Chefren "Chef The Chef" Gray is a rapper-producer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer hailing from Bridgeport, Connecticut. He recently emailed me, after being referred to The Witzard by my past collaborator CURTA, with a link to his latest 10-track project DEMONZZZ. Chef The Chef is playing a CURTA show along with fellow openers Zak G + ECID & PremRock at Connecticut's own Stella Blues this upcoming Thursday, October 12th at 8:00pm, as part of CURTA's awesomely-named Circus In a Suitcase 2017 Tour. "I was really influenced by my surroundings. My experiences and just the mental battles I fight everyday. So, I called it DEMONZZZ because I wanted people to instantly be able to see right through me," Chef The Chef wrote within an emailed statement. "I wanted to be very transparent. I feel like being vulnerable is a valuable trait in deciphering who we are as people," he continued. Chefren Gray initially told me he created DEMONZZZ on Tuesday, August 15th—a mere two days prior to sending the project my way—and self-produced the entire 10-track collection, with the exception of DJ Fife-produced "Flow" and "Déjà Vu."
DEMONZZZ almost sounds like something to the effect of an imagined "missing link" between Pharrell's early 2000's Funk-Rock band N*E*R*D and his beloved "Happy"-led mainstream solo breakthrough, G I R L. It additionally sounds like a Rap record "for the ladies," which could have easily been recorded by Soul-Funk crooner Isaac Hayes or even Philly's own pride and joy, Teddy Pendergrass and that was EXACTLY what Chef The Chef was going for: "I was really inspired by women; more notably women of color, as in the last few years I've had this profound awakening to feminism and women in my life in any way have I feel life I owe so much to as a man, so I really wanted women to enjoy it." Chef The Chef's first proper full-length, DEMONZZZ, is currently available to stream and purchase from Apple Music/iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, TIDAL, YouTube, and like-minded digital retailers. In addition DEMONZZZ, a few album's-worth of material is available on Chef's plethora of a Soundcloud page, with material dating back as far as five years.