We had the good fortune of connecting with Rob Bray and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rob, how do you think about risk?
The way I think about risk is the same way I think about challenges. Am I competent? Have I succeeded at something like this before? Is there evidence to suggest that success is probable if I take this risk, or at least that failure won’t result in something detrimental? My risk taking is calibrated and incremental. Make sure I can land the single axel before I move on to the double axel, make sure I can land the double axel with consistency before I move on to the triple axel and so on. In a fit of passion, enthusiasm, and adrenaline I might be able to go right from a double to a quadruple revolution, and sometimes that success changes your image of yourself and it’s a permanent shift, but more often than not it’s something that couldn’t be repeated in less favorable emotional states. So it’s better to make sure you can land the triple axel in every conceivable emotional state before moving on. When I can perform the hell out of a piece of music when the butterflies in my stomach are intense, I’m not feeling my best, and I’m not playing for a particularly friendly audience – that’s when I know I have that skill in the bag.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I started out I was most enamored by bands like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Rolling Stones, Elvis, artists who took their love of American roots music – blues, country, R&B, rockabilly, folk, soul, gospel… and put it all together into their own unique original rock ‘n’ roll stew. I set out to do the same and I guess I’m still doing that. Recently, over the last several years I’ve become increasingly smitten with country music and it’s been changing my approach, and the way I write songs. And I’m loving the fruits. There will be fans that leave you as you grow and change but I have faith that the right people will find my music at the right time, the right congregation will assemble and it will be an authentic,, intimate, and lifelong bond.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m fortunate to live right on the beach, on Miami Beach, so first thing we’d have to do is load up on snacks and supplies and head out to the beach club and luxuriate on the white sand and get a healthy dose of sun and surf. We are in Miami after all, and health and fitness is part of the lifestyle so then I’d take them to my gym, Anatomy, for a workout and then recovery in their glorious spa. Favorite spots around town are Lagniappe in Midtown for the live music and their make your own charcuterie platter, Terras in Little Havana for the views and the ceviche, Joe’s Stone Crab, Sugar at the East Hotel in Brickell for the views, food, and atmosphere. . Breakfast at Jealous Fork – the best food truck in town! A stroll through South Point Park, rock climbing at Edge Rock Gym, a trip to Walt Grace Vintage Cars and Guitars in Wynwood – I got my Martin Road Series guitar there! The bars at the Faena and Fontainebleau Hotels for a little old meets new Miami Beach glamour. The Betsy Hotel, for their views of South Beach, food, and cultural offerings. And of course some country western line dancing at Round Up in Davie. And that’s just Day 1 🙂

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Most of the credit belongs to my mom, who raised me as a working single mom, no easy task. I don’t know what it’s like to live without the unconditional love and support of a strong, beautiful, and independent woman because I’ve never been without it. I’d also like to shoutout my siblings Kevin and Meghan, they keep me laughing and fill my life with happiness and meaning.

Instagram: @robertmichaelbray

Image Credits
Photo by Matt Lankes (images 1-6) Photo by Sarah Balduzzi (image 7)

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