[Interview] Sean Ray

This interview was originally printed at the lovely Pop+Nation, so as always -- thanks to beE for the incredible opportunity to interview this up and comer.

Sean Ray is a New Jersey born singer/songwriter of the R&B persuasion, and is coming through in a impressive way. Despite being an independent artist, his list of achievements is already pretty staggering: opening for Lupe Fiasco, working on his own self-written album (single set to hit iTunes in October -- keep an eye out), and lending his talents to his sister, Chanelle Ray, and her upcoming music career as well. We were lucky enough to ask him a few questions and get to know him a little bit better. If you're interested, be sure to check out his MySpace page and groove out to his stellar tunes.

-Have you chosen your first single? When will it hit iTunes? Are you planning a big release campaign?
I haven't chosen my first single just yet. I'm actually in the recording process still, so you never know which could be the single until the project is wrapped up. My single will definitely hit ITunes sometime in October. My team & I have been discussing a release party. We have big plans! It's going to be a nice celebration.

-What do you consider your first big break in your career?
I think my first "big break" would be signing to a major record company. That's definitely one of my goals & a big dream of mine!

-What is your songwriting/song creating process like? Do you get lyric ideas first or build your lyrics around a beat?
My songwriting process starts with inspiration. I usually hear a "track/beat" that I like and just zone out. Before I jot down any lyrics I let the track "speak" to me. I search for a concept that fits the track then I begin to sing different melodies. I usually start with the "hook", B section, the verses, then the bridge. I know that sounds funny but just call it unique!

-What's your favorite song you've written/finished so far, and why?
My favorite song (so far) would have to be "Hole In My Heart". The writing & recording process of this song is just unforgetable. I actually recorded this song in my home studio. Everything flowed nicely that night. You would think I really had a hole in my heart after hearing the record.

-You have opened for Lupe Fiasco and Rick Ross. Any fun, crazy touring stories?
Yeah opening up for rappers are pretty cool. Lupe is a real chill & humble person. I respect him for that. I don't have any crazy touring stories YET (laughing) - but I am definitely looking forward to those!

-What is the best music industry advice you've ever received that you'd like to pass on to aspiring performers?
Be patient and be humble!!! Don't be scared to show your talents! Go for what you want! It's possible if you let it!!

-Your commitment to bringing a positive influence toward the younger generation is really refreshing in the r&b/hip hop scene. Was this a conscious decision? Is being a positive role model something that is very important to you?
Being a positive role model is something I've been all my life. I have younger cousins & sisters who are as talented as I am and they look at me like a mentor or "the family star" even. I'm just a positive person all around. I'd like to make positivity a trend one day. Hoping more artists would do the same. As a Pop artist, I'd love to see all genre's join the movement.

-In your biography, you mention the influence of the late and great Michael Jackson. Which of his songs has the most meaning to you, and which would you love to perform live with your own spin?
I grew up on Michael Jackson's music, etc. His passing felt like losing a close family member. A few of my favorite songs are "Human Nature", & "Who is it". I'd love to perform "Human Nature". Maybe I'll "cover" it one day.

-You have an incredible and professional online presence between your social networking profiles and street team. How important do you feel the online side of your campaign is to you?
My online campaign is very important to me. I love to network and be heard. I also like to give my fans a chance to get to know the real me but keep it professional at the same time.

-What musician or song is your greatest guilty pleasure?
I honestly don't think I have one (laughing)...

-If you could cover any song that's currently on radio playlists right now, what would it be?
I'd probley cover "Boyfriend #2" by Pleasure P. That was my joint for a while!

-What was the first album you ever owned (and loved) and what was the last album you bought?
My first album was Musiq Soulchild's Aijuswanasing! I love that CD so much I still listen to it this day & I was 15 when I bought it (laughing). The last CD I bought was Brandy's Human.

-What's one random tidbit about yourself that most fans wouldn't know?
(Laughing) Most fans wouldn't know I hate washing my own hair!

-Do you have any upcoming touring plans?
Yes, we're discussing a tour with a major artist so stay tuned!

-Message to the fans?
"Live your life to the fullest - Experiences are necessary!"

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