Lyric-centric, singer-songwriter, CJ Ray premieres the Nicolas Wendl directed cinematic video for his acoustic ballad, 'Today', via CCM Magazine. They cheer, "CJ Ray combines hooks with intelligent lyrics of hope, contentment, love and forgiveness into each and every one of his songs." 'Today' is the second single (following 'Death Valley') off of his forthcoming EP, 'For Each Other', due this spring.
Discussing the new video with Louder Than The Music, CJ Ray said: "I love how perfectly this video captures what I was feeling when I wrote the song TODAY. It was a full range of feelings - regret, loneliness and despair but also of hope and redemption. My prayer is that the message of this video will encourage and inspire those who take the time to watch and listen."
“The cinematic video shows CJ on the other side of darkness and accepting God and has three short vignettes of other people also struggling and ultimately coming into the light,” enthuses CCM Magazine. “They all meet up in the end in praise and celebration.” “To surrender control of our life is a scary thought for most of us,” says CJ. “We all want to maintain control because we know best what is right for us, but do we? ‘Today’ is a song about reconciling control of living with the purpose of living. It asks a profound question that every listener will be compelled to ponder, Today is the day!”
Of 'Today,' Louder Than The Music raves, “with gentle guitars, soothing vocals, and gorgeous tones, this heartfelt ballad oozes warmth and optimism, soaring later in the track to a triumphant declaration of praise. Stunning!"
'Today' was produced by Greg Karas (guitarist for Andy Grammar) and in addition to CJ Ray was performed by Greg Karas (Guitars), Kiel Feher (Drums for Kanye’s Sunday Service), Tyler Caroll (Bass for Allen Stone) and Doug Williams (Keys).
'Today' is the sequel to CJ Ray’s guitar driven, cinematic, 'Death Valley,' which premiered via V13.The video features shots of CJ performing with his band interspersed with the story of a young man (portrayed by actor Rhett Wellington) driving alone through Death Valley while experiencing inner turmoil and also features actor Cade McWatt (General Hospital.)
“It is terrifying to be in the Valley of Death but in my case Death Valley forced me to look to God for deliverance,” the songwriter says. “Ultimately, God is there to love and heal His children but sometimes hope is only revealed when things seem most hopeless.”
European, award winning director, Nicolas Wendl, has worked on numerous music videos, narrative short films, and campaigns. He has worked with Kristin from Juel Concepts for several years, and this is his second collaboration with CJ Ray after his first single for 'Death Valley.'
While pursuing his desire to inspire, CJ Ray, known as Grand Dude his family, to brings forth his collection of lyric-centered rock, pop and contemporary music. Inspired by the sounds of Train, Gavin DeGraw, Jack Johnson, John Mayer and Jason Mraz.
Raised in a suburb north of Chicago, CJ started playing music at a young age at church and with friends from his middle school. His first venture was as a drummer in a four-member rock band that covered songs from bands like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Bad Company and for a short while, featured now-famous classmate, Tom Morello on guitar and lead vocals.
This Nevada based, singer-songwriter is seeking to find the best avenue to share his songs of hope and grace as well as other emotional subjects of the heart, mind and soul. CJ wants his music to make his listeners find joy and peace in any circumstance they find themselves in. This past summer, CJ Ray released “24 and 8,” his emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. Prior to that, he released a ten song LP, Be Where You Are, with the lead single, “Words,” appearing in the 2019 feature film “High Strung Free Dance." Watch out where CJ Ray the Grand Dude goes next with his 2021 EP, For Each Other.