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Photographer Credit: Jason Keefer

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Salti Ray is the brain child of Mary Norris and Noelle Taylor, both of whom began their journeys as musicians at the young age of 12. Salti Ray blends a myriad of musical styles such as folk, blues, and pop, with their traditional rock-influenced roots. The dynamic pair have now established themselves as seasoned musicians, having played in various well-known music venues all across the South-east.

 

In 2020, they were awarded Best Band of the Upstate by Greenville Journal, in addition to being nominated for Best Live Act at the 2020 Upstate Music Awards. The band followed up the release of their debut 4-track EP, The Right Thing, with their new, edgy single, "Luxury", in July, 2021. This powerful track was inspired by how the Corona-Virus pandemic impacted the band-members, and the government of South Carolina's response to the issue.

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"Norris' powerful voice and stage presence and Taylor's stunning lead guitar skills served as a through-line that connected their disparate influences." - Greenville Journal

Photographer Credit: Marina xaykosy

Noelle: When I was around eight years-old, I was watching an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants on my 13" CRT style television. The episode was "Bubble Squad/Ripped Pants", and it has went down in SpongeBob history as one of the most iconic episodes. Rightfully so, because it changed my life! I remember sitting in front of the tube when SpongeBob picks up his acoustic guitar and begins singing in front of the beach-goers at Goo Lagoon. His backing band was a bunch of fish, voiced by members of The Beach Boys. It was crazy, fun, and the harmonies were beautiful. I asked my parents for a guitar shortly after, and the rest is history!

Mary: “Luxury” is about experiencing the pandemic in South Carolina and witnessing the hypocrisy of SC government - prioritizing a “pro-life” standpoint when it comes to legislating control over people with uteri, but falling short in pandemic response.

What would your idyllic life as an artist look like?

Mary: Making a comfortable living from music, honestly. Just not scrambling to pay bills, though I’d still take scrambling to make ends meet with music over another job. It’d be nice to have enough of a fan base to tour and sell some records and then just be able to afford a car payment and health insurance! I just want to make beautiful, inspiring, cathartic things and live.