Darian Gray

Drums, Beats, Production, MC

11 Reviews (1 Verified)
Darian Gray on SoundBetter

Toured with Booker T for 13 plus years.

I've been touring for 20 years but playing drums all of my life. My goal is to make what ever we work on sound unique. I will create a drum part specifically for your song making sure it fits smoothly with the vibe of the track.

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

11 Reviews

Endorse Darian Gray
  1. Review by Gary k.

    Darian is a class act. Great comms, great playing, great recording.

  2. Review by Jesse Brewster
    by Jesse Brewster

    I’m a singer/songwriter, recording artist, guitarist and bandleader and have been working with Darian Gray over the last decade. He is an amazing drummer, bandmate and all around professional. On recent album of mine, we started out in person (pre-Covid) and did 3 songs which went off w/o a hitch, then had to pivot to remote and the transition was seamless. Whether you’re looking for a stage, studio, or touring drummer, Darian is not only supremely talented, but also easy to be around and solidly dependable.

  3. Review by Destani Wolf
    by Destani Wolf

    If you are looking for a drummer with amazing pocket, energy and just over all good vibes, Darian is the one. I have been lucky enough to share the stage with his soulful or hip hop or reggae and more grooves and gotten to experience his impeccable time and creativity in the studio. I look forward to playing with him again!

  4. Review by Jesse Micek
    by Jesse Micek

    Over the years I have played with Darian in a jazz big band, hip-hop band, rock group, and with various singer-songwriter projects. Nothing fazes him; he rises to the occasion every time. His "feel" is impeccable and he always finds the right part to fit each individual song. Also skilled on keyboards and as a lyricist, he brings a diverse array of skills to any project. It is always a pleasure to work with Darian.

  5. Review by Daniel Riera
    by Daniel Riera

    Darian is a truly world class drummer, as his resume shows. He's a master of groove and tone on the drums and he has phenomenal producer's ears. He understands what the song needs and how to bring it to the next level. Darian's also one of the most versatile drummers I know. We've worked on everything from hip-hop and funk, to jazz, Latin styles and tricky odd meter music and he always knocks it out of the park.

  6. Review by Jonathan Herrera
    by Jonathan Herrera

    I've been working with Darian for over 10+ years in a huge range of gigs. He is one of the most naturally musical drummers I've ever played with. His versatility, knack for serving a song, deep pocket, and true professionalism have made him a first-call in the SF Bay Area and beyond. Any project would benefit from his contribution.

  7. Review by Daniel "D-Lucca" Parenti
    by Daniel "D-Lucca" Parenti

    I have been working with Darian for over 20 years. In all of that time, working with hundreds of musicians, Darian has remained at the top of the list for many reasons. Just to name a few though, His Integrity, Professionalism, Punctuality, and of course his amazing skills and musicianship!! Five Stars all of the way!!!!

  8. Review by Michael Aaberg
    by Michael Aaberg

    Darian is a true professional with every type of style under his belt. His attention to detail is amazing. His tone is amazing. His time is amazing. His ideas are great. He is a sure shot.

  9. Review by Emanuel
    by Emanuel

    I have had the pleasure of playing with Darian in a live and studio environment on a few occasions. His musicianship, professionalism and creativity make him one of the rare top-tier drummers... as evidenced in his illustrious career. He really has an amazing sound and personal feel on the kit. He is a great communicator and collaborator, everything is easy.

  10. Review by antonino moschella
    by antonino moschella

    Darian is one of the most versatile and proficient session and live drummers in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s always a great pleasure to work with him in the studio, because I know if Darian is playing, the drum performance is going to be on point.
    Nino Moschella
    Bird and Egg recording studio
    Richmond Ca

  11. Review by Adam Theis
    by Adam Theis

    I run a music collective, record label and have led over 100 bands and Darian is one of the top musicians I've ever worked with. As a drummer, he's one of the most versatile, energetic and technically gifted I've ever come across. From reading music to playing with EDM tracks Darian can do more than most and does it with a smile and zero stress, only good vibes. he can sing and rap while playing drums too, serious bonus points!

Interview with Darian Gray

  1. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  2. A: What albums do you want your drums to sound like???

  3. Q: How would you describe your style?

  4. A: Al Jackson Jr. meets Chris Dave meets Clyde Stubblefield meets John Bonham

  5. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  6. A: I usually work on what I've come to know as "pocket" music. This consists of Pop, Funk, Gospel, R&B, Hip Hop, Blues, Rock but I also studied Jazz, Latin and Reggae music.

  7. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  8. A: I bring deep groove and pocket with the Al Jackson approach to each song. Make every song sound unique. Hold the groove and give it just the right push into the next section.

  9. Q: What's your typical work process?

  10. A: I like to be in clear and frequent conversation with the client. I want to make sure that your vision os captured sonically. I usually start with a drum idea from the client wether that be a vocal beatbox, something the client programs themselves or even something they beat on a table and recorded voice memo. OR I can do the same for the client just to get ideas for sections. Next I record a rough draft and at that point we tear it apart to make sure every part has the correct groove and all transitions have the right energy. Next is a semi final take. This take is to make sure we are going in the right direction and all grooves, fills and transitions feel right. Next is the last take. I believe in gettin it correct, but it shouldn't take more tan this process. If needed we will do a fourth go round, but going through each step as needed.

  11. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  12. A: Musicians who are pushing to create an original sound.

  13. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  14. A: I do a lot of drum tracking and beat production.

  15. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  16. A: I have a Yamaha Maple Custom and a Rogers drum kit. Various cymbals and snares. Apollo 8 with 2 AKG P170 OH mics, Shure Beta 52A kick mic, AUDIX tom mics, Shure SM 57, Apollo 8, Blue Bluebird mic.

Middle of the Madness

I was the Song writer, Drummer, Producer in this production

GenresSounds Like
  • Anderson .Paak
  • D'Angelo
  • Robert Glasper
Gear Highlights
  • Yamaha Maple Custom
  • Rodgers drums Various Snare drums and sizes
  • Various ride cymbals and sounds. 2 AKG P170 OH mics
  • Shure Beta 52A kick mic
  • AUDIX tom mics
  • Shure SM 57
  • Apollo 8
  • Blue Bluebird vocal mic.
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