Recently Shana signed a contract with Mode Elle, international model and talent agency, for representation in modeling, acting and music. “It’s a greater opportunity than I was expecting,” Shana explains. “As a multi-talent artist I’m excited to be more involved in the international fashion, film and music industries.” Her acting resume is now posted online and a flurry of activity is taking place in her creative studio.
“Since I’m signed with a model and talent agent I thought I’d like to design a fashion line first.” In keeping with her music industry background, she designed clothing on the Reverbnation platform. “The current fashion designs are inspired by paradise colours and a distinctive logo design that reminds of a butterfly.” You can pick up some of her new fashion at her CIQ fashion website! She is on twitter at ShanaModel.
She’s been working on an upcoming record, with a new track “Angels Soft Mix” already posted on YouTube.com/CIQmusic. “It’s a live recording from my music studio. People were asking for the music right away so I released it.” You can pick up your own copy at CIQmusic.bandcamp.com or any of her Reverbnation websites! She is already charting in Reverbnation’s Top 40 charts with her first release.CIQ at Reverbnation: Gsynth LabelGsynth StudioCIQ LiveDJ CIQ
Watch for more fashion designs coming very soon, and lots more upcoming record releases and remixes!
“Yes, it’s true I often work for media,” CIQ explains. “It works really well when it’s connected with projects and the scene I am working in in a greater capacity, mainly electronic music right now, but I have done a lot of work in the media with many different styles of music over the years.”
“I’ve been offered a lot more jobs over the years than I’ve been able to accept, because most jobs are really in a full time capacity, and most of what I do is freelance. I’ve done a lot of events, festivals, interviews, writing articles, and a great deal of just assistance type work in just about every type of media.”
“People have been very generous with me over the years bringing in a lot of creative work because I’m very professional, I get the job done, on time and on budget, often early, and with a level of expertise that most companies don’t expect. I often work freelance for a lot of different companies. Most entertainment companies pay me extra, if they can, and there are lots of great perks. Everyone wants more repeat work, and they like to have me around.”
“But media is not a high paying job, it’s a job that you do for the passion. The work never ends. It just keeps piling up. But the people you meet are what it’s really all about. It’s the kind of work people willingly do for free. Probably most entertainment industry work is like that. Obviously you need money to live, but no one really cares where your money comes from, it always comes from somewhere. So the rest is just gravy. You do this work for the adventure and for the experience.”
CIQ has been involved in the entertainment industry on many levels throughout her career, ranging from different media to underground events production, music studios and record labels, the gear industry and worldwide travel. Her media profile is online at CIQ Media and more at Gsynth.com/Portfolio.
She also loves working for charity when she has the opportunity, particularly youth charities. “I love the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives,” she explains. “It’s the real reason for everything I do.”
“I am definitely interested in partnering with more media in a greater capacity in the future, particularly to move forward the cause of electronic music worldwide, and into the mainstream of modern culture. People can connect with me on this at Facebook.com/ShanaChristineGray or email@example.com. It’s a lifestyle for me, a passion. Electronic music has always been a huge part of my life and who I am.”
“I’m not willing to give up my studio work at the moment, but definitely interested in coming alongside more media to move forward the cause of electronic music as much as I can. I usually do freelance, but I am open to whatever opportunities may come up in the future.”
“Media is all about supporting the scene you love, mutual support for other artists, for events, the industry, and every aspect that builds the scene. The music community is like a big family, and we really operate like a family worldwide, especially in the electronic music community, because we were underground for so long, and we did it all for the love of the music.”
“I really enjoy the journey,” CIQ says nonchalantly. “I can’t say that I have had one career my whole life really, except that I’ve worked with people, mainly young people, and in a general sense throughout the music and entertainment industry. I’m not really any one thing, I’m a producer, studio engineer and I play a lot of instruments. But I’ve worked for many companies and done different things in all the arts. I hang out with a lot of artists, entrepreneurs, investors, and people working to make a difference in every level of society. To me its about the journey, I may be especially into music, but I’ve never really defined myself by what I do, more who I am, because there is a whole world to discover and this is my life.”
It’s fairly common for Toronto talent to work freelance, jumping from project to project, working for creative companies doing many different things, often simultaneously. “I considered many jobs like paid internships, I perfected my skills on the job working for other people,” CIQ mentioned, “but when people started offering to train me to take over their own companies I thought it through and decided I kinda wanted to own my own project really. At that point I decided to try a few different things, and took an entrepreneurship course, so I’m on this journey now.”
CIQ has a recording studio in Canada where she spends her time working on her own creative projects. A lot of the skills she uses now she learned on the job working for major labels and media and recording studios, not to mention the trades that run the industry in Canada and USA. “I worked for BMG major label promotion department, MuchMusic in the recording studio, some of these jobs only a few days really, paid internship work,” she added. “A lot of other studios and record labels, the keyboard shop downtown… I wrote the gear section for Contact Industry directory, and a few times working with CMJ Music Marathon in New York. And plenty of other freelance work.”
The music industry was a fairly easy experience for her considering she was trained in classical piano and violin since the age of six. She attended York University for keyboards performance in the modern music fine arts program, and Harris Institute private arts school for producing engineering. During that time she worked for a lot of companies to pay her way through school (and some worldwide travel after that!), but ironically it was her social life that first put her on the map worldwide. “On the weekends, my friends and I were promoting events in the rave and club music cultures in Canada and USA. We were in contact and promoting our events through the internet, and through that I became known worldwide,” she says, laughing. “Probably a lot of people didn’t even know I was a performer, going to school, or a studio engineer in those circles. In fact most the companies I worked for probably didn’t really know either, they just knew what I did when I was working for them.” This focus enabled her to work a lot more jobs and get more done, she explains, and maintain a sane social and personal life, not to mention, finish her education.
But on a personal level she has been motivated more by making a difference in the world than by any career or even the perks that come with fun jobs. In high school she volunteered in a youth drop-in centre for school credit that was run by Youth for Christ. This was her first experience working with young people. “Hanging out with my friends really,” she describes it, “and making a difference, which is what I am motivated to do.” Before that she had also spent her summers volunteering on overseas missions construction projects in poorer communities, like a Central American orphanage, and Eastern Europe in the early nineties. Following high school she spent two years in USA, in Master’s Commission programs, working with inner city youth and communities, and making a difference through the arts and working with people. “It’s a lifestyle, really,” CIQ explains. “Excellence, being a role model, making a difference.”
CIQ, better known in music industry circles by her producer name Gsynth, takes a few minutes out of her insanely busy schedule this week to introduce herself to the worldwide music industry, for those who have not yet had the opportunity to meet her face to face.
Included here is the transcript from the videos, which are posted on CIQmusic and Gsynth video channels.
Hi everyone, I am CIQ in Canada… originally from “Hollywood North” also known as Toronto. (Laughs.) Most people probably recognize me by my producer name, Gsynth, since about 1995, USA. Some people may know me by my real name, Shana Christine Gray.
At this point I’m looking to do something worldwide in an artistic and business capacity to make a difference in the world. A bit of background on me, since a lot of the industry don’t seem to know me worldwide.
I played violin in a symphony orchestra when I was 13 years old. I’ve been self educated since then in psychology, business, social causes, and my favourite saying in high school was ‘the world is his who can see through its pretension’. At age 15 I started working worldwide, nonprofit causes, I spent my summers overseas in Central America and Eastern Europe. I was trained classically in piano and violin since the age of six and nine.
I did two years of postsecondary training in music at York University in modern electronic music performance, and I studied producing engineering in the studio at Harris Institute in Toronto. I studied business under Robert Allen’s protege program from America. Previously to that, my first postsecondary education was two years in the USA in the arts discipleship program in Master’s Commission. At that point I worked with youth, young adults, children and all ages.
I also taught myself fretless bass guitar in one hour when I was 20, and I taught someone else how to play piano in two hours. I play a lot of musical instruments, run the recording studio by myself, and I’ve worked in nearly every capacity in the music industry, many more in the greater entertainment industry, and other industries and businesses, mainly in Canada and USA. I’ve worked for many top companies in the music industry in Canada and USA, while I was still in school. Some of those would include MuchMusic, BMG Records, Contact Music Industry Directory, and CMJ Music Marathon in New York City… and the rest of those were in Toronto.
Basically I’m a producer, entrepreneur and artist, with six years of postsecondary formal education, a lifetime of classical music education in piano and violin, plus self education.
Most people who know me from the internet, probably know me from my DJ network, DM4C, which covered one fifth of North America, and my events list StreetBeatz. I was an events promoter, worked in media, organizing events, booking talent, performing live myself, mainly electronic bands… all this while I was still in school, approximately 97 to 2002.
I may well be one of the most talented modern electronic keyboardists and producers in the world. I don’t consider myself to fit into the current DJ industry right now that claims that the top one hundred DJs in the world are 100% men. (We actually had a good laugh about that in Canada, because it IS fine arts, people.) I also don’t fit into the A&R expectations of pop singers, because I didn’t want everyone else writing my songs for me, telling me what to wear and what to do in all of my music videos. (I actually found that process rather offensive to be honest.) My current favourite saying since about the age of 20, is ‘Look at the nations and watch, and be utterly amazed, for I will do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”
(continued in 2nd video…)
I am Canadian, I am a Christian, I accomplish the impossible every day. One more thing I want to add… I graduated in a preppy high school with 98.5% average in math and science. I don’t even like math and science. So please don’t underestimate me. (Laughs.) I spent a lot more time on travel, outside trips in and out of school, and some in the gifted program.
At this point people who hire me for jobs tend to offer me upfront contracts, with clear expectations of a time frame and enough money to motivate me, otherwise you probably won’t get a response from me. Most top companies I worked for did pay me an extra 50% after I completed my work. I haven’t worked a lot for others since I was about age 28. I have been travelling worldwide. I was a little bit bored with what was left of the Canadian opportunity. I really had accomplished all of my goals here. So I have attended a lot of music and business red carpet events, and the internet has made a lot more possible in recent years. So expect to see me more online. It is my goal to do something worldwide. So I’ll see you around everyone… Peace Love Unity Respect.
CIQ would like to wish everyone a beautiful and blessed New Year 2012.
“I really believe life is what you make it, I believe in the power of prayers, choices, visualization and action,” CIQ says, “I encourage everyone to imagine the world they dream for and to create it, to reach for their highest dreams, to never give up, to give the best of themselves to this life and this world. To believe in Love, in Truth, in Action, to reach for their highest dreams, and give the best they’ve got to make good things happen in the world. It all begins with you, in your heart, in your friendships, and as you reach out.”
Some random 2011 behind the scenes memories in CIQ’s life are posted at Facebook.com/CIQmusic . Enjoy, and all the best for the New Year!
Just in time for Christmas, CIQ Moment updates are live! Check out the screenshots. The new design is like a magazine, with direct links to web for video, music, downloads, promos, lifestyle blogs and more. Built in are all the latest news and social networks. The new downloads and CIQWeb sections are all ready for unlimited content. Content is updated in real time. CIQ artist websites can be accessed through CIQWeb.
As always Gsynth studio tends to overdeliver, with a compact design loaded with creative content. Get to know the heartbeat of CIQ.
CIQ MOMENT APP A Special Edition Lite App capturing the heartbeat of CIQ & most important updates as they happen!! Here you can follow and share in CIQ’s personal artistic journey, moment by moment as it unfolds, her thoughts and actions, as she continues to carve out her creative niche and personal influence in history.
M.CIQ PLAY App is released. It is a music player app, jam-packed with music, videos, pictures, a section for what’s new, downloads, links to social media via the web, and more.
“I tried to keep the design simple, with as much content as possible,” CIQ explains. “I found through the Beta apps that people didn’t dig through menus, they mostly read what was right in front of them. So with simple navigation, it is easy, fast and accessible for people to find exactly the content they are looking for.”
The beautifully designed music player app currently has four channels of audio, two video channels, four fantastic photo albums, news updates and download sites, direct links to websites and social media via the web, free promotions and CIQclub.
“I’m trying to include a special section in every app for what’s new, including official news, new music, apps, and song lyrics,” CIQ says. “But if people want up to the minute twitter updates and facebook built right into the app, that’s what the CIQ Moment app is all about.”
There will be a lot more music, videos and content coming as all the CIQ apps are continually being updated. “I’m just getting started!” CIQ laughs. All the details and download links are available at CIQApp.com . “Merry Christmas world,” she grins. “I’ll just keep loading this up with fresh content.”
CIQ Promos presents free stuff from CIQ Music at Gsynth Studio. Currently you can download a free browser toolbar.The description reads: Free CIQMusic Toolbar
Install CIQMusic Toolbar directly into your computer browser! Easy setup (takes a few seconds!), easy to remove. Completely configurable. Collect and add specialized CIQApps and any apps you like! Comes with hotlinks and previews of the Best of CIQ online, including news updates, music, video, media, apps, lifestyle blogs, facebook, twitter, myspace, reverbnation, social media and more! Lots more soon! You can also check your own facebook, email and weather directly from the toolbar. CIQMusic Toolbar. FREE Download here http://ciqmusic.toolbar.fm/
Above: closeup CIQmusic apps installed. Below: previews of facebook and M.CIQ PLAY Apps.