Aaron Grey - Co-Owner of Play Alone Records
Photo by Olivia Dale Pape
Who am I and what shaped me?
Growing up in a household deeply rooted in born-again Christianity, my early years were steeped in fervent religious beliefs. The momentous decision to be baptized in my early teens came with a thorough understanding of the spiritual implications of this sacred ritual. However, as I matured, I couldn't help but notice the glaring hypocrisy that often tainted the very fabric of Christianity. It troubled me to see that some of the most bigoted, close-minded individuals proudly donned the label of "Christian."
This unsettling realization ignited within me a burning desire to explore alternative belief systems and diverse perspectives on life. My journey of self-discovery led me to examine the teachings of Buddhism, the subversive ethos of punk rock, the revolutionary ideas of socialism, and the principles of critical thinking. As I delved into each of these domains, my mind expanded and my horizons broadened.
My experiences and the scientific method became my guiding light, allowing me to develop a deeper understanding of the world around me. This newfound perspective also enriched my appreciation for the power of music and art as conduits of human expression and connection. I found solace and inspiration in the raw, unfiltered soundscapes of post-punk music, which resonated with my growing disillusionment with conventional dogmas.
This transformative journey of self-discovery and intellectual growth ultimately led me to my true passion – the creation of a post-punk record label. Through this endeavor, I aspired to foster a space where musicians could defy norms, challenge the status quo, and inspire others to embark on their own journeys of self-exploration and growth. Just as my own experiences had shaped me, I hoped that the music produced by my label would spark a similar awakening in others, encouraging them to question, seek, and ultimately forge their own paths in this ever-evolving world.
What's in a Name: Aaron Hall is Aaron Grey
As a response to pop culture and cultural conventions, the punk subculture began to emerge in the middle of the 1970s. It aimed to question the current quo through fashion, music, and individual expression. To do this, they had to embrace their individuality and reject the labels or roles that society had given them. Punks used this act of self-definition, which involves taking on new original identities, to express themselves. This is what I am both Aaron Grey and Aaron Hall.
When I was a fiery youth, my world was painted in stark contrasts - the absolutes of black and white. There was no room for middle ground, as my fervor convinced me that the purity of one's stance was a measure of integrity. In this turbulent phase, I decided to rebel and define myself in my own terms, similar to the audacious souls of the punk movement.
As time passed, like the pages of a book turning to unveil new chapters, my once narrowed vision started to expand. With every person I met, every word I read, and every horizon I encountered, the rigid boundaries of black and white began to blur. I came to realize that the world was not a monochrome canvas, but rather a tapestry woven with shades of grey and a spectrum of colors. I took on a name - Aaron Grey.
This metamorphosis of thought brings to mind the wisdom imparted by Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, as he explains that “many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." This statement epitomizes the very essence of my revelation.
In embracing ‘Grey’, I found solace in the unknown and the diverse. It served as a reminder that life, in all its complexity, is composed of countless hues. I learned that acknowledging the grey areas meant acknowledging the vastness and richness of perspectives; it was an ode to the plurality of human experiences. The name became a symbol, a talisman I carried, to remind myself to remain open, inquisitive, and receptive to the infinite possibilities that lay hidden in the shades of grey.
As Aaron Grey, I continue to navigate through this ever-changing kaleidoscope of life. With each day, the name is not just an identity, but a commitment to exploration, understanding, and acceptance of the myriad colors that paint the world. It is a testament to the beauty that lies in embracing the ‘Grey’ - that space between the black and white, where life truly unfolds in all its glory.
Aaron Grey / Aaron Hall Professional Life
Aaron is a seasoned marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in martech implementation, marketing strategy, and marketing analysis. He is an expert in all things MarTech, SEO, digital media buying, and analytics. Throughout his career, he has successfully built multiple teams and has thrived in various role, wearing many hats.
Aaron is an INFJ, with a strong focus on empathy and values, which is reflected in his work. He is a creative, introspective individual who has a natural aptitude for music and is driven by a desire to help others. He is able to recognize and appreciate the unique qualities in each person.
With experience in full-funnel/agile agencies, Aaron Grey is well-versed in media buying across modern digital platforms. He is a technical SEO expert who has optimized websites, editorial, blog, and advertorial content. Aaron also has extensive experience working for a large publisher website, where he gained insight into the supply side of digital marketing, understanding SSPs, Header Bidding, and eCPM optimization.
Currently, Aaron serves as a Senior Manager, where he leads a team of digital analysts and contributes to the strategic planning for the Analytics team. He is responsible for implementing and configuring Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties for various clients, ensuring accurate data collection and decision-making.
Aaron is also the co-owner, founder, and head of marketing and production at Play Alone Records. He is responsible for managing the overall digital strategies for all active projects and implementing marketing campaigns based on artist and release needs.
Aaron has received glowing recommendations from colleagues who praise his empathy, guidance, work ethic, adaptability, and extensive knowledge in digital marketing and advertising. He is a valuable asset to any team, consistently demonstrating his dedication to his craft and ability to lead and mentor others.Aaron's LinkedIn
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