Norwegian born musician Ray Noir is a force to be reckoned with. It doesn't take much more than a glimpse at his photos to see that he has a unique style that fits him perfectly. Having been involved in the music scene in a number of ways for sometime now, he has finally started to receive the recognition that he deserves. I thought I would send him some questions to find out more about the man himself. Here is how it went...
Please can you give us a brief introduction...
I’m Ray Noir, a Norwegian musician living in Dalston in London for the past five years. I’ve been releasing music for the last 2 years. And I’ve been DJing even longer and all around Europe.
I'll assume that music will be number one here but what would you say are your top three interests?
For me it’s all about music, friends and travelling to new places I guess. This is what inspires me everyday.
And, what does a normal day for you consist of?
A normal day for me is trying to wake up in the morning; it’s always a struggle, haha. A diet coke and maybe some shit breakfast on the go. I work on my music, writing lyrics about my non-exciting love life and people in general. I use a lot of time on social media, it's got me hooked for some reason :p I watch Rupaul’s drag race often, maybe to often, but it’s so entertaining. If I don’t go clubbing I try to go to sleep at some point, but it’s always to late.
To be honest, that sounds like a much more fun day than I have haha! Now we have the formalities out of the way we'll get to the meaty questions. When did you decide that music was the path that you wanted to follow?
I’ve always been into music. When I moved by myself at 15 I met some friends that were into Marilyn Manson, Skate Punk etc and that opened my eyes and from there it was just a matter of time really. After I moved to London I met with Frankmusik and ‘Double Trouble’ was created in his studio in Croydon.
Now knowing that music was such an interest of yours from a young age, how has the journey been for you up until now?
The journey has been fantastic to be honest, I’m quite proud of everything I’ve achieved so far. I’ve met some amazing people on the way that have helped me out and I owe everything to them.
That's awesome man. It's always good to be able to look back at what you have achieved with fond eyes. What has been the most tough and the most enjoyable things about being a recording artist?
I love being in the studio seeing a track coming together and working with different producers. But the best is playing live shows and when you see your fans really appreciate and loves the music you are putting out.
I know the music industry can be a very difficult business at times, but it also reaps so many rewards if you put the hard work in. Is their anything that has surprised you about your journey so far?
I think I’ve been quite lucky and I’ve been lucky to work with the people I want to so far, so I haven't had any negative experiences yet. When you fund everything yourself it just takes a bit longer than if I had a label in the background. Now I’ve signed a distribution deal for my next single with a great company, so I’m excited to put it out this autumn.
Bloody hell, that's brilliant, congratulations for that. You've stated that you've already been able to work with most of the people you would want to up to this point, but, is there anyone that you hope to work with one day?
I would love to work with Marilyn Manson, Peaches. One of my favourite artists from when I was a teenager, Mariann Rosa from the band Surferosa was high on my list as well and now she is a featured artist on my upcoming single ‘All Alone’, so I’m super happy with that.
It's quite clear that tattoos are also a massive part of you, which one of yours is your favourite and are their any that you regret? Also, which one was the most painful?
Yeah I’ve always been fascinated by the sub cultures and alternative styles, so tattoos came in quite early. I got my first one at 16, but luckily I've covered up as it was tribal. The most painful one must have been the latest I did, a big goat head at the back of my neck/head. The collarbones were horrible as well. I love a lot of my tattoos, especially the ones I’ve had done in the last few years with my friend Giacomo Binachi, I love his style.
I have part of my neck done too, and I can vouch that it hurts like hell. I’ve noticed, via Instagram, that you also do some modelling, how did that come about?
Well, I wouldn’t consider myself as a model at all. I do some photos for people if they ask, but I’m not signed to any agencies and I doubt I would do it either. I’m better off being a musician I think.
Ah ok, so it's more of a when and if thing as apposed to having shoots organised and set up on a day to day basis. Is it something that you can see yourself pursuing more actively, or is music your main focus?
Music is my passion and I can’t see myself doing something else. I don’t want to do something else either. I’ve always had this dream. I don’t wanna die and regret I never tried to fulfil my dreams.
Good! I love it when people know what it is that they really enjoy and want to do for the rest of their lives, and then do what ever it takes to achieve it. Where is the best place for people to find you? Including any material you have released.
You can find me at the dirty and trashy underground clubs and bars in East London. My music is on iTunes, Spotify and everywhere else you find music.
We're coming to an end now but I have a few questions that I ask everyone. Firstly, what is the best piece of advice you have been given, and what is the best piece you can give?
Just follow your dream, it’s not all about money, you need to live a happy life. Obviously some money is good so you don’t always struggle. My advice to people is to follow YOUR dream and not follow anyone else's dream.
Secondly, where do you hope to be in 12 months time?
I hope I have an EP ready to be released and I hope I’ve played many more gigs.
And more importantly, what can we hope to see from you in the near future?
My upcoming single ‘All Alone’ feat. Mariann Rosa is finished and will be released later this year. We made an amazing music video for it with support from fans on Kickstarter. The song is produced by Richard Frennaux and will include remixes from Vive La Fete, Phaszed and Parnix. On the 25th of June I’ve got my biggest gig so far, performing the new song at Oslo Pride at the main stage in front of 8000 people!
Bloody hell, 8000 people! You must be slightly nervous for that. Well I look forward to following you along you journey and hopefully one day we will see you travelling around the world to play for people!
Now to finish it off with something a bit more light hearted we have 5 would you rather questions. So,
Would you rather drink a pint of ketchup or a pint of mayo? A pint of mayo for sure.
…be a giant hamster or a tiny rhino? A tiny rhino
…know when or how you are going to die? How I’m going die!
…get even or get over it? Get over it!
…only be able to whisper or only be able to shout? Shout!
Text Kiefer Horlock
Images Danny Baldwin