Interview: Carter Ray

Carter Ray is an amazing new pop artist on the scene, bringing a sense of individuality back to the mainstream pop genre, as his latest release Scars shows. If you somehow missed the track when we reviewed it, you can also find a stream at the end of this interview!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled Scars, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song?

Scars is about being able to embrace all that makes you beautiful. Including the hardships, and the obstacles placed in front of your path. Scars come in many different forms. Some might be physical, but others can also be emotional. It is very common for us as humans to strive to fit in with the environment we are surrounded by. What happens when you don’t relate to your surroundings? You try to fit a mold that doesn’t suit you. For years I pushed out the person I was because I feared judgment. I realised I didn’t want to live for anyone but myself. It’s hard to accept the experiences that have challenged who we are. Ultimately, I want others to embrace the things that have led them to the person they are today. I hope someone can listen to Scars and know that they have no flaws and feel perfectly imperfect.

How has the reception been so far, and where can Scars be purchased?

I’m really proud of the responses I’ve been receiving. I’ve had quite a few artists within the community actually send me their cover versions of my original, so that was incredible to see. It was truly beautiful. I also have had quite a few people reach out to tell me that they really connected with the lyrics. As far as purchasing the single, you don’t have to! You can find it for free on Youtube, on my Youtube channel (…/carterray), Spotify, Apple Music and all other platforms.

Do you have any more singles planned for release?

Absolutely, I have two that I’m very excited about. I’m actually going to be shifting into a new style of sound and experimenting with a unique style. Once you hear the song you will also realise that the lyrics are very personal to experiences I’ve gone through, so I’m really excited for my listeners to hear a new side of me.

Are there any plans to release an album or EP?

I don’t have any solid plans regarding an EP right now, but I’m definitely interested in exploring that further during the next year.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

I actually think it’s the opposite. The pandemic really forced me to be alone with myself and reflect on my life and what I wanted to do with my art form. And I think it put me into a creative mindset that allowed me to pursue everything that I wanted to share.

Your music has elements of pop and electronica What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

I’ve always enjoyed raving as a young adult, so I loved the hype music that DJs would play in their sets. But I also loved writing poetry, so I feel like it’s a nice combination for my sound. Most of the time, me and Sam sit and listen to sounds we like, and he just starts building the track. It’s so much fun! As to whom I’m listening too right now, my biggest influence is BAYNK. His style and sound is such a vibe. No matter what emotion I’m feeling, I’m always in the mood for some BAYNK.

You’re also a filmmaker and TV star. Do you have any film/TV projects planned? How do you balance that with your music career?

Filmmaking and acting has always been my number one passion. I have a few things lined up but they’re in the early stages of development. I can’t wait to tell you more once we move into production. It’s really important to me to not lose sight of my activism, but I also don’t want to be boxed in as just a ‘trans actor’, so I’m really excited to share these upcoming projects because I believe they reflect that.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world?

Born and raised in California. In a town a little outside of LA, that was more conservative. The music scene there isn’t much to hype about. I made my way to West Hollywood, and I love it!

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

That’s been a big dream of mine. I would love the opportunity to play my music in another country and connect with those that have been listening to the songs I’ve been putting out.

Any last words for the fans?

Growing up I never saw anyone in the media that represented the person I was. Anybody who has felt that way, just know that you aren’t alone. I see you; you are so special. Please keep pursuing the things that you love and never give up on your dream.