GRIT CRITIC PRESENTS: Ever Yours
By Grit Critic Presents
“Ever Yours,” the catchy, new single off Charleston-area performer, Greg Keys, EP, “Why Can’t It Be You,” features Summerville native Faith Schueler in a song about love and independence, and how a couple reacts to their feelings for one another. The duo’s lyrics blend a smooth, electronic synth-sound with a conversation-style, radio-friendly hit.
Now that it’s out and destined for the charts, we wanted to know more from the artist behind it. Keys, whose band goes by the nameGreg Keys & Company,is the former front man of City on Down. He had a lot to say toCharleston Gritabout the split from his original band, the pandemic, what’s next and where he sees his musical journey taking him.
We’re in the midst of a pandemic. How has that affected your life as an artist? What unique challenges have you had to overcome these last few months?
The pandemic has been a curse and a blessing for a lot of artists. As a full-time musician, I didn’t expect to be filing for unemployment at 26, but I also didn’t realize what an incredible opportunity it would become. It gave us the time and freedom to record new music, including the upcoming single “Ever Yours” as well as the whole EP, and allowed us to connect deeper musically as a group.
It has been a challenge to figure out the release of the songs and how to promote them without being able to have a huge gathering/put on a show, but thankfully in this digital world we can connect with people through smart devices and still make this release something special for everyone.
Can you share the greatest obstacle you’ve encountered in your musical journey?
Personally, the toughest challenge for me was the splitting up of City on Down. It was my first band that I created with some friends and built up for three years. To work so hard to build something, have success with that project and tour the country just to watch it fall apart when it seemed to be at its peak was tough. I dedicated hours and years of my life to that, and I felt let down with the way it ended; I felt abandoned.
The next step was to start again, learn from those mistakes, and build a team that I can trust to be with me through thick and thin. We feel confident that we could do that with Keys & Company.
What are your long-term goals as a musician? Where is your career going? Where would you like it to go?
My long-term goals are set very high, and I think they can only be achieved by following the right steps to get there. I want nothing short of a high-level of success in the music industry, and to be respected and admired for my creative works. My plan is to tour the world, sell out arenas, and most importantly create genuine music that can shape my generation.
Playing locally and predominantly cover shows this past year has made me realize how many musicians are content with staying local, just to become a big fish in a small pond. I simply can’t identify with that outlook because I feel like if 90% of your musical career is covering other people’s songs, then it is hard to even be taken seriously as an artist in the first place.
So my quickest goal would be to get out of the cover scene and allow these original songs to lift us past the local bar following and push us into a more creative spotlight. I believe this is where my career is leading, and I’m excited for the next steps to come.
Do you see yourself remaining in Charleston or moving on?
As much love as I have for Charleston and the opportunities it has given me, I definitely do not see myself staying here. This city is wonderful, musically talented, and full of great friends and people, but I have always felt and always will be a little bit of an outsider here. Growing up in New York, I came down here and had to adjust to a completely different world. Although I was able to make that adjustment, I have always felt like I’ve stashed away pieces of my true nature, and I would love the opportunity to live in a place where I can truly be 100% myself and have a city that embraces me for that.
Charleston at times can be a checklist of how you’re “supposed” to act and what you’re “supposed” to wear. I don’t believe we are the super clean cut group that Charleston wants to love, but I believe there is a place out there ready for something a little more unapologetic.
The song is out. What’s next?
Next would be promoting the song, touring regionally to allow new listeners to hear it, and then to start reaching out to some record labels looking for either investments to create new songs or for a promotional campaign for the album we just started working on.
We have lots of new music on the way, and we never stop the writing and recording process. Sometimes it moves along slower because we need to perform gigs to earn the money it takes to record, but with the proper management and/or investors we would be able to focus on the craft and deliver new and exciting material on a more frequent basis.
What else would you like readers to know?
The single “Ever Yours,” and the EP “Why Can’t It Be You” is a transitional collection of songs, deviating away from pure pop music into our comfort zone in the pop rock genre. “Ever Yours” is a pretty forward pop song, but the title track “Why Can’t It Be You” will show the final destination of where most of all our songs will rest.
We believe “Ever Yours” is the perfect build up for our new sound, and that “Why Can’t It Be You” is our golden ticket to the next level. We are excited for this one-two punch and can’t wait for y’all to hear these great tracks and all the work we put in on them.
About the artists
Greg Keys has been a performer in the Charleston area for over four years. As former lead singer of the band City on Down, he had to branch out on his own and make a name for himself when the old group decided to split. In the past year he performed over 150 shows all across the southeast, perfecting his craft, but more importantly building his crew.
Keys knew he had a talented saxophonist in Jamal Hall, so he searched to fill in the remaining crucial role of any complete band. He teamed up with talented Bass player and singer/songwriter Grayson Lentz first and started writing new songs to build their sound. Continuing his pursuit of new talent, he met rock drummer Steve Enck and jazz-influenced guitarist Casey Schenkle.
The band came together quickly and started packing out shows all over King Street almost instantly.Greg Keys and Company,as they would go on to be called, hitTruphonicstudios to begin the recording process of four new songs, songs they believe will establish their identity and also give the people of Charleston a new hit single to get behind, something that could bring them AND the city to the next level.
One afternoon in the studio, Keys and Lentz were discussing the possibility of featuring a strong female vocalist on one of the tracks. Their engineer, Grammy Award-winning Elliot Elsey, spoke highly of a young country singer that was coming in to record her own EP. And thus introduced Greg Keys to the charming and kind Faith Schueler.
Schueler is a true southern gem, born and raised in Summerville, South Carolina. She has influence from well-known country-pop artists likeKelsea BalleriniandCarrie Underwood,but holds the vocal power and range of female music legends like Whitney Houston. Sweet and shy, she turns into the most confident and strong-willed singer upon the first note of every song she sings.
After meeting Keys, she added full elements into the concept of a song he was working on, and together they took a simple chord progression with solid lyrics and made into what they are confident in as Charleston’s first pop hit.
How to connect and where to find it
“Ever Yours” is available on all platforms now. | Instagram @KeysandCoMusic and @Faith_Schueler | Facebook @GregKeysandCompany and @FaithSchueler | Email email@example.com | Phone (585) 880 - 8217