Meet our SOCIAL Babe of the month, Michelle Ray (@michelleraymusic)
You may recognize this Los Angeles native from Team Blake on Season 4 of NBC's the VOICE! Along with having her music appear in national commercials for Maybelline and Mastercard, Michelle's voice may be recognized on Mother's Day, The Expanse, and VanderPump Rules. Presently, Michelle is working on the release of her new EP and promoting her newest single "I'm Fine" feat Michael Blum, released in April.
We were so excited to chat with Michelle and learn more about whats next for her music career! You can read our interview with her below:
What are some of your passions?
Creating music, singing, performing, and musical theater have always been my greatest passions since I was a young kid. I also am super passionate about sketching, drawing and of course… wine. :)
Describe what it was like being on the VOICE.
Being on The Voice was an absolute dream. I got to be on Team Blake and learned so much about myself as an artist, human and performer. On top of that, I made some incredible friends that I am still close with to this day. The Voice was an artist bootcamp. We had interviews, wardrobe sessions, performance sessions, etc. It’s funny because the first time I stepped onto the stage I’ve been watching on TV in my living room for years, I totally blacked out. It was such a surreal experience to sing for Usher, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Shakira.
With the impact of COVID on live events and the music industry, how have you responded?
What an interesting and unpredictable time we are living in right now. I like to try and find the positive in every situation. So in this situation, as far as COVID and the music industry, I think this has given me and other artists time to really hone and work on our craft. Staying home gives us the time we never really had to create, be imaginative and really remember why we do what we do. It’s definitely tough not being able to have live performances and attend live performances, but this is an experience we are all going through together. The Instagram live concerts are also a fun way to stay in touch with your community.
What song has been your favorite/biggest success, and where can we hear it?
My latest single, "I’m Fine", has been my greatest success so far! I say this because this is a song that I have been able to connect with most as an artist and I feel that I’m really coming into myself this year, being the most authentic me I can be. You can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, really any music platform!
Listen to "I'm Fine" on Spotify here:
We see that you were recently married! What was your favorite part about your wedding? Did COVID have an impact?
So I am one of the many “corona brides” and it’s been quite the emotional roller coaster! Being quarantined together and this entire experience, in the most cheesy way, has just solidified that my husband is the one I’m meant to be with. Instead of the really big wedding (which we are still going to do a celebration / vow renewal in 2021) we had just our immediate family at my husband, Ethan’s, childhood home backyard. The ceremony absolutely took my breath away. We made it beach themed and the decor was incredible if I must say so myself. I always dreamed of getting married with my feet in the sand, so Ethan surprised me by putting sand under the Chuppa (a canopy beneath which Jewish marriage ceremonies are performed). It was intimate, romantic and everything I could have ever dreamed of.
Check out photos from Michelle's wedding here:
Tell us about your involvement with Notes for Notes non-profit.
I used to work at WME before COVID, and the Endeavor Impact program put me in touch with Notes for Notes when I inquired about music non-profits. I got to visit their Mar Vista location and work with one of the program heads, Ryan Venable. I created a movement called Wake Up To The Music movement for Notes for Notes and made a video with the help of Endeavor Impact to spread the word. Notes for Notes designs, equips and staffs after-school recording studios inside Boys and Girls Clubs offering the youth the opportunity to explore, record and create music for free. I have been trying to raise money for them and the kids at the club sang on one of my songs which was an absolute dream.
You can watch her Wake Up the Music video here:
And if you would like to donate to Notes for Notes click the link below:
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I naturally gravitated towards soul/r&b pop music and musical theater growing up. I was obsessed with Christina Aguilera when I first started singing and she of course still influences me to this day. Christina is a queen of soul and has always been unapologetically herself. From her self titled album in ’99 to Stripped in ’02 and Back to Basics ’06, I studied her soulful inflections and how she was able to merge herself into the pop world at the same time. I dislike when artists feel like they have to be pigeon-holed into one genre. I also absolutely love Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, soulful artists who know how to also make a fun dance song.
If you were to give advice to someone pursuing a music career, what would you tell them?
Always go with your intuition when it comes to the type of songs you sing and create. Don’t try to fit someone else’s mold.
What’s next for you?
The I’m Fine music video comes out July 22, 2020! I also have a couple singles coming out in the next few months leading up to an EP!
"I'm Fine" music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkqS_5bAthI
What speaks to you most about SOCIAL?
First of all, I love the taste and the aesthetic of the brand. What really connected with me was that the CEO, Leah, who beat thyroid cancer, was inspired to change her lifestyle and create a drink that was both clean and able to still give you a buzz. I have an extremely sensitive stomach so something like Social Sparkling was a dream to find, healthy ingredients that won’t make you feel like crap the next day!
Be sure to follow along with Michelles's journey on Instagram @michelleraymusic and her YouTube Channel: