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Why make music? 'It's what I do'

Editor's note: This is the first in an occasional series of interviews with local musicians and artists to help you get to know your local music and art scene on a more personal level.

Gray Click is a 25-year-old musician originally from Raleigh, N.C., who now shares his acoustic stylings with spots along the Grand Strand, which is only fitting, since the Strand is where he did most of his growing up.

When did you first decide you wanted to play music?As a kid, I used to always lip-sync and pretend to play guitar in my room to my favorite records. I took piano lessons for about a year but never did the homework. Whatever I learned there stuck with me.

I started fooling around on the guitar when I was about 15 years old, writing silly songs. It was about four years ago when I wrote a song called "Land And Water" when I realized, "Hey, maybe I can pull this song writing thing off."

What style of music would you say that you play? I'm a singer/songwriter. I would generalize the style as pop/rock. Playing live is an acoustic format, and my pal Brian throws lead guitar, mandolin and banjo in the mix. It's basically a feel-good pop style.

What artist(s) influenced you the most growing up? What about now? I was a kid of the late '90s, so I loved Third Eye Blind, Everclear, etc. Whatever was on the radio at the time. I was also really into Van Halen and Duran Duran, too. Classic rock, I guess. I really became attached to music through punk rock, though.

Today my song craft is inspired by Tom Petty and George Harrison, among many others. Music is universal, and influences all people indirectly.

Name a show that you played or saw that is memorable to you. I remember a show I played last year at Crazy J's The Basement (RIP), with Steve Pethel and Some Ambulance. We were really tight, the sound and crowd were perfect, and I tapped into a spiritual high.

As far as a memorable show I've seen, I will just say that there are a lot of local artists here on the Strand that catch my ear and inspire me.

How do you feel when you play music?

It's what I do. I always enjoy playing these songs for people outside of my bedroom. It's really an honor to play music with great players and others passionate about the music.

What's your preference: vinyl, CDs or MP3s?MP3s are best for compiling a definitive music collection; It's the favorable route. I still listen to CDs at home and in my car. Vinyl is so crisp, authentic, and balanced. You really won't find that sound digitally. My old roommate has most of my vinyl collection!

Where can readers learn more about you? They can check out www.reverbnation.com/gray click . You can also find me on Facebook as Gray Click (Music).

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