Florida based Worship leader Travis Bray recently released a song titled 'Be Thou Our Vision'. Louder Than The Music spoke with Travis to hear the story about how he was led to write the song after witnessing an awe-inspiring view of the Milky Way, and how the song has come to mean so much to him and his family.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
My name is Travis Bray, and I am married to my beautiful wife, Nicole. We live in the Tampa/Clearwater, FL, area. I have four children who are ages 24 to 3 years old. I also have an excellent career with an aerospace company. I believe God has called me to be a worship leader for the church and use my gifts and abilities to point others to know Jesus.
I began writing music when I was about ten years old. However, I didn't start writing Christian and worship music until I was in my early thirties. I love leading worship and writing songs that honestly reflect my faith journey. In many different venues, I lead the church in praises to God across the United States and other parts of the world, from churches large and small. The vision and mission I have for my life is to lead the people of God into the presence of God, singing the praises of God.
Tell us about your single 'Be Thou Our Vision' and what the inspiration behind it was?
'Be Thou Our Vision' is a song inspired by an experience I had in the early morning hours in a small village in southern Cuba. In an area with no artificial light, I looked up into the sky and saw a wispy cloud that did not move or dissipate. I realized after a few minutes it wasn't a cloud at all; instead, I was looking at the Milky Way. I was staring at a portion of the universe two million light-years away!
When describing the Milky Way, people ascribe brilliant, beautiful, wondrous, vast, far, great, and more. Similarly, this is how people describe God. Attributes of mercy, grace, love, kindness, holiness, righteousness, and more are used to express one's experiences and what we see in our faith in God.
Like the light from the stars and galaxies that make up the Milky Way, God, and all He is, namely His presence and love, has been traveling toward us from eternity to reach us---here and now! The light I saw emanating from its origin a millennia ago was present with me at that moment. Mind blown!
Be Thou Our Vision is my very humble attempt to capture the grandeur of our God while asking for His help to comprehend the vastness of His love for us. The same love which journeyed from eternity past to meet us now.
Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?
Absolutely! I'm currently writing and working on songs for a project or two. So, stay tuned!
What message would you like people to take from your music?
That God, all that He is, loves us, is proud of us, and is in, with, and under our lives.
How would you describe your style of music, and what are your influences?
My worship style is described as modern cinematic influenced rock worship.
I have an eclectic range of influences like Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Hillsong United to Jon Foreman, John Prine, Bob Dillan to Further Seems Forever, and Dashboard Confessional.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Oh man, I would love to work with and learn from Jon Foreman. I love the way he writes, how he paints a picture of the story in one's mind. I appreciate the vocabulary he uses to express authentic, vulnerable, and raw ideas to create a new and fresh perspective on life.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
Honestly, I am writing songs that are a reflection of my faith journey with Christ. My goal is to add them to the vast music portfolio that God can use to draw people to Himself, His son, Jesus. To be invited and provided the opportunity to be a part of the epic work God is doing is humbling and incredible. Success to me would be people from all over the world coming to have a better understanding and relationship with Jesus.
What is your favorite album of all time?
Personally, the most influential album for me is "A Collision (or 3+4=7)" by the David Crowder Band.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
It might be against the rules, but I would love to listen to "Be Thou Our Vision" one more time. This song has been so crucial to my family and me. My dad passed away from cancer earlier this year. He, my mom, and my sister were listening to "Be Thou Our Vision" as he took his last breath and walked into eternity to see Jesus face to face.
What does the next year hold for you?
I am excited about this next year. I have a bunch of songs I have been writing and composing. I have found through the course of writing I am writing for a couple of different projects. So this next year, the goal is to record songs for two albums.