Just in time for Father’s Day, entrepreneur and rock-singer-songwriter, CJ Ray announces his “For Each Other” micro-grant initiative awarding fifty $100.00 grants to individuals whose family and friends have nominated them for being “there for each other” during this past tumultuous year. The process asks the nominator to post via social media a photo or video in celebration of the person or family who has been there for them in a meaningful way. The recipients of the “For Each Other” micro-grant will receive funds directly in August 2021.
“Over the last year and a half, I’ve been inspired by my own family and friends as we’ve worked to stay both healthy and connected,” says CJ. “I wanted to find ways to pay it forward with the ‘For Each Other’ release, so I am announcing a round of Micro Grants designed to help people share a little love back to those who have been there for them over these challenging months. The idea of the unexpected gift is so powerful, and I hope it brings joy to many! Let’s get back to being our best selves as the Human Race. God loves you.”
The faith-based rocker is set to release his latest EP, For Each Other, on July 23. Comprised of four original songs and CJ’s reimagining of Sarah McLachlan’s “Sweet Surrender,” the EP boasts visceral and heartfelt performances by the songwriter and was A&R’d by Kristin Juel/Juel Concepts and produced by both Paul Fig (Jerry Cantrell/Alice In Chains, Deftones, Coheed and Cambria) and Greg Karas (Andy Grammer). The majority of the songs were written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic and the social issues surrounding that time. Ray explores themes including returning to normal life, caring for others, appreciating the past, desiring freedom, newness and rebirth.
A son, husband, father and Granddude, family is at the forefront of CJ’s life. “My granddaughter calls me Granddude, which I adore and I absolutely love being a dad to my kids,” he says. “I think having so many connections to others creates the ability for me to write music from numerous perspectives.”
Raised in a suburb north of Chicago, CJ Ray started playing music at a young age at church and with friends from his middle school. His first venture was as a drummer in a four-member rock band that covered Classic Rock songs and briefly featured now-famous classmate Tom Morello on guitar and lead vocals.
CJ hopes his music will help listeners find joy and peace in any circumstance they find themselves in.