Get To Know: Crystal Murray
This week we get to know 19 year old star, Crystal Murray...
Music came naturally to Crystal Murray, having always been an intrinsic part of her life. The daughter of a Franca-Spanish mother and an African-American Jazz musician, she grew up in a creative household listening to a melting pot of different sounds.
Crystal has cemented herself as a firm one to watch for 2021, having received an incredible nod from the one and only Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC 6 Music, 1XTRA’s Jamz Supernova, and BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, not to mention support from key press including The Face, DIY Magazine, Clash, Wonderland, The Independent, and more.
1. For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
I’m Crystal Murray. I’m 19 years old. I was born and raised in Paris by an Afro-American dad and a Spanish mother. I grew up listening to my dad playing saxophone and listening to a lot of Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, and Minnie Ripperton. My family comes from a gospel background in San Francisco, so church music is deeply rooted in our family. Since I was young, I was exposed to various kinds of music such as Soul and Blues, which helped me to think differently about music. I’m still growing but I keep the soul in me by mixing it with new music I discover such as drum and bass, alternative pop and rock. They are really important for me to keep a wide angle in music. I like to discover different sounds and play around with them.
2. Who/what inspired you to start a career in music?
I’d say all the singers I was listening to since I was little have had a different impact on my career in music. I was obsessed with Macy Gray for her classy pop energy, amazed by Kelis and her ability to step out of the box and then the biggest boss of all, Betty Davis who really inspired me in my music career. I’d say all the singers I was listening to since I was little had a different impact on my career in music. All three of them inspired me because they have strong personality and you can hear it in how they scream and sing their emotions out - right from the guts - it’s so punk and I love it.
3. Who are your biggest musical influences?
It’s a mix of Prince and a set by Bamao Yende at a good party.
4. Tell us about the writing and recording process of your new release…
So basically, all of these were made in my house in a little town in Portugal. I was really trying to open some doors in my mind by twisting my foundation in music with other sounds, party sounds that make me dance, the sounds of a good bass, good drums. I started the residency with Sacha Rudy and we did so many songs in one week, all are different. I tried to find where I wanted to go. Then I finished it in Paris by including Loubensky and Thimothée Joly on some of the production - as well as featuring.
5. What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Actually, it was just yesterday at the We Love Green Festival. It was one of the best shows I have ever done. Funny story, I decided to change the set list three days before the show. I made two new sounds and took away some slow songs to make the concert more upbeat. The crowd were going wild, my shirt was torn because I was moving so much! I was like half naked on stage but it made me laugh so much because the atmosphere was so hyped and the band were so energetic and it was a really good vibe and a good show.
6. Who would be your dream collaboration and why?
I think it would be Tyler, the Creator. I would love to do a rock song with him. It would be the best song of my life. He’s really an artist that I've followed since I was a little girl. He really fits in with my generation. I saw the way his sound grew, and he is such an inspiration for me.
7. Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
When I met Frank Ocean when I was opening for Kiddy Smile. I was really young and I was completely dumbfounded when he was just in front of me.
8. If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of time what would it be and why?
'Break it off' from PinkPantheress. Her vocals and lyrics are so simple and the instrumental is so upbeat - it makes an amazing song that I can listen to on repeat forever. If I can cheekily have another song - it would be 'Contre Temps' from Flavien Berger ft. Bonnie Banane. It is an incredible ballad between two lovers.
9. What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
'My army of lovers'. It’s an unusual song and I really like it.
10. What can we expect from your live shows?
A lot of energy, soul and rock. I want people to go crazy. I want them to come for a full live band show and to feel the beats dancing through their veins.
11. Have you got any fun livestreams/online events planned for this year? / When can we see you live?
I don’t have any livestream plans just yet but soon! Probably when my next EP comes out in January 2022. As for right now I’m playing live in Barcelona next week. And I am hosting a big party of live music at La Maroquinerie in November, it is going to be a great show too.
Crystal’s new single ‘Too Much To Taste’ is out now!