Kingsley Ray is a recording artist from Richmond VA. Honing a passion for singing from the age of 7, Kingsley also wrote reviews for local news publications in his teenage years and studied acting too. After singing at various community events he eventually started writing and arranging original songs. Read the entire interview below, you’ll learn a lot from this talented artist!
1 – When and where did you learn to make music?
It was actually the love of writing that came first. I was a published writer at a very young age, and enjoyed doing music reviews in the teen section of the town paper in Virginia. I loved music and following the industry excited me. I trained and practiced singing and writing my own songs as a kid. Eventually, I would audition to sing “I Believe I Can Fly”, for an Earth Day commercial and got it. It confirmed the possibilities early on. Going to an arts high school, learning recording engineering in a big studio, and years of recording and performing underground in a duo, have helped shaped the artist I am. That, and a few good vocal coaches in my back pocket!
2 – What inspires you to be creative?
Life inspires me. I now allow myself “to go there” with self expression from a real place. Whether good or bad, there is a song in everything we go through and experience.
3 – Is there a particular place where you feel most creative?
My music room is where I shut everything out and it’s all about Kingsley Ray the artist.
4 – Did you discover your artistic talent at the age of 7? How was that possible?
Even before that age, I had a fascination with sounds. There was always a variety of genres being played around the house from Classic Rock to Reggae to RnB… I loved it all. I wanted to be Michael Jackson at 7 though, totally.
5 – Do you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest?
I think that being in a group, there will be creative differences that can be challenging to creativity, especially when both artists are songwriters with different production ideas and perspectives. I always loved Pop, Rock, RnB, and EDM. A major part of stepping out on my own with this project was being able to explore and express my interests in a free form but cohesive way.
6 – Why did you release an EDM remix of your latest single “Crushin”? Is EDM music now more popular than RnB?
I love EDM music. With Crushin’, I tested it on many honest ears to confirm a good fit. There was a period of time that many remarked was the EDM takeover and “RnB is dead” was thrown around. I think sounds are ever evolving, but genres will forever hold some level of an audience. RnB will never die. It even lives in some of the EDM music. Popularity consistently shifts. There is room and relevance for all.
7 – Are you a big fan of EDM DJs? Who are your favorite ones?
I have been a longterm fan of both David Guetta and Avicii. I’d love to work with Calvin Harris, Diplo, and Skrillex. I’ve been rocking to Dubstep remixes by Skrillex and the Jack U album with Diplo is still in heavy rotation. “Where Are They Now” is a classic fave and another, “Mind” with Kai (also of my fave videos this year). Also, I must, of course, shout out the talented DJ Hi-5 out of Baltimore Md for “Crushin'” my song.
8 – We read that you’re also an actor. How does your acting career has contributed to your artistic life?
Acting allows for metamorphosis into another persona. It’s a different form of storytelling. I became a theater arts student in high school and it helped me build confidence in myself that would transcend into other areas of interest such as music. My adult experiences have taught me a lot about myself, a constant work in progress, but humbled experiences that allow me to stand before a crowd of people on such a platform.
9 – What’s your favorite song you have ever written?
I have many favorites that mostly come from personal experiences, but one of my most favorited is a track called “One Bit”. A true story about meeting someone wonderful, but they have to go away for some months. Dealing with the emotions of it all I started writing “I don’t like it one bit”. That was one of the first raw and real songs I performed.
10 – Do you have any upcoming projects that we should know about?
Absolutely! The album is done. I look forward to rolling out more material from it this summer, ahead of the release. Definitely, more performance dates, forthcoming videos, and some major things coming. You can stream the download the new Crushin’ EDM remix below: