Jason Gray is trying to move past his identity as The Stuttering Artist, but he's not completely letting go of that label either.
A decade ago, Gray, whose new album A Way to See in the Dark (Centricity), releases today, was often introduced as a thoughtful singer/songwriter who also happens to have a speech impediment. When he signed with Centricity Records in 2006, Gray and the label had a frank discussion about it.
"I'd always had this opportunity to talk about the virtues of weakness and brokenness and how God meets us there," says Gray. "It's a great doorway to begin a conversation about weakness. But when I signed with the label, they said, 'Let's be careful to not let this become a gimmick. You don't want to be known as The Stuttering Artist for your whole career.' I thought that was wise. So we try to make use of it but not allow it to define all of my work."
Gray might just as well be known as The Thoughtful Artist, because, well, he likes to think deeply about things. We talked to him about that, about his new album, about his struggles with depression, and about his thoughts on what causes us to sin.
You've been described as "a deep thinker." Is that true?
Yeah, I'm pretty deep in my head most of the time. I'm reading a book about the how different personalities learn. I'm this weird combination of an emotional person who feels things, and a logical person who wants every statement justified.
On my last album, the song "More Like Falling in Love" was like a corrective for myself in that I realized that I'm more comfortable at times with intellectualizing my faith. I wondered if I was doing that just to keep it up in my head as a way of protecting my heart from the gospel—holding my heart back a little. I think ...1
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Seeing in the Dark
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