and encourage him not to play with us anymore, as he threatened to do. Amen to that.

The after party saw Jesse J rock her anthem “Bang Bang” and other hits. Then Gloria Gaynor played her hits to conclude with ” I Will Survive “. We ended the night by dancing to the mixes of one of the planet’s most famous DJs until the early hours of the following day.

New friends met. Old ones renewed. Another great way to end the awards and convention season of 2015.

Musicare’s Person of the Year: Bob Dylan, Friday Feb. 6th, 2015

Being on the production team for another year of the Musicare’s Person of the Year event is always an honor and a privilege. But this year took amazing to another level. That’s the hardest of the hard to do, because each year pays tribute to the music industry’s icons. The cream of the cream of the crop….
It wasn’t that the amazing artists who played performance tribute could dip into arguably the most prolific body of songs to chose from. It wasn’t the entertainment industry’s best and brightest who rushed to their seats in anticipation of seeing and hearing a man who made a career out of not being seen nor heard, unless it was on his terms. And it wasn’t even President Jimmy Carter himself introducing him as a man who’s words had more impact than all of the Presidents combined.
It was the approx. 43 minutes that Bob Dylan spoke. He spoke about his career, influences, inspiration, detractors, critics, the global social mindset when he began, through his over 50 year career, and right to that very night. With razor sharp recollection and acumen he was like that person you thought was sleeping. Sleeping in his own world. But he was always paying attention. More than many of us who claim to be more alert to this humanity and the ground we inhabit. He fooled you, he fooled me, and he fooled even those who have been watching every move he has made.

And his words bounced, dipped, jumped, and hugged. Spontaneously they cut sharp then round, saucy then soft. And with the bump and rumble of the most skillful wordsmith who had the advantage of preparation. You could hear how his songs were born. Not far from his random thoughts. I was witnessing a once in a lifetime event….

He left me with life changing phrases. One that stands out is his recollection of a conversation with Sam Cooke, when Sam said ” a voice should not be judged on if it’s pretty. It should be judge on it’s ability to convince you that it is telling the truth.”

Towards the end it was obvious he was not going to perform. In the beginning I would predict I would have been, as others in attendance, disappointed. But I would not trade his words spoken for any performance. I’m sure all others would agree as well.

We heard the voice that expressed what generations could only think. And he somehow had a voice that would enlighten while giving you the feeling that he was just like the rest of us. if there was one common thought it would have been ” he is telling the truth.” That same thought the world had when they first heard his songs in the beginning. When he was changing the world one song at a time.

I walked to my car after saying goodbye to my friends and collaborators and looked forward to silence to make sense of what I experienced. And I thanked the author in my heart who seeded my love of music, for gifting me this night…..

It’s the season….

After ending a three season long residency of shows, the fall began a season of songwriting and recording for various projects. We are excited for what songs will be born in 2015. More details soon. This second half of December traditionally finds life and music slowing down to spend with family and loved ones. Before we know it the brand new baby 2015 will bring on NAMM, MusiCares Dylan Tribute, Grammy Awards, and all the celebrations around them. So, let me raise my glass…wishing you and yours a peaceful, joyful, and safe holiday season. Thank you for letting me in your world.