How do you describe passion and dedication? Well, ask LA-based singer Gabriel Ray, and tell you it’s an internal compass that guides you towards your dreams at all costs. Born and raised in the Windy City, Chicago, Gabriel was enthralled with music at an early age. His life path, though, took him in a more traditional route, as he excelled academically and started a career in finance. His love of music, however, was too alluring. He walked away from a lucrative career and relocated to LA to pursue his purpose.
With two monster new singles, written collaboration with Freckles The Writer – whose written for and with the likes of R.Kelly, Babyface, and Madonna – he’s making real noise in the crowded LA scene.
Check out the singles, and get to know more about Gabriel in the Q&A below.
How did you get involved in music?
I got involved in music as a kid; I sang in the choir at my church with my uncle who was the choir director. Throughout my adolescence, I sang in choirs in high school and college. After I had graduated college, I decided to take music seriously and become a recording artist. I chose the genre of R&B because I grew up listening to it. I grew up listening to Jagged Edge, Next, Usher, Tank and R.Kelly. The sensual nature of the genre is why I gravitated towards it. I love women; the genre fits who I am.
What made you decide to leave a career in finance to pursue music?
Finance wasn’t my passion. I spent my childhood pursuing the things that I thought my parents wanted me to accomplish. I was never really encouraged to explore my passions as a child, just to make money. In college, I took a major that was to accomplish the task of making my money. I never loved it, never really cared for it. As I grew into who I am, I liberated myself from the opinions of others including my family.
What prompted your move to LA, rather than stay in Chicago?
Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world. I am a singer, actor, and a model and Los Angeles is the perfect place to work in all of those fields. It was also a part of the process of me liberating myself from the opinions of others, and walking in the path of my destiny.
How did you link up with Freckles the Writer?
I met her on her video shoot years ago through a mutual friend. I was amazed by her music and talent, and we have stayed close ever since.
What was your writing/recording process like?
The recording process was great. I spent a lot of time doing background vocals. I love background vocals; I think they make a song more melodic. I also started out as the background singer, which is why I love doing backgrounds.
Tell us about your two brand new singles, “Body Language” and “Cater to You”? What were the inspirations for both of these tracks?
You mean did I have a muse? Of Course, I did, if I didn’t this music wouldn’t be genuine…lol The songs are heavily inspired by my ex and the dynamic of our relationship. Body Language is baby making music, very much a reflection of my sensual nature. “Cater to You” is about serving the woman you adore and treating her like you value her. I like to cater to women in and out of the bedroom, and these two songs portray that.
When is your new album dropping? What’s the overall direction?
You can expect to hear my full-length EP this summer. Listeners can expect to hear classic, sensual, and truthful R&B. They can expect a modern take on 90’s R&B. They can expect a reflection of my heart and soul in this project.
What are your goals in the industry?
My goal in the industry is to bring R&B music back. When it comes to fashions trends, go in and out. Music is the same way. I want to bring R&B back to the music frontline.
Are you looking to stay indie, or sign a deal?
I am looking to do whatever makes the most sense. I would love the backing of a major label, but I am prepared to continue putting out music without one.
Any last words or shout outs for our readers?
I want to thank all of my fans. I appreciate all of your support, and I hope that you all enjoy my music.