Zachary Ray

FRESH: ‘Refuge’ – Zachary Ray

Zachary Ray debuts with “Refuge”.

by Christopher Smith

“Refuge” is a song thats straight out of my journal during an incredibly difficult season. The song came from a cry to the all-knowing God when I was in a place of isolation – feeling surrounded by people and friends that loved us but feeling alone at the same time. “Refuge” introduces the world to Zachary Ray, who developed a passion for music singing in his dad’s church at a young age. That passion for music lead him to study vocal performance and music business at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Zachary’s love for music and sharing his story through lyrics has lead him back to America to write and record an album at Dark Horse Recording Studios in Franklin, Tennessee. The current project is about his journey over the past few years. A story and a season in his life full of heartache, doubt, trust, deep love and healing but, most of all, it’s a story of the hope, comfort, peace and confidence that kept him going.

Zachary explains about the song to us: “After my wife Amanda gave birth to our still born daughter Chloe, there were very few words of comfort that helped. Although people were praying and offering their words of comfort it felt like a season of being abandoned by God, and the dreams of holding our little girl were stolen and shattered. Grief is a funny thing. The initial sting and pain becomes dull over time, but the memories and dull ache continues to come in waves. I don’t think our hearts are created for this world to overcome “grief” from tragedies or loss of loved ones; it becomes a part of our story, our life. We become a different person. The beautiful thing is that God stays the same and meets us where we are. I can honestly say God tangibly became my refuge in one of the darkest times in my life. He brought a healing into my soul like no earthly person could. We may never be the way we were before, but He shapes us into a new, and often stronger, person”.

“I wrote the lyrics of this song with a good friend of mine, Joel Reimer. He and his wife Brandi suffered the loss of their baby boy, Harbour, when he was 4 months old. We both experienced extremely dark situations, but I know this song is not just for people with our type of journeys. It is for the person who is feeling alone, abandoned or deserted in a hopeless situation. It’s a song of hope for me. People need to know it’s ok to feel their way through their story, knowing God is with them on every page. I know other people have their own way of dealing with grief and life’s battles, but I know what worked for me. It was to find refuge in the all knowing finding ‘refuge’ in Jesus”.

For more about Zachary, check out his WEBSITE and his FACEBOOK page

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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