The birth of a new musical sensation often resides in the seamless harmony between talent, creativity, and an authentic connection. Velvet Rays, a dynamic duo comprising Jayson and Jon, is on the brink of unveiling their debut single, “Something Different,” a melodic manifestation of fresh love and artistic synergy.
In this exclusive interview, the duo unveils the raw emotions, collaborative synergy, and artistic vision that culminated in this soul-stirring track.The genesis of “Something Different” stemmed from an organic experience, an emotional outpouring rather than a calculated endeavor. Jayson and Jon express how the essence of the song blossomed from genuine conversations, capturing the euphoria of newfound love.
Hailing from the vibrant cultural backdrop of Houston, Texas, the duo acknowledges the city’s influence on their multifaceted creativity. Rather than succumbing to the weight of the city’s musical legacy, they find motivation in the success stories of predecessors, viewing them as catalysts for their own journey to musical greatness.
Jon’s multifaceted artistry, coupled with Jayson’s technical finesse, creates a symbiotic blend that defines the essence of Velvet Rays. Their shared vision birthed the concept of “Something Different,” leading to the formation of their distinct identity in the music realm.
As Velvet Rays embarks on this musical expedition, their dedication to crafting an authentic R&B/Soul sound, while staying true to their individual artistic identities, promises a series of records that embody diversity yet remain tethered to the soulful core of their music. The release of “Something Different” is just the beginning of what appears to be an exhilarating journey for this promising duo, eager to carve out their unique niche in the musical landscape.
The anticipation is high for your debut single, “Something Different”. Could you delve deeper into the inspiration behind the song? How did the idea evolve from envisioning your dream partner to crafting the music that embodies that feeling?
It was a visceral experience, more emotionally expressive than intellectually thought out. We could’ve sat down and discussed a multitude of variations on how to go about it, but the spark simply came from just getting to know one another in genuine conversation. Our goal was to encompass that “new love” feeling. When we first wrote the hook we were just having fun, messing around with an idea that we knew felt good. We built from that and it wasn’t until the 2nd verse that we started getting a feel for how impactful the record really was.
Collaboration often leads to creative synergy. Are there any unexpected challenges or surprising moments that arose during the production of “Something Different” and how did you navigate and overcome them together as a duo?
As far as unexpected challenges go, there was a time in the middle of production where we had a slightly different version of the song. It was our first rough draft, we were content with progress but there was something off about it that just didn’t sit right with us. It was a slight annoyance because at first glance, we didn’t know what the problem was. After we listened a few times, we recognized the obstacle and agreed that changing the lyrics for the second verse was a necessary sacrifice. We just felt it didn’t fit with what we were trying to do and the direction we were trying to go. Aside from that, we agreed on every other creative decision for the record.
Jayson, you’ve been noted for your technical prowess and engineering skills. Can you walk us through the creative process at your home studio and how it contributed to the unique sound of “Something Different”?
Since High School, I’ve always believed in gaining knowledge through first hand experience. Like being thrown in the deep end of the pool so you learn to swim, I’ve applied that mentality into everything I do. I took a lot of inspiration from Charlie Puth with his writing, recording and mixing process. I just resonated with how he goes about his records. I’ve learned that as an artist, and a person, you need to stay true to yourself. That’s the first step towards impact, towards moving people’s hearts. So keeping with that, I used what I’ve learned, as well as the experience I’ve gained, to simply create something fun and enjoyable. I wanted the record to be something you could play a million times over and not get tired of it.
Considering the vibrant music scene in Houston, Texas, how has the city and its diverse cultural influences shaped your musical style and approach to creating music?
Houston has definitely shaped our creative diversity in the sense of how we grew up. Houston’s a big city, filled with so much culture and life. At times it can be overwhelming because you look back and see we have greats like Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé to icons like Travis Scott and Don Toliver who have come out of our city. There’re some artists that feel a sort of pressure by that, but we feel motivated by that. The way we see it, every artist prior to their fame and succession, at some point or another were just regular people, trying to get by like everyone else. It’s one of those, ‘If they can do it, we can too” type of thing.
Jon, as a multifaceted artist and choreographer, how did your diverse skill set influence the direction and performance aspect of Velvet Rays music? Did it bring a new dimension to the creation process?
My vision for Velvet Rays was a big influence in the performance aspect of the group. When I came up with the name ‘Velvet Rays’ with Jayson, I communicated the idea of creating an act that would be set apart from other groups by mixing old school Soul with a new school twist on R&B. I was inspired by groups like Silk Sonic, Bell Biv DeVoe and New Edition. Aside from their music, I really loved their fashion as well. I wanted us to be fashion forwarded the way they were, but with our own touch and style. Dancing was a must for me, I love to dance on stage, but you also don’t want it to feel too robotic to where it’s stale or complex to where you can’t follow along. We both agreed that we wanted to bring a welcoming feeling to our choreography, like if you watched us dance you could join in and do the same moves.
The chemistry between you both seems palpable. How did the natural evolution of your collaboration lead to the formation of Velvet Rays?
We met through a mutual friend at the time. We both were tethered to college, majoring in Film & Video production. It’s kind of funny, it was one of those world colliding moments because we knew and worked with the same people for years and yet we had never crossed paths. One day we decided to get together just to hangout, that’s the day the concept of ‘Something Different’ came into fruition.
Many successful musical duos have left a lasting impact by drawing inspiration from various genres or artists. Could you share some of the key musical influences that have shaped the sound of Velvet Rays? How do you aim to carve out your unique niche within the R&B and soul landscape while staying true to your individual artistic identities?
The start of our chemistry began with similar music tastes. We both shared a likeness to artists like Silk Sonic, Hall & Oates, THEY.; Our tones just sounded well together and once we got an idea of what we could create together, everything else came into place, and we understood the direction we were trying to go into.
What can fans and listeners anticipate from Velvet Rays following the release of “Something Different”. Are there any plans for an EP or album in the near future, or perhaps collaborations with other artists?
Since the idea of Velvet Rays came into fruition, we’ve been putting in everything we got onto this project, from collaborating with underground artists, to working with new writers and producers from all over the world, it’s a surreal feeling. We’re halfway through our project, and we’re very proud of it. We’d rather keep things ‘close to the chest’ for now, but what we can say is that the overall sound we’re working with isn’t too dissimilar to ‘Something Different’. Every record will be unique from the rest, each with their own tone and feel, while also staying true to ourselves and paying respect to the R&B/Soul genre. We want our fans to rest assured that our project will truly be, something different.