You may not yet have come across this talented young guy and his beautifully serene and soulful music. A wise move then to read on, for your own benefit, if that is the case…
Rayon Nelson. A 28-year-old breath of fresh air singer-songwriter and musician, whose latest offering is a tantalising teaser of a four track EP “Closer” which dropped a few days ago.
The current single taken from that EP is the delectable “Made Of Gold”. We are very happy to bring you the video to the track and streaming access to the full EP.
His previous release was the EP “Young Solo”, at the end of 2017 and has notched up more than 400,000 streams on Spotify. Props for that, being an unsigned artist.
Rayon had collective interest from various record labels after his 2017 release, but he wanted to hone his song writing chops a bit more and feel more confident in his own skin musically, before committing to anything with a third party.
Now he is ready…and by the sound of the new EP tracks, it’ll not be too long before his doorbell is ringing, and that email Inbox fills up. Bet your life on that…
We at Music Republic Magazine are excited about this new find, and think’s he’s the bees knees. Maybe a touch of Marc Broussard and Ray LaMontagne about him?
Born in Jamaica, now based in London and having lived in rural Suffolk, Rayon’s music was shaped by early exposure to such genres as soul, reggae and gospel and artists including Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Lauryn Hill.
He has performed at Isle Of Wight Festival and a favourite of BBC Introducing and BBC 1Xtra. Rayon studied for an MA in Music Business Management at the University of Westminster.
About the current single, “Made Of Gold, “ Rayon remarks: “Often people think because you present yourself in a certain way, that you have everything together.
‘Made Of Gold’ attempts to show that even though these words that I try to live by are ‘made of gold’, I somehow still fall in doubt, and I’m most certainly not perfect.
“I’m a closed person in general, but this EP contains some personal songs, and I guess it’s a way of people getting closer to me”. The four track EP was written and produced by Rayon, mixed and mastered by Alberto Coin.
The material examines the aspect of identity from four distinct viewpoints. On his track “Granny”, he gives a poignant thank you message to his grandparents. Contrasting with “Where Were You?”, a heartfelt message to an absent father.
A previous single, “Freedom” sees Rayon empathising with the globally oppressed.
Definitely a rising star and one to watch out for as Rayon Nelson grows wings, and further develops this unique style…
- You can catch Rayon live in London on the 21st June at Poster cocktail bar, café and entertainment venue: E2 9EG.
Artist Q & A:
- Your name and your age?
My name is Rayon Nelson and I am 28.
- Where you were born and where you are based now?
I was born in Jamaica, now based in East London.
- Instruments you play?
As well as being a singer, I play the guitar and keyboard.
- Age when you started in music? And when/where/what was your first public performance/how many saw it?
I started singing at around 14 or 15, but I became an artist at around 19.
I first started singing in church with around 30-40 people as congregation, and then started doing ‘open mics’ in London to small audiences.
- What song or artist/band lit the flame inside you to want to be a musician/artist?
Guys like Mali Music and Usher made me want to become a singer.
Then I lived in Suffolk for a few years when Ed Sheeran was just being discovered.
His work ethic, songwriting abilities and all that he was doing, inspired me to want to be an artist, instead of just being a singer.
I looked at how he worked to get where he was, and that compelled me to try the same.
- First song you wrote, at what age, what was it called, and what inspired it?
The first official song I wrote was called “Broken.” I wrote it with my girlfriend at the time, and it was kind of a self-observation/ empowering song. It was about being broken, but still standing.
- What music has been released so far? And what format and dates?
I have two EPs out at the moment. “Yung Solo” which I released at the end of 2017, and “Closer” which I just released at the end of May. Both available via all digital platforms.
- How do you describe your own music style to a stranger who asks: “What kind of music do you play/sing”?
I get this a lot, but I usually say ‘soulful music’ or ‘acoustic soul with some vibe’.
- How many gigs have you done and which/how many countries?
I don’t keep track of this, but I know I have done over 300 gigs.
There was a time when I was attempting to do 300 gigs a year because Ed Sheeran did it ha ha… This was back in 2009/10. I have performed in the UK, and in Ibiza for a wedding.
- Bullet points of your main music career/achievements to-date?
- Played at the Isle Of Wight Festival
- Shortlisted for Glastonbury
- Regular feature of BBC Introducing and BBC 1Xtra
- Over 400k Streams on Spotify
- A: X Factor?, B: The Voice? C: Britain’s Got Talent? D: Gouge your own eyes out with a rusty spoon?
I will never go on one of these shows (unless I’m 40 and still trying to make it!) and I don’t watch them either. However, The Voice America would be my option then.
- Day jobs you have done…………………?
I have been a waiter, shop assistant and insurance consultant. Didn’t like any of them!
- Funniest or most dramatic thing that has ever happened to you?
When I first came to the UK, I went to a family friendly festival with my family where there were a lot of people.
I saw a hot dog stand and because I’d never had one before I decided to wander off by myself to get a hot dog.
When I finished eating it, I realised I was lost and couldn’t find my family. A few hours later my brother found me and brought me home.
Now whenever I see a hot dog stand, I’m reminded…and I’ve never eaten from a hot dog stand since!
- Guilty secret?
Love Rum & Raisin Ice Cream!
- What two recordings could you not live without if you were stuck on a desert island?
1) My song ‘Memories’, because It reminds me of where I came from and it inspires me all the time. It also humbles me.
2) My Song ‘Get Up’, because it would inspire me to keep on going and not give in. ‘Get Up’ and keep on working and stop making excuses.
- Your main influences?
Main influences are artists like Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, Jimmy Cliff, Whitney Houston, Mali Music.
Loads of people and mainly the local scene around me. I go to a few jam sessions and hang around a few artists that inspire me.
- Pet ‘hate’?
I hate it when I’m at an intimate gig listening to an artist, and audience members are having loud conversations. It really annoys me.
- Plans for rest of this year?
My plans are to do a few collaborations and release another single this year.