There is so much in a name.
Often serving as an introduction to something greater, a name is the facade to the world; the first thing people see and recognize, make judgements on and contemplate about. Denver’s WAY has taken that knowledge to heart and deliberately chosen to switch things up, changing from his birth name Connor Ray to the simple yet powerful name, WAY. Just as a building’s face holds history and life behind it, the name WAY also carries more power and fascinating stories than the uncomplicated three letters indicate. From divine inspiration to staring doubt in the face to finding the confidence to move forward, the journey from Connor Ray to WAY is one full of ups & downs and light & dark moments, all punctuated by a very bright future.
It can be rare to find someone who listens to the universe when it speaks, but WAY is definitely someone who perceives unseen ripples the Architect creates. One of those ripples happened to be a message to change from Connor Ray to WAY, a change that WAY didn’t embrace full-go when he felt that first slight wave from God. The switch came with a sense of deep reluctance, rooting itself in the thinking that he had already made a name for himself with Connor Ray; and Denver, the city he calls home, had already grown into appreciating the art he was offering. Then came the hesitance that accompanies establishing an online presence with such a simple name, which is not an easy task even with a more search engine optimization (SEO) friendly moniker. WAY could feel the uphill battle immediately but simultaneously felt the overwhelming presence of something bigger than himself, something so undeniable that he truly felt the need to act on it. And thus, the idea of WAY was born, but the journey was far from over.
“WAY, WAY, WAY, who are you?”
Doubt still lingered. WAY wasn’t ready just yet to fully accept the message he was hearing, so his next step was to seek confirmation. After hearing a voice saying to him “WAY, WAY, WAY, who are you?,” he decided it was time to look into this idea of a name change more seriously. WAY had taken up fishing and understood its introspective qualities, so he chose to go to Cherry Creek Reservoir to contemplate his future. While he wasn’t expecting to talk to anyone while he was there, an older couple approached him and struck up a fateful conversation. WAY mentioned he was thinking on chaining his name and the man quipped that WAY “aught to take this as confirmation from God.” It turns out the man was a pastor, which was enough proof for Ray to make the change to WAY. As he put it, “I literally went to a lake, fishing for confirmation and got it.”
“I don’t want to be the person that’s framing my reality around what I want it to be, I want to see it for what it is.”
This feeling wasn’t just blind faith. WAY didn’t want to do this; he felt that he needed to. Now he wants to push paths to enlightenment through his music in a way that is accessible and authentic; something people can relate to and take further than just the music. His ideas on how to do this are ambitious and full bodied, which they need to be in order for him to make the impact he envisions. From collaborating with a wide variety of talented artists on visuals to crafting a vision others will want to follow, WAY is putting in the work it takes to grow into the artist he wants to be, and other people are starting to take more notice.
With new music on the way and his first headlining show of 2020 on March 27 at Mile High Spirits, it looks like WAY’s blessings are starting to take hold. Presented by Mile High Spirits, Colorado Music Solutions, Bright Future Media & YMFBST, with features including LANE-O & Loco Motive, the show itself is poised to be a strong step towards WAY building his influence and illuminating his path forwards. After gaining some momentum from releasing new music such as his track Tell Me, WAY is looking to continue the snowball effect and show the city his vision. It will be hard to stop him thanks to his strong sense of purpose and focus on the future while he shows the world his WAY.