and his base of operations. San Francisco is considered one of the United States’ most cosmopolitan and sophisticated cities whose diversity is truly a reflection of the world itself. Bray encompasses those very same traits. He is urbane, intelligent and charismatic combined with a quick self-effacing wit and impossibly handsome cinematic looks. Bray could effortlessly be the template for GQ magazine models. He has experienced many confounding contradictions in his career which includes performing for crowds that have been in excess of 50,000 in various countries over the globe and yet he has experienced absurd and seemingly inexplicable battles with Google over supposed copyright infringement! This INDIEblush columnist caught up with the energetic artist on a placid and inviting day on the manmade island known as Treasure Island to discuss a wide ranging amount of subjects and indeed there were no ground rules as we discussed the business and his struggles against a sometimes indifferent internet entity known as YouTube. Oscar: For the precious few and for the record can you let everyone know who exactly is Bray? Bray: Bray is a strange cat! He is a singer/songwriter who is having fun writing and performing his own music. A big influence on me was what was popular on M.T.V. Prince, Michael Jackson and David Bowie were just some of my favorites. I grew up in a home where my dad liked a lot of soul and funk stuff. He liked Little Richard and James Brown. My mom liked The BeeGees and a lot of dance music. When I entered college I started listening to Jazz and other forms of music. As I continued through college I started to focus on the electronic side of music. If you want to stay alive in music you have to constantly evolve as an artist and a performer.
that they give is copyright infringement. That tells me a number of things. The first is that they are not testing for copyright infringement in order to allow you to post it in the first place. Secondly-why did it take them so long to notice that and the big problem is the reason they cite and the issue. They give you a message which is a warning stating that your video matches third party content. It is interesting on a number of levels and one of which is why they don’t take it down at that moment. My music is original music, so I don’t know what I am infringing on! The link they give is a third party content of which you match. The link was to my own album on sale! It wasn’t always the same one that was matching which was curious! The one that they have been citing recently was CDBaby which is a great company which gives the artist the greatest percentage that I have found. I did contact CDBaby to find out what kind of code we can adjust to prevent this from happening. They sent me back to YouTube. Unfortunately YouTube never responded. Oscar: So it appears that you are on a vicious merrygo-round! Bray: I have reached out to YouTube a lot. It is not my agenda to say that YouTube or Google is evil-that is not my style. I have read an article that was in a major newspaper stating that some major artists have had the same problem like Beyonce’ and Pink. They had videos with millions and millions of views taken down. These days, videos have been as important as radio has been over the last number of decades for fans to discover music by artists.
Oscar: What is this issue that has been affecting you and your music? Is it an issue involving YouTube and by extension-Google? Can you elaborate please?
Oscar: So basically YouTube is assuming that because your music has the same title as that of the same song on your own website that you are stealing!? Incredible! You are stealing from yourself? They believe that your videos are entirely different from the music on your website?
Bray: For five years or so we have been making music videos and releasing them on YouTube because it is the main place to have them seen. The last four or so videos have been taken down and not immediately! The harshest example would be a video we have called, “Natasha” that reached a million views in three months and then was taken down. It is interesting to note how long it takes them to take it down because the reason
Bray: All I can think of is that it is not monitored by a human presence and there are no checks and balances. I have asked attorneys to help me and I have asked people who know someone at Google to investigate it further, but we keep hitting brick walls. I am just trying to solve it so these pockets of misinformation can be avoided. (continued)