Thomas Gray

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. MC Thomas Gray of Champagne Champagne is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through his artistic lens.

Q&A with Thomas Gray

Do you have any especially great memories of growing up in Seattle?

When I was growing up here, there was more of a small town feel. My grandmother was a Seahawks season ticket holder in the Kingdome days. Ken Griffey Jr. and Gary Payton were heroes to me. Seahawks games are where you get the old Seattle vibes.

What’s it like making music here?

Does Seattle itself influence your music in any way?

Making music here is awesome. The tools and musicians are accessible. You just have to go and get it. The city does influence my music greatly because being from a city like Seattle, you always feel like you’re working toward a greater purpose, which is RESPECT. With Champagne, people respect the musical/rock part because we are from Seattle, but when it comes to rapping you must fight for it. It’s changing now. Seattle hip-hop is making noise for sure.

What do you like to do when you’re not rehearsing or performing?

When not playing I just chill with Linus the dog and my fiancée Laura. I take Linus to Volunteer Park. We try to walk there from our crib on Bellevue Ave. twice a week. I really love the grey sky and drizzle. It seems like I’m immersed in a movie.

Any memorable shows you’ve performed here?

I always love playing The Comet. It’s ground zero. These shows are special because for a home show it’s really small and all the homies can always get in. The last time we played at Barboza before our recent European tour started was hands down my favorite Seattle show of all time.

Is there any place that really mean “Seattle” to you?

Some spot where you think, “Oh, yes, that is so Seattle.”

Dicks! Of course. I love Dick’s because it is quintessential Seattle street food. The first. Wherever I am in the world I always go there as soon as I get home. It gets no more Seattle than the tartar sauce between the patties of a Dick’s Deluxe. The Broadway location is a landmark. The best thing about Dick’s is the reliability: it will never change and the prices only go up by 5 cents every two years. HEAVEN. Taking the 14 up Jackson is full of memories. I took that bus home from school every day until I went to college.

Anything else you’d like people to know about our city?

I want people to still think there is nothing here. It’s rainy, and we are all green insane people. This way I can afford a house.



Interview by Jess Van Nostrand, 2012.

Photo taken at Bumbershoot.



Champagne Champagne performs an acoustic session at the Plexus Records store.



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