Guy Ray is an upcoming R&B Soul artist fromCamden, New Jersey. He currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida where he is writing and recording his first project entitled, Soul Searchin'.
I has been almost a year since he has began to use music as an outlet for feelings ad emotions and he is looking forward to the day that listeners will be able to embrace his music once he shares it with the World.
Growing up and still to this day who are your inspirations? How did they impact your life?
My inspiration in life and in general, both past and present, is my mother. Sheʼs always been the driving force behind everything Iʼve ever been apart of. Sheʼs always worked hard and found ways to make regular days feel so special.
My mother used to sing around the home while both listening to music and cleaning up. There was something about Anita Baker's and Stephanie Millsʼ voice, plus the smell of Pinesol that set the stage for my mom.
This impacted me tremendously because my mother had a beautiful voice and sometimes while she was in the kitchen performing house chores, I would be behind and around the corner in the dining area just listening to her. She wouldn't even know I was there sometimes but I didn't want her to know cause Iʼd figured sheʼd catch stage fright and stop.
When did you know you had a passion and calling to pursue a career in the music industry?
It all happened pretty recently in the Spring of last year when I would participate in musical cyphers in my living room with my roommates/brothers, Mo and Streat, ‘Shout out to Club 64ʼ! Thatʼs the name we came up with for our little home musical group. We would be in the living room listening to instrumental after instrumental and we would create some good songs. When we had guests in the home we quickly turned into the entertainment for whoever was invited over.
Those moments ultimately led to me recording and releasing my first single, “Itʼs You” late that summer. From there I felt a strong wave of support from people around the country who Iʼve met along my journey through life. That support helped me gain the confidence I needed to decide that this is something that I can and wanted to do. A lot of praying went into the process, I wanted to be guided by GOD during this journey so I openly invited that greater presence into my heart, body and soul and it has made all the difference.
What are some things you've learned from being a recording artist that you didn't know or think about before entering the industry?
Iʼve learned that there are a lot of components to making and completing a song. Itʼs not just walking in-front of a mic and opening your mouth hoping to get a good sound. Thereʼs recording, mixing, mastering and itʼs tough to find the right engineers to record with to get the sound that you want and feel comfortable with putting out.
An addition to recording, being in front of any microphone in general is one of the most frightening positions to uphold. Because those sounds in your head are about to come to life, and if youʼre not ready and fully in tune, it has the potential of damaging the belief that you can make it. I still consider myself ‘up-and-comingʼ so I canʼt say that Iʼm in the “industry” as of yet but the business of it is pretty much all the same with or without a contract. Just on a much Grander scale. You have Marketing, branding, networking and just making yourself accessible to LISTENERS and other component people like producers, DJʼs, promoters. Just anyone you can potentially do business with. Networking is key and youʼve got to be hungry for it.
When you are not in the studio recording, writing, or listening to your own music who are some other artist you listen to?
I listen to it all it! It depends on how Iʼm feeling during the moment, I guess. One moment I could be listening to Babyface then Dru Hill. Then onto Trey Songz and a more recent artist Brent Faiyaz. I just love how music creates a feeling that you can sometimes physically feel inside of you. If youʼve listened to any good R&B or your idea of good music in general you know the feeling Iʼm talking about. I often times think of music as a time machine because listening to certain songs can place you in those moments when you heard or listened to them. You can almost feel those moments physically as well when you allow your brain to take you there.
Your music has messages and a lot of emotion in it do you draw the creativity from your personal life?
I draw every last word from my personal life. Writing my music has become the greatest outlet for my true feelings and emotions that I felt too awkward to say out loud. Awkward because I didn't think people would be interested in someone pouring their emotions out verbally. So I decided to create my own shuttle from my thoughts to others, Music! Writing from my heart has actually helped me to communicate all of my feelings more verbally, which is an indication to me of the growth and maturity that has taken place in my life. Ive built myself up to a point in life where I believe that my thoughts and how I phrase them is valid to the world. It mattered. I strongly believe that and I am moving ahead in life with each step moving forward grounded in my own validity.
What are some upcoming dates we can look to see you or hear from you?
As of now I do not have official release dates, but I will say that my first single titled ‘Extinctʼ will be released soon. Iʼm recording my EP, Soul Searchin, which I plan to have released later this year. Iʼm getting ready for a strong promo push heading into these upcoming months for this project so be on the look out for some dope pics, visuals and other creative content.
Iʼm taking my time so that Iʼm able to really think...and execute on doing the correct things, so that when I make my impact it gets felt.
What are some words of wisdom and great advice you can offer other musicians and future aspiring musicians?
The advice that I would like to give, which is something that I had set in my heart before I stepped foot into this. That piece of advice is, TO Be ORIGINAL! Be authentically you and stand confident on your beliefs as an artist. I knew that by me being myself it would set me apart from what everyone else is doing because it seems that everyone is a rapper, singer and/or artist nowadays. I had to be unique and confident in my sound and style. I know Iʼm a very soulful individual and I want that feeling to be transparent through my music. I want whoever is listening to my music to know and feel the raw emotion in my voice.
You've deemed 2019 the year for you, so what big moves and projects do you have in the works for us?
2019, YEAH! Itʼs the “Year Of Pursuit” manifesting my dreams into reality. Actually putting in the work to make it happen. I felt this was the perfect time because we are heading into a new decade of music (2020ʼs) and I want to be apart of the new wave of artists with a soulful R&B sound. The big moves are honestly me getting this EP together and then deciding with my team which songs to shoot videos for. After that weʼll let the universe do its thing.
What are some expectations that you have for yourself and your music career?
I honestly expect to be patient with the timing of gaining supporters. I want to create a solid following where my music can be played for years after its release. “Timeless music” is the term. And career wise I honestly just want to be able to perform one of my songs on stage with all my family in the audience. Thatʼll be an incredible feeling to feel.
My loved ones are a huge part of my strength and commitment to myself. When I sing itʼs always with them in mind. Moments that have led up to now. The city of Camden also plays a huge role in the development of my sound. So I always make sure to sing from that creative place that was embedded within me from my city.
Who would you say are mentors or artist that drive you in the game today?
I donʼt have any mentors who are in the game but some Artists in the game now who I take note of are Brent Faiyaz and Tierra Whack. Those two artist are both young, grinding hard and come from communities where poverty is impossible to ignore, much like my home Camden, NJ. Individuals who make it seem possible to be heard by millions no matter where theyʼre from. Those two, perfect examples of that with continued Hard work, dedication to my soul and consistency. I will change my life!!
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Evan Wheeler hails from Camden, NJ. Most know him as Huey X, which is his selected born again name. It was selected by his love of Huey P Newton and Malcolm X who he follows for their beliefs and looks up to as his mentors. Huey is a well educated brother by the standards of college, as well as being a self taught activist and revolutionary through his experiences in life. He also thinks of himself as an entrepreneur being involved in so many different fields that include: poetry, writing, youth advocacy, business development, investing, and production. He is, “Always looking to advance the culture & legacy ".