Oklahoma Singer/Songwriter Erica Ray began singing and writing her own music at a young age.
Erica’s musical roots are a graceful blend of her influences in jazz, blues, and folk music, as well as the hymns her grandmother used to sing to her.
Erica is a graduate from the Academy of Contemporary Music in Oklahoma City and is now leading worship while she furthers her studies in social work.
Erica describes the healing process that writing music has given to her. She is dedicated to empowering listeners to find their own voice.
"At Home Now (Holy, Holy, Holy)" starts off with Erica’s captivating soft vocals that grace the listener and draws them in.
A gentle piano soon follows, and as the song builds the atmosphere within the song continues to grow bigger and bigger with the production supporting Erica's beautiful and inspirational lyrics.
This track is a brilliant artistic expression of how faith is the source of Erica’s peace and sense of belonging. The powerful storyline and vulnerable lyrics of this track are sure to move you. Erica Ray’s "At Home Now (Holy, Holy, Holy)" is a passionate song with a soulful story that will have you singing along before the end of the first chorus. Once you hear the last piano note you will be wanting to play this peaceful love song again.
Hi Erica, welcome to BuzzMusic! We’re moved by the powerful message of this song! What was your inspiration behind such a moving track? Did the influences of the hymns your grandmother used to sing you play a role in this creative process?
"At Home Now (Holy, Holy, Holy)" was written pre-pandemic before many of us were asked to physically stay at home. I wrote it about being mentally and spiritually at home. I wanted to attempt to explain the overwhelming peace my soul feels whenever I fully invite Jesus in. He meets me in my mess and makes me feel like I belong. My best friend was murdered and the trial took place in the fall of 2019. For months, I was burdened by stress and the weight I carried as I testified on the stand against the person who took her away from me. I went to a Worship Circle Retreat in the North Georgia Mountains in January of 2020 and the Lord began to help me unpack everything that was too heavy for me to carry on my own. I allowed His peace to settle in and bring me back to a place of feeling "At Home". The song poured out of me in twenty minutes and I can confidently say I am still in awe. My hope for this song is that it helps others experience the same never-ending, always inspiring peace that flows from our Savior.
The hymns my grandmother sang to me as a kid have definitely influenced my creative process for this song. I always felt so safe when she was singing to me and this song is intended to capture that feeling of being safe at home where you belong. My grandmother has always accepted and loved me exactly as I am.
Congratulations on graduating from the Academy of Contemporary Music! Has your education played a role in shaping your creative process? Do you feel like you have musically changed/grown from studying music at an academy?
Thank you so much! Studying at ACM gave me the practical tools necessary for songwriting and understanding theory. I was always encouraged to dig deep and be authentic when writing my own music. I experienced so much growth while pursuing my degree there. From music business to the basics of sound engineering, the Academy helped round out my skills as an artist.
Since becoming a worship leader, has your creative process changed? Are you still writing your own songs?
Whenever I became a worship leader, I really fell in love with the sound of a room full of people singing their hearts out. I see myself as merely a leader of the song. I keep the heartbeat of the song going so that everyone is free to worship however they want to. It's not about perfection, it's about our Creator. I know that I am creative because of our Creator and that has changed my creative process completely. I feel there are no limits when creating. I am constantly writing my own songs, in many different genres. I write to heal, I write to celebrate, I write to help others pause and enjoy life.
Since music has been part of your life growing up, was there a defining moment when you realized that you wanted to pursue it as a career?
My first time on stage was in kindergarten. I was wearing a Cinderella dress and looked terrified. I do have a picture lol. I was terrified, but I kept getting back on stage year after year. I have always known I would be singing and writing my entire life. My mom tells a story of me at the age of three that I love. We were driving in the car during a storm. The windshield wipers were creating a beat and I began making up songs to the rhythm. My mom said she knew then that music would always be a part of my life.
What is the message you hope people take away from your music?
The message I hope people take away from my music is that they belong. In a world full of constant communication, it is still too easy to feel all alone. I want people to know that they don't have to carry the weight of their pain and experiences on their own. There is always growing and there is always hope.
What's keeping you inspired in 2020?
2020 has most definitely felt like a year of setbacks. I want to reframe my thinking and view the setbacks as opportunities. How can I reach out to the people I love with more intentionality? How can I educate myself more about the Racial Injustice in our country? How can I learn to be still and trust God more? I want to be a light in the world. I think that 2020 has inspired me to develop more perseverance in the midst of all these challenges.