Of course, when it comes to this 30-year-old Welsh singer/songwriter, overnight success is a relative term. In his case it was a ten-year, four-album night culminating in the chart-climbing feats of his White Ladder album, courtesy of its alluring, hypnotic single, "Babylon."
Gray's first three albums 1993's A Century Ends, 1994's Flesh and 1996's Sell, Sell, Sell gained him a devoted following among such peers as Dave Matthews and Radiohead. He also earned sizable audiences in Europe, but scant attention in the U.S. His chances of grabbing American ears seemingly shot, Gray paid for the recording of White Ladder out of pocket and released the album on his own label, IHT, in early 1999.
Proving that it helps to have fans in high places, longtime admirer Matthews then picked up the album and re-released it on his own ATO Records label in March of 2000. White Ladder's 11 tracks mix acoustic guitars, piano and spare beats amidst Gray's warm vocals and lyrics about looking for love in all the wrong places.
Gray sat down with MTV Radio's Meridith Gottlieb to give her the lowdown on his slow climb up the ladder of success, why he thinks Morrissey should stop whining and the dangers of recording at home.