February is here and it’s a month in which I dedicated to getting to know my fellow creatives, This month I will be sharing some of the stories of the creatives around me and even some from overseas. In this first conversation, I will be talking with a fellow blogger Ray Sang. This is her story and I hope you feel inspired by it.
Can you tell me about you and who you are?
My name is Rachel but most people within the blogger community know me as Ray. I am a creative industry blogger from London, England with a love for anything that pushes the mainstream envelope and explores creativity outside of those boundaries. I am so proud of the UK music scene and how it has progressed over the last few years. The rise of afro swing, the grime scene, and UK rap. A lot of UK artists are being co-signed by a lot of the mainstream US artists. While I don’t feel like we need their seal of approval, global recognition doesn’t hurt.
When it comes to what I enjoy I am very open-minded. With that being said I do have a soft spot for good harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and a banging bass line.
What or who would you say influenced you to start writing?
That is a very long story that will probably become one of a series of memoirs I intend on writing. But in short, I’ve always had a way with words. Poetry, music, short stories you name it. When I took a step back from the performance circuit in 2012/13 blogging just felt like the most organic transition. I grew up with so many talented singers and performers and I’m a big believer in the idea that if one of us wins we all win. My writing gives me a tool that aids in building the dreams of others while cultivating my set of skills. I suppose you could say that It’s a win-win.
What steps did you take to start writing and the other creative things that you do?
I’m actually a published poet. I have a poem called ‘Love is Blind’ in a book called Love is in the air. I also write music – although it has certainly been a while on that front. Music has been and will always be my first love. I guess we’re kinda on a break right now. I don’t think we will ever break up though. In regards to writing My first ever experience with writing was in primary school, which I believe is the elementary school for you guys in the states. We were always tasked with writing short stories and poems. I was often encouraged by teachers to write which is where I believe my passion began.
When I started secondary school, I began taking vocal lessons and eventually joined a girl group. We often jammed together and eventually began writing together. The girl group disbanded after we all graduated but my interest in writing remained. I took a job as a social media manager for an upcoming music group and this is what sparked my interest in blogging. I ran all their social media accounts and their website. When they eventually broke up I took what I learned from that role and started my own blog.
What challenges did you encounter while you pushed toward your dreams and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for me is not getting the support from the people I would have expected to really push my content out there. That was a harsh reality check but it just makes me even more determined to succeed. Honestly, you just have to focus on the positive and remain grateful for those in your life who see your vision, want you to win and are willing to help you get there, should you need them to. The two things that keep me going are my vision board and my to-do list. My to-do list simply because it helps me keep track of what I achieve in my day to day and my vision board keeps me focused on my goals. It reminds me of what I am working towards.
How have others received your work?
Well, I’m still here after a year so, so far so good. I am overwhelmed by the submissions I receive it really just warms my heart. I do keep in regular contact with a number of musicians who frequent my site. You will have seen artists like Daphne Willis, Risa Binder, and Deeriginal on my site multiple times. I’m honored to be able to document the progression and growth of these artists on my platform. It says a lot about your work when you have PRs coming to you keeping you updated with their artists’ journeys. I have the opportunity to review talent from all over the world and I feel truly blessed to have a global platform that has been appreciated by music, culture & entertainment lovers in over 70 different countries.
What is the name of your latest project and can you tell me more about it?
My latest project is called the ‘Love project’ for the month of February a lot of my content will be surrounding love. Whether that be a love of your craft, self-love or otherwise. I am really excited to see the response to some of the new content I have been working on. My central theme for my blog, however, is individuality, I am all for being yourself and that is the driving force in my work. I am always drawn to those who are unapologetically true to themselves. My advice to budding creatives is to work on discovering who you are. Explore and experiment as much as you can until you find where you fit. Once you’ve found it, own it.
What advice would you tell anyone who is trying to get into blogging?
In this business, it helps to be well connected. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, just be sure to be professional and polite when you do. In regards to actually starting a blog, the best advice I can give is just go for it. It is a constant learning process and you will definitely grow as you go along. Everyone has their own unique perspective, blogging is just a way of sharing that with the world.
This interview contains some edits and extra comments from Michelle Melton.