Michael Ray Recalls Personal Heartache That Led to ‘Picture’ [EXCLUSIVE]

Michael Ray‘s latest song, “Picture,” might be his most personal song yet. The song was inspired by a loss of someone close to Ray, and the reality of the finality of life.

“Growing up in a family that was very big and very close, they always take photos,” Ray tells Everything Nash. “Whether that be back in the day of the old — well now they’re coming back — but the old disposal, cameras or Polaroids, and now phones, I think you don’t realize how important pictures are throughout life. During the time, it might get annoying or it might be something that you’re tired of,your mom taking 19,000 pictures of everybody at Christmastime.

“But someday this will be all you have of somebody in your family,” he continues. “Whenever it’s your time, that’s what people are going to have with you. And those are the memories that you get to look back on. Just like a song, a picture puts you right back in that moment. You could smell the perfume. You can know what they were cooking in the kitchen, whatever that might be.”

Ray had the idea for “Picture” after the loss of his beloved uncle, Terry.

“We were preparing for his service and going through pictures with my buddy Ryan,” Ray recalls. “It was late at night and he looked over at me and said, ‘Man, isn’t it weird that no matter what you do in your life, no matter what you make, no matter where you go, one day all we’ll be are pictures that people carry on and tell stories about?’ And so, the songwriter in me, I wrote down ‘all we’re going to be is pictures,’ and put it in my pocket, and didn’t say anything. The next day I had a writing session with David Garcia and HARDY and they helped me bring it to life.”

Ray faced plenty of both personal and professional challenges in the last year, but he feels stronger than ever as he resumes life on the road.

“I think having a whole year to kind of reflect and do things, I think really you have to be intentional with what you’re doing,” Ray shares. “You have to have discipline in a lot of ways, no matter what that is. I think the key thing too, is keeping great people around you that have your best interests at heart.”

Keep track of all of Ray’s upcoming shows at MichaelRayMusic.com.