Awesome Ray Ray is an artist that knows no creative boundaries. Filled with energy, promoting positivity, and crossing a wide range of genres, he has something to offer for everyone. I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Awesome Ray Ray about his start in music, what inspires him, his recent appearance at Blue Ridge Rock Festival, his latest single, and what’s on the horizon for him.
MM: First and foremost, can you describe your sound in your own words?
R: Sometimes it’s like this raspy, bluesy southern gospel rocker vibe, then mix that in with rap, trap, and hip hop, sprinkle a little bit of heavy metal, R&B and EDM, then you have a “never really know” what to expect mix that is “Awesome Ray Ray”.
MM: Who are your biggest influences?
R: Limp Bizkit, LL Cool J, Jelly Roll, Drake, Linkin Park, Korn, Post Malone, Slipknot, Kendrick Lamar, Gym Class Heroes.
MM: With such a wide variety of genres mixing in your sound and your list of influences, who would be your dream touring mates? Or just a dream lineup that you’d be on?
R: Definitely Limp Bizkit, Jelly Roll, Travis Scott, Gym Class Heroes
MM: That would be a killer show. So, on to another standard question. What made you want to pursue a career in music?
R: I’ve been a lover of music since I was a little kid. I picked up my first pair of drumsticks at the age of three, and that’s all she wrote. Listening to music has always been therapy and a way of coping with stresses of life. And writing/performing it literally does the exact same for me.
MM: In regard to drumming, was there anyone in particular that inspired you to pick up those sticks?
R: Gene Krupa, Quest Love (The Roots)
John Otto (Limp Bizkit )
MM: Describe your songwriting process, and where do you draw most of your inspiration for songs?
R: Normally I hear a melody or I’ll hear a guitar riff, or a beat/instrumental and my mind will just start going crazy. I usually have to write it all down quickly. My inspiration normally comes from real life experiences, or whatever I’m feeling in that exact moment.
MM: Tell me about your experience performing at Blue Ridge Rock Festival.
R: It was absolutely life-changing. For that being my first show ever as a solo artist,I felt a lot of pressure but was extremely thankful for the opportunity. The second my foot hit that stage and I opened my mouth and saw the crowd reaction, I knew immediately this was home. Every aspect from driving down, to parking my tour bus, to meeting the stage managers, sound engineers, staff, security, helpers, fans, national acts, regional acts, etc. Just the general reception that I received from everybody, it was absolutely amazing. Not a lot of artist or bands get that experience for their first show, so I’m incredibly grateful, and Blue Ridge will forever have a special place in my heart. I absolutely look forward to going back and performing again.
MM: For anyone who was unfortunate enough to miss you at BRRF (like myself), what can concertgoers expect from an Awesome Ray Ray live show?
R: A lot of energy, positive vibes, positive reinforcement, a mix of different styles of music, some serious moments, and definitely some funny moments. I’ll crack a joke in a heartbeat. Lots of smiles and laughs, and a lot of high fives and hugs.
MM: It sounds like a very positive, feel-good experience, and we can all use a bit more of that. While I have you here, I wanted to be sure to touch on your latest single. Can you tell me the inspiration behind “Last Desperado”?
R: Absolutely. “Last Desperado” was originally a hip-hop song that I wrote a few years ago. I produced a hip-hop instrumental, and wrote it about being cocky/confident, while still trying to encourage people and spread a bit a of a positive message. I know those two seldomly go together but I decided to give it a shot. One of my good friends, and one of the most amazing, talented, producers/guitarists, and overall human beings, that I’ve ever met by the name of William Baker (formerly of Hallow Intent), reached out to me after playing Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2021. [He] was taking on some production projects, and I sent him this and said “Hey bro, can you add to this? Throw in some guitars and heavy metal? You know? Do ya thang?”. And WOW did he! It turned out awesome! Like I knew it was gonna be good, but I didn’t know it was gonna slap so hard. And perform this well stream-wise. I’m incredibly thankful for his friendship and help/support on this record. And there will definitely be more where that come from soon!
MM: I really like that message. So often we think of confidence in ourselves and empathy for other people as separate things when in reality, you can have both. And now we come to the final, all-encompassing “What’s next for Awesome Ray Ray?”
R: I have a lot of music/videos that are gonna be coming out soon, booking shows, being a part of other projects hitting the road, and just straight up following my dreams while inspiring and encouraging others to do the same.
There you have it! Awesome Ray Ray has a lot of exciting things for y’all to look forward to. You can find his social medias and the streaming services that have his music at the link below! And be sure to check out “Last Desperado.”