Here on #MusicMondays our goal is to bring you truly unique artists that rep The Culture and are making music you gotta here and this week we’re putting the spotlight on a new artist breaking out on the R&B scene making great music and great story of perseverance: Arin Ray.
At just 15, Ray caught his first big break when he audition for the first season of “The X Factor” on Fox in 2011. He didn’t make it very far but returned the next year where Simon Cowell called him a star and was mentored by Britney Spears before his eventual elimination. Things slowed down with no record deal offers or much work. Ray went back to his home state of Ohio and finished high school and immediately moved back to LA and started grinding. He started writing and working with people he met back on X-Factor. In 2016 he self-released his debut EP, “Phases”.
Love and relationships are a constant theme and Ray’s music showcases a classically trained singer who mixes tradition R&B with the new wave. For example his breakout single “We Ain’t Homies,” is a slow-building anthem denouncing fake friends featuring YG a guest verse full of the type of full-throated, soulful crooning that’s nearly nonexistent among young male R&B singers today. And there are plenty of other records is his reptioure perfect for chilled afternoons or blasting your car speakers.
Introspective, lush R&B with boom bap hip-hop, classical jazz and bluesy riffs are Ray’s focus and helped him get a deal with Interscope records and drop his excellent debut album “Platinum Fire” in 2018. Ray is attempting to refocuse modern R&B at a time when hazy productions and machismo flexing outweighs vulnerability and authenticity and that is something we can always use more of in The Culture.
#FunFact: Ray’s father was quite the musician himself and played drums for to 90’s acts including New Edition, Bell Biv DeVoe and After 7.
Check out more of our musical content:
- #MusicMondays – Louis York
- Interview – Hip-Hop Weekly Editor-In-Chief Kim SoMajor
- #CultureClassics – Sade “Paradise”
Written by @TalentedMrFord