What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is rap artist, T-Ray Da Don. T-Ray is straight out of Marshalll, Texas. T-Ray's sound is glossy and trapcentric similar to southern artists such as Yo Gotti, T.I., and 2 Chainz. T-Ray's charisma and vibe will definitely land him on major festival stages. We discovered his motion on social media so we had to tap in. Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, T-RAY? Your sound is dope. When did you start making music?
T-RAY: It’s Crazy because I started back in college (2015). Me and three of my other friends remixed 2 Chainz “Watch Out” and got a big placement on Spinrilla. At the time Spinrilla was REALLY popular. I kinda knew I could pursue music because people around campus would run up to me singing the song we had made in the closet on campus haha. But it wasn’t until about 2018 when I started going through things and I kinda realized music was all I had.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! Seems like music came naturally to you! What city do you represent?
T-RAY: Marshall, Texas.
I also would like to shed light on ETX as a whole. It’s SO MUCH talent in ETX. I honestly feel like we are overlooked and used sometimes. A lot of big rappers come to ETX for shows and even pass through as they are heading to other big cities. We have a lot of talent that HAS already made it but we deserve more and hopefully we get the recognition that we deserve.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to Texas! Y'all do have some dope talent. It's only a matter of time until the world sees it. So how did you create your stage name?
T-RAY:vWell my name is T-Ray haha. Everybody called me that for as long as I can remember. But honestly I also listened to Z-Ro JUST like Wayne lol. I basically just added “Da Don” because of Z-Ro ngl (not going to lie). Plus I always wanted to represent Texas in some way.
Westleaf Staff: Nice. That's super cool. So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
T-RAY: To be honest I know I’d be involved with music in some way because I always loved it. My ear for music is very versatile. Since a young age I was so in tune with music my mom thought it was funny. I remember when I was younger I used to walk around the house singing Lenny Williams “Cause I Love You” . I’m talking about every lyric. I don’t know, music calms me, anytime I ever wanted to turn up I turned on..MUSIC. Anytime I was sad I went to..MUSIC. Basically, if I have a problem I run to music to give myself that calmness.
Westleaf Staff: Thats's dope to hear that you use music as a healing tool. So who is your biggest Musical influence?
T-RAY: Lil Wayne, hands down. He had me questioning lyrics at a very young age haha. Like what you mean real g’s move in silence like lasagna!!!! But no for-real his work ethic was unmatched back then and I just admired his versatility and the ability to be different and STILL be liked. Till this day Wayne is my #1.
Westleaf Staff: Wayne is a legend! Next question! What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far?
T-RAY: Moving to Houston to be honest. If you ask me, I think this was the best business move I’ve ever done. I’m in a city where it’s pretty normal to bump shoulders with some of the greats. I’ve already gotten to work with “FREDONEM” he produced Flick Of The Wrist by Chedda Da Connect. I’ve worked with “Rizzoo Rizzoo” of TSF “Yung Martez” and many more big people in Houston. I always tell people take the leap of faith because mine paid off. Seeing guys like that and being able to work with those guys is very honorable to me. It inspired me because it made me believe that you can really do it.
Westleaf Staff: Wow! That's dope. Congrats on the move and all of your success!
What makes you a unique artist?
T-RAY: The fact that I can still be me. A lot of artist I BELIVE feel like they have to rap about fancy cars and clothes all the time, which is fine but sometimes you have to face reality. When I first started I’m not gon' lie , I used to cap a little too much about things I had, things I was doing, when In reality I wasn’t doing any of that. I Believe the ability for me to express the way I feel about any and everything and put it into a COMPLETE song makes me unique. The ability to relate to my listeners, the ability to actually have conversations with some of these people that took the time to support me.
Westleaf Staff: I love that answer. Thanks for being real! So what does art mean to you?
T-RAY: Art is beautiful. I always compare it to music because it’s basically the same.
You paint a picture that the listener can see vividly.
Westleaf Staff: True! Art is music. Music is art! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
T-RAY: I see myself being able to live off my music for sure. I see myself connecting with my fans and actually using my influence for a good reason. I’m very realistic with my goals and I know I have to stay dedicated because somebody is ALWAYS working. The next few years for me will be very exciting because it’s already been a journey. I’m ready to see what’s in store for my career.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! I see that happening for you. I wish you much success! Before we go, describe music in three words.
T-RAY: Business, networking, money.
Instagram - @t.raydadon
Twitter - OfficialT_Ray
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