Nia Ray is a singer-songwriter hailing from Miami, FL. The artist prides herself on not conforming to the norm as evident through her purple locks. We caught up with the artist prior to the release of her highly anticipated EP What’s Love Anyways; an artist who openly admits to wearing her heart on her sleeve and is not shy about being vulnerable with her fans; to find out more about her new release, the artist’s humble beginnings, and what’s in store for the future.
Nia Ray points out how she started singing at a very young age, highlighting that a career in music is something she always knew she was destined to find her path on. Having begun with learning instruments in middle school, the artist truly started to find her voice in high school, where she engaged in numerous performances. At this stage she found her way into theatre, courtesy of a little nudge from her mother. This subsequently led the artist into studying commercial music, and having connected with friends, she found herself in the studio recording a few year later.
What’s Love Anyways
Her new EP resembles the feeling you might have after a relationship according to the artist. “When I say “I cannot pretend that I want this to end. Love you but I wish I could a loved you as a friend.. well what’s love anyways””. Nia Ray explains how for her, everybody has their time in your life, not many people are meant to stay a lifetime with you. The artist describes her music as an R&B mix, with the difference lying with the range of styles utilised in her sounds and lyrics. Nia Ray is keen for her listeners to gain a new understanding of how they felt during or after a relationship.
“I know people really avoid their emotions, when you go through a break up it’s on to the next and distracting yourself, not many people really reflect on how they’re feeling. I love when I hear a song lyric and I’m like “wow, that IS exactly how it felt. I couldn’t have said it any better, those were my exact thoughts in that situation.” That’s how I want people to feel, familiar, even if you can’t relate to every song I hope there’s at least one that kinda.. hits that spot.”
Perseverance of a Dream
Nia Ray highlights how she has found inspiration in have a solid group of friends behind her. She opens up about having been
laughed at and told she can’t sing. Experiencing side eyes and gawks while on stage. In addition to having suffered with both anxiety and depression in pursuit of her dream. “I’m noticing now that I’ve kind of dealt with anxiety my entire life, I just didn’t realize. It honestly got really intense a few years ago after a bad break up, and I’ve dealt with on and off depression and anxiety since.” She explains how she draws strength from being in the recording studio and working on music, that whilst provides a sense of anxiety, it’s a good kind.
She points to struggling with what sound or direction she wanted to go in at the beginning of her career, and after working with and trying out a few producers she started working with one of her friends, who just so happens sent her her first beat ever to write to. The artist explains how she used to write songs without music, and once she got more comfortable with her sound, she was able to ask for production assets [beats] to the standard she was happy with.
“It took a while to get my voice to sound how I want but once I started knowing how to navigate the systems myself a little more, I was able to ask the engineer to fix certain things so it actually sounded how I like. “
For the artist, is imperative to just go for it, if music is the career you want to throw yourself into. To start, not be nervous, to not overthink it; and if you want to do it, just do it! She highlights her biggest challenge to date has been herself. She notes how she can be very picky and because she knows what she wants , finding a team that sees the same vision as herself has been a challenge, but a worthwhile one. Looking ahead, the artist is currently focused on promoting her new EP, with plans on creating as much content as possible to promote her new project and reach as many people as possible.