The new description on her brand new Parfaiti facebook music page reads: Parfaiti (formerly known as CIQ), artist producer performer of Studio Gsynth, Toronto, Canada. Like the French word “Parfait” with an Italian twist, “Parfaiti” sounds like party and rhymes with confetti. Enjoy life with style!! Peace & Love 😀 ❤
Why the name change? “At this point I felt I needed a more international name that fits in all my circles, from Toronto to worldwide, and music to fashion. CIQ was a cool underground music name, but I felt that it was limiting when it came to international appeal, and my current career direction. Parfaiti is far more international and represents all sides of who I am.” From her French heritage and Canada’s bilingual audience, to her roots in Toronto Italian music dj culture, worldwide connections in music, arts and fashion, travel influences, and even her background in classical piano and violin, Parfaiti seemed to be a good choice.
Scouted at a mall just a few months ago, Shana is about to do her first few fashion photoshoots.
“I was trying to find an agent for DJing. I finally gave up and decided to try acting. I’d travelled all over the world looking for a good DJ agent. The people I met were either control freaks that were impossible to work with (who wouldn’t even let me write my own songs! I’m a producer!) or they expected me to be a man to work with them. I saw Sandra Bullock in some movies, and people always compare me with her. I thought I might like to try acting on screen. When I was out shopping, I heard on the radio that an agent was scouting at my favourite mall! So I decided to ask about acting. When I showed up for an interview, they told me they could represent me as a model, actress, and talent.”
In the next several weeks, Shana has three fashion photoshoots lined up with top fashion photographers who work with fashion magazines in top markets worldwide.
“On the fashion runway, I hear the same music as in the clubs. I’m really happy. I’m still new at this and I have a lot to learn. I had no idea this was going to happen. People have asked me my whole life if I was a model! I didn’t know it was a real career option.”
Shana is on twitter at @shanamodel and @gsynth and will be attending CMTC in Toronto in May 2013 to meet worldwide agents. She will be represented by Mode Elle (personal manager and mother agent).
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Just a few hours after CIQ uploaded some screenshots from her new mobile app release, the designs were updated. “I love working with arts and technology on the cutting edge,” CIQ laughs. “I love it… when you create things and they leave your studio on the fly and you are always building and tweaking things. It’s like new ideas that take off as soon as you create them.”
In light of the updates CIQ has almost completed her collection of currently six mobile apps (and a browser toolbar). “I considered streamlining and doing just one app like some artists do,” CIQ admits, “but I like to create experiences, no matter what art form or medium I am working with, and I have never been able to stick to one style of music, or one type of music in any live event, or one style of anything, I like variety, I like different colours, styles, and flavours, so I’m putting out as many as I realistically can right now.”
The new designs are slight adjustments that make the apps look more like a fashion magazine than mini websites inside your cell phone. They also offer more functionality and space to pack more inside, so CIQ is taking full advantage of the updates, and the creative opportunity to get her message out.
“I’m a communicator, I really am.. all the art forms I’ve worked with in my life.. I look back and understand why no one could ever pin me down and put a label on me. The arts might be my giftings, but LOVE is the message, and I definitely try to communicate that in my art, life and music, and in everything I do.”
A few new websites have been posted online as well, that will appear in some apps, including CIQWeb and CIQ Promos. A new email list is posted at CIQClub. There is a lot of good stuff coming out very soon!
Watch for more updates… and new apps… coming out very soon.
CIQ’s first mobile app is officially released. The CIQ Moment App is a beautifully designed news & updates app to keep people in touch with all things CIQ Music in real time. The early CIQ beta app prereleases have been very popular so far. A small handful released made it to every corner of the globe.
CIQ Moment is technically a Lite app, though it is packed with continually updated information. It has all CIQ twitter and facebook pages, and links to more social networks. The official news site is included along with direct access to updated information on CIQ apps, songs and new music releases. There are four photo albums built in, and a web section for access beyond the app itself, including music, videos and social networks. The news, facebook and twitter sections all have sharing capabilities on facebook, twitter and email.
“It’s the fastest way to stay in touch on everything, other than continually reading all my websites, and getting on all my email lists,” CIQ laughs. “You get the whole overview right on your cell phone.”
The CIQ Moment App has been released to iTunes and Android market and can be downloaded via the web.
More apps are set to be released very soon, with more functionality, such as music and video players built into the apps, and more photo albums, among other things. Most will include at least some updated news information and access to social networks. Each app is set up differently. “I have four apps installed on my phone right now, and I use all four of them all the time,” CIQ explains. “It’s really convenient to have things set up this way.”
Check out the beautiful screenshots. It really is a simple, convenient way to check on what’s new at anytime from your mobile. And keep an eye out for the new apps coming soon! They could be officially released at any moment!
Never one to sit still, CIQ has been to many known and unknown corners of the world, whether for business or pleasure, music, vacation or nonprofit youth work.
By the time she entered high school, her music teachers had taught her everything they reasonably could. She turned her curiosity to the world and people, reading books from thinkers, meeting people from everywhere, and traveling to remote corners of the world in a pursuit of knowledge, experience and understanding.
Some of her first international trips brought her to Central America and Eastern Europe in the nineties. After training in the jungles of Florida in skill sets for international volunteer work, she found herself involved in construction projects in poorer communities. She spent a summer at a Central American orphanage, another in a community in Bulgaria, and another in Poland. She was also able to take in some tourism during her travels, particularly in Europe.
After high school, following a gap year with some intense music studies, she moved to the USA, to Illinois’ midwest and Arizona’s desert, for two years with Master’s Commission, an arts focussed youth ministry program that enabled her to further develop her skills on stage and in the arts, and working with people in the local communities, covering a wide range from youth and young adults social and popular culture, to children in the inner cities of America. Her special focus was music, a keyboardist and multi-talented musician in constant demand. She also found time to learn many new skills and be involved with many different creative projects in all the arts.
Following a successful audition at York University she moved back to Toronto where she spent two years focused on keyboards performance study, improvisation and electronic music. She didn’t waste a moment, jumping into the music industry, networking and finding leads before frosh week had even started. At this point, she became involved with working for a handful of media sources, promoting local events with club night and rave promoters, and performing mainly locally as long as it didn’t interfere with her studies. She also began travelling internationally to satisfy her curiosity with the music industry with a trip to Nashville during a school break.
She stayed in Toronto a few more years, studying producing engineering at Harris Institute music business school and working for a string of top companies in Canada’s music industry. She learned many new skills working for the best. Most of her work was in Toronto but she did occasional work with big events in USA such as Cornerstone Festival in Illinois and New York City’s CMJ college radio event.
She took plenty of time for international travel to places like London, UK, New York, USA, Cannes, France, Miami, USA, and several other popular cities worldwide, Southampton to Manchester, Detroit to Nashville, Montreal to Calgary, Stockholm to Gothenburg. She had already been in many countries in Europe since the nineties, including France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, United Kingdom and Sweden, Canada and United States in North America, and in Belize and Guatemala in Central America.
Eventually she moved back from the heart of Toronto’s arts district to a quieter location outside the city where she could focus in the recording studio, rather than working in Toronto’s music industry nonstop and promoting events on the weekends. In addition to creative projects, nonprofit youth work continues to be an important part of her life and career. Her motivation for working in music and the arts and with people was always to make a difference in the world, and to inspire people to live their dreams and to love one another. She now has the opportunity to reflect often near the beaches of Lake Ontario, and to spend quality time with her extended family. Too young to retire or lead a too quiet lifestyle at home, she took another entrepreneurial business course and is considering options for the future, and is still deeply involved in the international music industry. She spends most her spare time in her recording studio loft. Her work with youth takes her on adventures exploring beaches, parks and events in local communities and is a continual source of inspiration. She hopes her music will be influential in the international music industry in the future, and will inspire those who come into contact with her and her creativity in a unique and fresh way.