Mike Ray: “Privacy Is My Pharmacy” – An Exclusive Interview

In the vibrant city of Coventry, a rising star in the local music scene is making waves with his latest EP, “Privacy Is My Pharmacy.” Mike Ray, an artist with a passion for music that runs deep, recently sat down with us to share the inspiration behind his work, the challenges he faced during its creation, and the unexpected collaborations that have shaped this remarkable project.

From his diverse musical influences to the story behind his art, we delve into the world of Mike Ray and discover the high vibrations that define his sound. Join us on this musical journey as we explore the creative process, the live performances that electrify audiences, and get a glimpse into the future plans of an artist whose dedication and enthusiasm are breaking barriers. Mike Ray’s story is one of inspiration, self-discovery, and a commitment to elevating his craft in the ever-evolving world of music.

Background and Inspiration:

So, what got you into making this EP? What inspired you?

Seeing the growth of the local music scene, I’ve noticed many local artists dropping regularly so it inspired me to share my music too. I think it’s important for as many local artists to drop to continue the trend of growth to get Coventry on another level musically. I set myself this goal at the start of the year and I’m really happy with my outcome. Sonically I’ve achieved what I intended and I feel this project demonstrates my growth and my mindset as a creative.

Any cool stories behind the music? Anything that really sparked your creativity?

I wanted to set my self a challenge to create and keep a solid theme throughout this project. I’ve never done it before. I was always fixated on dropping a single + a video as opposed to a bigger body of work.

At the start I was just cooking up with different producers creating my sound and then eventually started collaborating with my guys and artists from my network. Without any direction set in stone at first apart from making a hard track, but then eventually I’ve noticed a positive feel good theme so I decided to focus on the high vibrations.

I was inspired to believe in myself more and lead by example in terms of carrying out practises I provide with Ray Sessions and testing it on my own music.

Who are your musical heroes? Who’s been your jam lately?

I love music as a whole so I listen to variety different genres, depending on my mood. My playlists are very diverse. One of my favourites is my paradise playlist featuring some of my favourites feel good jams from Marvin Gaye, Bee Gee’s, Tupac and Jorja Smith to name a few.

Some of my other playlists are segregated based on genre or mood/feeling such as: oldschool hip hop, Uk rap, drill, US rap, rnb, afrobeats, amapiano, dancehall / bashment, French, peaceful and sad.

Lately I’ve been having a phase of listening to feel good rap for example Che Lingo and Knucks in the UK and then a whole lot of Afro beat feel good jams from the likes of: Adekunle Gold, Omah Lay, Jinmi Abduls and Asake to name a few.

The Musical Composition:

Can you break it down for us? What equipment/software did you use for this music?

All the beats were cooked up from scratch in Ray Studio by producers I worked with: Fazman, Duplex and Cminus. Faz uses fruity loops to produce but Pro Tools to record where as Duplex & C Minus use Logic for both. There is no telling which programme is better as it’s down to preference in my opinion. All my vocals were recorded on Aston mic. The whole project was recorded, mixed and mastered by Nathan.

Any interesting moments or challenges during the recording or production?

There was lot of funny moments when I kept loosing my voice because of my breaking too many barriers at once 🤣🤣🤣.  Try recording a track after coming back from a 10 day holiday with the mandem – lol impossible 🤣

How would you describe the overall feel of the EP?

I believe it’s down to personal interpretation as everyone’s perception is always different however form my perspective ‘Privacy Is My Pharmacy’ is a collection of feel good, positive UK rap which will inspire you to work on yourself and level up in this dunya.

Collaborations and Influences:

Did you team up with anyone cool for this project? How did they shape the music?

Yeah man I’ve got an unexpected feature from Ian, who’s one of my close friends and a business partner but he don’t usually rap like that. We were driving back from a shoot one time and I put on this Fazman produced instrumental (🔊🔥🔥🔥) and we vibed then he freestyles a mad verse on the beat and I was like rah let’s record it. Push comes to shove here we are a Sunset feature on my EP 🔥🔥🔥. I must say the verse really matched the subject matter of the song so I was buzzing. Also got to big up Hazz who I was initially planning on collaborating with on my project. His verse is 🔥 and he matched the vibe both me and Ian set with the ‘Inhale, Exhale’ track.

Performance and Live Shows:

What’s your gig game like? What can people expect when they come to see you play live?

I am a well known barrier breaker so you can expect me to bring an abundance of good energy and vybz.

Any memorable stories from recent shows or tours?

Lool I wish I went on a tour with the mandem. Over summer I’ve performed at a few events tbh, majority of them I’ve set up myself with my work at Ray Sessions including the open mics, HMV takeover and my listening party. All lit featuring a tonne of other talented artists we work with at Rays, loved every single one. Also performed at the Fyah Kamp ‘Through The Wire’ event as well the Vanny Radio festival. 

Artwork and Visuals:

So what’s the story here, besides the name of the EP of course?

Listen to find out lol. Even with the artwork I wanted to keep a theme. When I came up with the name ‘Privacy Is My Pharmacy’ I didn’t know how I want it visually until one day I’ve went to a listening party with Faz and seen how well the decoration of the venue matched the feel of the project so it inspired me to think outside the box and boom me and Faz were joking around that imagine if I’ll be giving our prescriptions of what gives me privacy aka peace in this dunya 🤣 for my EP; so that’s exactly what the artwork represents. That’s what also inspired me to have a listening party of my own. I’ve never done one before. I’ve pushed through that barrier too.

Audience Connection:

How do you think your fans will connect with this EP on a personal level?

We have to wait and see I guess. Personally I hope people can indulge in the high vibrations, enjoy it and get inspired to believe in themselves and level up. Remember if I can do it you can do it. Let’s go let’s go 💪🏼

Future Plans:

What’s on the horizon? Any upcoming projects, releases, or gigs you’re excited about?

You got to follow the journey and see, can’t tell you everything 😂 There are always new projects on the horizon though. I have no current gigs scheduled until I set up another Ray Sessions event and best believe it’s gonna bang.

How do you see your musical journey evolving in the future?

I do my music as a hobby. This is my mental therapy, self medication and it brings me peace so I will definitely continue off loading my thoughts into audios. On another note, I would love to go on tour with the mandem as I said before and perform at major music festivals one day but eyyy we will see what the future brings.

Stay connected

To stay connected with Mike Ray and be part of his exciting musical journey, be sure to follow him on his social media platforms. You can catch his latest updates, music releases, and upcoming events on Instagram (@MikeRayMusic) and Twitter (@MikeRayMusic1).

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