After listening to Rayana Jay’s music for a few months, I fell in love with her sound and wrote about a track she released with Soulection producer ROMderful. Her lovely manager reached out about the release of new music and I couldn’t have been more excited. We headed to Rayana Jay’s Morning After release party a month later; hosted by the Girl Mob. I could feel that chill, fun California vibe as soon as I stepped through the door. A little bit of rum punch had the NYC crowd ready to bust a two step to some new tunes. The setting was perfect for Rayana Jay’s EP to be played for the first time. I was able to get a bit of life wisdom with Rayana before the show began. Take a listen to Rayana Jay’s new EP Morning After and learn more about her in the interview below (shot by Kidz ‘r Evil):
When did you find out you can sing? When did you know this is what you want to do? Forever?
I started singing in church. As soon as I could talk my mom just threw me into the choir. I think that’s what it was. I was all in these church plays and I had a little solo ; and that’s kind of where I found my voice. I just recently hit that note that had me like “hold on, who said you could do that girl?” That’s how my song “Sleepy Brown” came out last year. I’ll always be singing. This is what I love. I really have no other choice or option.
I definitely want to get more into songwriting. I only have writers credit on one song right now and it’s one of the best feelings. Knowing that someone trusted my pen enough to want to sing what I had to say. The song is called “Selfish” by 1-O.A.K.
You write all your music, correct? What’s your process like? Where you think you write the best tracks?
My safe space is anywhere after 2am; I can’t really write songs during the day so a lot of my writing happens at night. The process is always different. Some songs take me like fifteen minutes and some songs take me two years to finish. My theory as a songwriter is we already have all these songs in us, it just takes the right person or event for it to finally come out. So I never really trip off writers block. If I have writers block I just need to go experience something. But my safe place is definitely in a room after 2am. I feel like that’s when you’re most honest with yourself.
Who are your top five favorite artists of all time? And who has your attention now?
Amy Winehouse, Sam Cooke, Frank Ocean, Jasmine Sullivan & Mac Dre. SOB x RBE from Vallejo, California. These young boys from North Vallejo, which is where Mac Dre is from, and they’re just hella tight. They’re bringing back that old hyphy, mobbin’ sound back & we missed it. I really been slappin’ Sza’s album, Kehlani’s sweetsexysavage, Tyler’s new album. Everyone in my age group is hella tight.
Who do you want to work with in the future?
Gucci Mane. Everyone in ATL. I wanna work with Young Thug, I feel like we would make a beautiful love song. I want to work with Migos because who doesn’t. Future. As far as producers, I want to work with Pharrell. That’d be tight. Something with Missy. Anything you do with Missy is going to be fire.
What are you plans for the next five years? We’re now 23, so let’s say by 30; what do you want to accomplish?
At 30, I want to be in London. I want to have done everything I can do in the states and I want to move off to London. I still want to be making music but I want to be at a point where I don’t have to make music anymore because everyone still loves the old stuff. I want to get another EP under my belt, some albums. I just want to build a catalog I can be happy with. I can retire like “okay I did my ting and I’m done here“.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell young Rayana to feel all the feels. Let yourself have emotions. I think a lot of people try so hard not to have emotions because I think we’re living in a really weird time where nobody trusts anybody. Everybody has their guard up all the time. Nobody wants to be vulnerable or feel anything. I used to shut my emotions out all the time. I used to apologize. I realized the first thing that people do when they cry is say “I’m sorry” and I’m just like why, it’s okay. Please be emotional. Cry girl.