Nick Ray is an independent producer/singer/songwriter from New Orleans. Nick just released his debut full length album, Circles, in 2017.
Circles follows up Nick's Four White Walls EP and a series of successful collaborations. "Mountains", the track he made with Kings Noise, has surpassed 850,000 plays on Spotify and his “By the Way” remix collaboration with trapical duo Neptunica has reached over 500,000 plays. Recently, Nick Ray & LOC's track "November" from their hiphop collaboration project, The Playback, was selected into the Top 12 of over 5,000 songs in Linkin Park and Open Labs’ Stagelight Competition.
Circles unveils a new electronic alt-rock sound, forged from Nick's collaborations in the pop, EDM, soul, and hiphop universes and inspired by overcoming self-destructive behavior in the human condition. Writing and producing all 11 tracks on his own, Circles is a cohesive concept, driven by a well-produced fusion of all of his past experiences. Nick celebrated its release with his new music video for the title track, "Circles".
Nick Ray has been surrounded by music his entire life. His father was a musician who played in local bands and would rehearse at their house with other local musicians from around the New Orleans area. As a young boy, Nick was fascinated with these artists and would visit with them while they rehearsed.
His father introduced him to 50s, 60s, and 70s Rock-N-Roll, filling the house with the sounds of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Elvis, Free and Led Zeppelin. Nick had his second musical awakening when he discovered early 90's Grunge Rock including Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Nick’s father bought him his first guitar when he was 9 years old and taught Nick some of the fundamentals of playing. From there, Nick taught himself and by the age of 12 he was playing guitar with one of his father’s bands playing covers. At the age of 14, Nick realized he had a voice and started experimenting with recording.
At 15, his father bought him a Boss BR8 digital 8 track recording console. He started writing and recording songs as he experimented with the production process. In high-school he bought a Boss Dr. Groove beat machine and started making hip-hop beats and mixing them with rock music. As his skills sharpened, he became the “go-to” guy for rap beats. Kids from other neighborhoods were coming to record rap music at Nick’s house.
In his early twenties Nick started playing as a singer-songwriter in local venues like The Howlin’ Wolf, Zeppelins, The Bar, and The Vinue. After 3 year he found himself as the lead singer of various rock bands playing at shows across southern Louisiana. Nick’s voice created enough buzz to land him a spot as the front man for hard rock band Touching The Absolute. The band toured the gulf coast region opening for national acts like 12 Stones, Saliva, Days Of The New, and Trust Company.
After 5 years, Nick decided he wanted to get back to his roots as a solo artist. It was then that he took everything he had learned over the years and applied it to his solo music. He released his debut EP Four White Walls in 2014 describing his sound as Soul Pop and boasting the hit single, “Won’t Go There”.
He then experimented with mixing Hip-Hop beats with electronic rock sounds while he focused on producing music that made more sense to him as an artist. This quickly led him to a reunion with rapper/lyricist LOC, who previously rapped with Nick back in high-school. The two instantly had chemistry and hammered out the 7 track album, The Playback, in which Nick produced and sang all of the hooks. With a foot already in the hip-hop scene, Nick collaborated with Houston’s Chubbs Malone on “Through The Rearview” and “All My Life”.
The EDM community also discovered Nick’s voice, which led to several features on progressive house, deep house, and future bass tracks. This unexpected relationship with the EDM scene exposed Nick to the world as he has now collaborated with producers from Germany, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Mexico, Estonia, Czech Republic, and Belgium. Nick’s most notable collaboration is the official remix of Anzbern and Nick’s “By The Way” by the up-and-coming German “Trapical” duo Neptunica [Kontor Records]. The track dropped in the summer of 2016 and has over 400,000 plays on Spotify alone.
That same summer Nick and LOC won the Linkin Park hosted Stagelight Music Contest for the month of June with their hit song “November.” Linkin Park posted about the two on their social media sites bringing The Playback to over 60 million new ears. They are currently in the running to be chosen by Linkin Park as the overall winner for the year, which would include a day in the studio with Linkin Park.
The experiences and successes within the EDM & Hip-Hop worlds have left their mark on Nick’s solo productions as electronic and hip-hop elements play significant roles in Nick’s current sound. His debut album, Circles, was released on August 13, 2017 and merges these genres into a new kind of alt rock. Writing and producing all 11 tracks on his own, Circles is a cohesive concept, driven by a well-produced fusion of all of his past experiences. Nick celebrated its release with the premiere of his new music video for the title track, "Circles".