TEN MEETS CRYSTAL MURRAY
Meet Crystal Murray, the 19-year-old French R&B singer-songwriter mixing a handful of genres into one, creating her own distinct sound along the way. Releasing her debut single in 2018, “After Ten” topped Spotify’s new talent playlists and cemented her status in the music world. With a debut EP, I Was Wrong, alrrady under her belt, the singer-songwriter is back with a new single “Too Much To Taste” – an eclectic palette of sounds that gives a hint to what we can expect from Murray’s Twisted Bases EP, dropping next February. Here, we talk to the rising star:
Who is Crystal Murray?
“I’m Crystal Murray. I’m 19-years-old and I was born and raised in Paris by an Afro-American dad and a Spanish mother. We grew up in music, with my dad playing saxophone. My family comes from deep gospel in San Francisco. Music in my family is mystical and deep-rooted. So I grew up listening to a lot of Coltrane, Marvin Gaye, Minnie Ripperton; but still grew up doing school, hanging out in parks and being the Parisian Girl I still am. I really had a very open childhood; swinging between a lot of traditions, types of music and lots of different ways of thinking. I’m now still growing – I keep the soul in me but I’m mixing it with what I discover like drum and nass sounds, alternative pop, rock. It’s really important for me to keep a wide-angle with my music, for now, I like to discover things and play with them.”
Describe your sound in a sentence.
“A young sound that is slowly becoming slick and sexy.”
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
“I always had music growing up, it’s been a part of my family for decades. My grandma was taking care of a gospel church, my dad learned music there and slowly got into free jazz. It’s in my blood and I feel so deeply rooted to soul/Black music. I never told myself anything, everything was just in place for me to start my career because I was always doing music. It felt natural.”
Who are your three style icons?
“I love Prince. He is a big performance inspiration for me. His whole energy and sexiness make me want to channel that energy and scream on stage. 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 and amazed by Kelis and her ability to step out of the box. Then the boss of all, Betty Davis who really inspired me in my music career. I’d say all the singers I’ve grown up listening to have had a different impact on my career in music. All three have inspired me because they have a strong personality and you can hear it from how they scream and sing their emotions out, right from the guts. It’s so punk I love it.”
What is your favourite party you’ve played with the Gucci Gang?
“It’s actually really funny because we were really just good at hyping up the crowd, and we were young. I’m really not good at DJing but really good at having fun and selecting tunes. We played for an MCM party, it was really funny because everybody was so boujee and we were so young. We had invited all our friends and literally started playing straight French rap and dancing all over the place!”
What’s one song from your discography which is the perfect introduction to your sound?
“Like it Nasty”, it’s a good recipe. Good drums and bass with a good pussy cat doll-type melody haha! My favourite song is going to land in January and fits well with what I want to do. It’s called “BREAK ft. Ze Loopers.”
What’s the best piece in your wardrobe?
“Santiags – a pair of boots is the best for me!”
What can we expect from your Twisted Bases EP?
“I twisted my foundations, took what I knew well and put that energy into things I didn’t know, like alternative rock, electronic, and UK garage. Sounds that you can listen to without lyrics. I really worked on the production of every single instrumental first and then worked on the melodies and lyrics. The next project can’t be put in a box, but you can box the tracks up in emotional boxes! I think people are gonna be a little bit surprised if the only song they’ve listened to from me is “Princess”; but if you’ve followed the evolution, I think it makes sense. I’m actually very proud of this project because I can see an evolution from the first project.”
“A new sound that keeps on evolving and some very slick and sexy visuals.”
Photography by Colin Solal Cardo. Crystal Murray’s “Too Much To Taste” is available to stream on all major platforms now.