Published on June 5th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe


Ray Lavender: Grown & Sexy Music


After a couple of false starts; 2007’s “My Girl’s Gotta Girlfriend” and your stint on Donald J. Trump Presents The Ultimate Merger reality television dating game ‘10, you sort of disappeared from the scene — What all exactly had / have you been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, during this extended hiatus?

Basically revamping my music and doing a lot of acting. Got with a couple of directors and movie producers and started doing lots of films.

It is my understanding that you’re gearing up for a musical comeback — What all can you reveal and / or divulge about upcoming said new material(s)?

Yes, I’m doing another project. I’m honestly done with it; just adding a couple songs here and there. What I can tell you about my new music is it has definitely grown. I’m really enjoying recording my new project.

How does the new music either differ and / or compare to previous entries?

My music is still sexy, but this time the lyrics are more for the grown and sexy. I’m catering to a more Urban Contemporary audience.

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for LaRay Lavender?

I first became interested in music when I was singing in the choir as a young man. I love the way the congregation reacted to my voice so much that it became addictive. After that, I start listening to music like Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Ready For The World, TROOP, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Michael Jackson, Prince and Shirley Murdock. That’s why my music career started because I made my mind up to be an R&B artist.

Now you’re a native of where exactly? And growing up there, who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

I was born in Monroe, Louisiana, but I now live in Atlanta, Georgia. I ran into people like Dallas Austin and Teddy Riley, so it kind of made my journey a little easy. I also became really good friends with Akon, and that’s when I got a record deal with Interscope Records.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

My overall sound is definitely R&B / Soul music. Very silky vocals, but rough around the edges.

What particular string of events actually led to your initial linking up with Akon and later inking with his Kon Live Records imprint through Geffen?

I actually met Akon while I was working as a pizza delivery driver. I heard that there was some producers working on music nearby while on a delivery, so after I dropped off my last delivery order I stopped by the studio and introduced myself. I told Akon I could sing and he gave me a shot. After listening to me, saying he loved what I sound like and we started working together. It took us about two years after meeting to get a deal with Interscope Records.

Although you released a couple of charting singles, your then eagerly anticipated solo debut, X-Rayted, never materialized – Why is that?

Things just didn’t work out as planned, so Akon and I decided to go our separate ways. Nothing more, nothing less.

What are some of your fondest memories from that particular time in your life and career?

One of my finest moments of my career was when I performed at The Apollo. It was something as a little boy I always dreamed of. And I finally got to do it while I was on tour with Keyshia Cole.

You went on to appear on The Ultimate Merger where you were competing for the affections of Omarosa — How did this opportunity even present itself? And in the end, were you happy with your overall decision to do reality TV?

Doing The Ultimate Merger reality show was presented to me by my publicist. At first I declined the offer, but thought about it after talking to Donald Trump and ended up doing it. Overall my decision to do the show was cool. I wasn’t mad at my decision to do it and I had a really great time.

Switching gears here… Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?

Continuing to make amazing R&B music is going to be my longevity. As long as I stay true to my music, I’ll be here.

What do you want people to get from your music?

After listening to my music, I want people to take into consideration that I wrote the song in a great space. If I was talking about love, I want them to love someone. If I was talking about being heartbroken… somewhere in my music there will detail on how to fix it. I want people to listen to my music and receive love.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B?

Yes, I think the state of R&B is fine. There’s a lot of new songs that I like and there’s something that I don’t like. But I think R&B music is fine.

To date, what has been your greatest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

One of my greatest career moments being number 51 on Billboard with my SINGLE.

What’s an average day like for you?

Working out. Recording new records. Working out. Recording new records. I think you get the point.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

I definitely keep it professional with fans. I show a lot of love, but keep it professional.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part of my job is getting on stage singing and entertaining fans. My least favorite thing about my line of work is staying up so late and having to get up so early.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

My advice for someone to follow in my footsteps is to make sure you work hard at it. Try not to get your feelings involved in the business aspect of things because your feelings will only get hurt. Watch your money.

Lastly, what’s next for you, Ray?

What’s next for Ray Lavender? There will be lots of new music and movies on the way.

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?

Nothing you left out; I think you said everything.

Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?

S/O all of my fans…thank you for being loyal and sticking in there with me. The new music is incredible and I haven’t let you down. Follow me on Instagram: @RayLavender


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