Underground Interview With Ray Thompsom

RayThompsonRay Thompson is a guitarist and singer songwriter currently living in Kettering, UK. Ray started his musical career at the age of 17 when he joined local band 'Play the Joker' who were already an established original young band. Rays first gig with the band was at the Northampton College.

His fondest memory was when the band went to Manchester to make a video for their second album. Unfortunately, this was short lived and the band split. Ray then started his first band 'Body N Soul ‘. 


After a number of years, Ray dissolved this band to concentrate more on song writing and family life. After a spell, living in Australia, Ray returned to the UK and formed a new cover band called ' The Desperados' with long term friend and former band member of ‘Body N Soul’ John Carter.


Playing his own music at various acoustic nights and festivals, Ray felt his own music needed a band to display the songs better and therefore in May 2014 Ray formed another band Milton Road’ Road’. But, after this became a non starter, Ray found himself working solo again.


Ray is currently working to complete his third album "No regrets". The first songs will be finished for release in July August of 2023. To date Ray has a solo album called ‘Upwards and Onwards’ due for re release 2024 and a band album called ‘Corby Boy’. In all Ray has an 11 album back catalogue to work through. So, lots to look forward to.



Ray's Website - https://raythompsonmusic.com/
YouTube - https://raythompsonmusic.com/
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/4HQOIdAPGpIRtfdlhngZTi
Instagram - https://instagram.com/raythompmusic
TikTok - www.tiktok.com/@raythompmusic
Twitter - https://twitter.com/raytthompson68/status/1611816752979009536?s=46&t=Hxk5jNbqL0liUUqLcaBAcg
Reverbnation - http://www.reverbnation.com/raythompson
Soundcloud - http://soundcloud.com/ray-thompson-68


What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?

I think the singer songwriter Pop music is my genre. My music has a cross genre feel to it. Mainly due to my age and the music I grew up listening to. You can hear this in my music as I have RAP, Reggie, Rock, Gospel, all sorts going on. Listen to my new EP to hear this for yourself.


How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?

I was named after my father, Raymond Thompson. He always preferred to be called Ray so, spared me the 'mond' part. My middle name Thomas Comes from my dad's, dad. He was a miner and lived to 96 which is brilliant for an x miner. It must of been the thing to do, name your first son after a member of the family, I don't suppose they had a lot of TV and media to influence them back in them days.


What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?

Wow! This is a difficult one. I have many due to growing up through the late seventies and eighties. I remember being into punk rock then Mod and SKA, then I was new romantic. Fashion was great in those days as it followed the music trends. Even though my fashion would follow a trend i still enjoyed the odd country song or classical piece. I think when you truly love music you have many influences. The ears are like a SATNAV for the heart and soul.


What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?

I have 11 albums of songs to record properly. I am working on 6 more songs in the studio now. 4 taken from various albums and the other 2 are bonus tracks for my "No Regrets EP" giving me a separate "No Regrets LP". The 4 from the other albums I will finish next year., the other 2 this year. I also have another album which was the first I ever did in the recording studio. It is called "Onwards and upwards". I am redoing the vocals and production on this. I will re-release at some point next year.

I am struggling trying to keep my feet on the ground. I have so many ideas and songs that I have to stop and breath, take a step back and smell the roses.. Money and time seem to be my biggest blockers..

What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?

On 14th November 2021 I had a bad motorbike accident, Broke a lot of bones.. This was the catalyst for me concentrating more on my music. A near death experience will have that effect! Puts time into perspective.

My songs are very relatable to people as they tell a story that many will relate to. I want to get my music out to as many people as possible and if my music helps people to get through lives challenges then I will have achieved my goal. To do this I have to be known and that means promotion, tours and albums. I am very much up for this and believe I have the right songs that people can relate to.


What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?

I love my Rocky songs. But, that is the guitar player in me. To be honest I have no real favorite. This is mainly because it changes based on the reaction from the listeners. If you are getting a good vibe from the crowd then the song you are performing becomes more enjoyable for you as a performer. It works both ways, I suppose. Hence, your favorite song changes depending on the buzz you are feeling at the time.


What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?

Time and money. Lack of commitment and belief in myself on my side.

I have always had it in me to produce songs and perform. I have left it a bit late due to putting my family first and really enjoying my job as an Electrical Engineer. I have been fortunate enough to have worked on some great projects for some of the biggest companies in the world. But, that has become a bit mundane for me now. Since my motorbike accident in November 2021 my focus has changed so much towards my music. It was like a wake up call. It has left me charged and given me focus. I now have the belief and desire to get my music out there. I am looking for a record company to take this journey with me.


Whats Your Typical Songwriting Process?

Many years ago, I was signed for a year to a company to write songs. I remember going to Oxford and auditioning. They weren't so much interested in me as a performer but, they were as a songwriter. I was writing to to scenarios or themes they would send to me. At least 3-5 songs every 1-2 weeks. I wrote beetle type songs and also 3 songs for Bay watch nights. Which unfortunately for me didn't air for another series. It was a shame as my songs fitted the scenario real good. One of them songs just fell outside the shortlist of ten songs for the UK entry of the Eurovision song contest that year. Not sure how i feel about one though :-).

My process is, find a hook and make the song relatable to life. Sometimes I deliberately keep my verses short and chorus long. Some songs I use a bridge for tension build up some I don't. It all depends on the topic and the message I am trying to put across. I have even started with the Chorus like the Beetles used to do quite often. I tend to follow my heart more than a set rule when it comes to songwriting.


How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?

I was never a fan of Social media. I am getting into it more now. I do see the potential and realize with out it you are stuffed nowadays. So, to be brutally honest it is something I am learning as I go along.
I have seen the benefits of reaching far and wide to audiences around the globe. This is the strength and beauty of social media. I have followers in many countries now and this wouldn't be so without the power of social media.


What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?

I have been listening to many newer artists across a few different genres. But, I have also been listening to my older songs breathing new life into them. It's like looking through old scrap books and pictures. I also get this feeling when I am listening to music from the eighties which seems to be on the radio a lot in recent times.

I am very much into the piano at the minute. I started teaching myself back in summer of 2020 during the pandemic. I am an intermediate player but, love listening to classical songs. The skill and vision of some of these composer's blows my mind. Like i mentioned earlier I love music in general and I very much let my ears guide my heart.

My playlists usually have lots of Brit Pop on them as I am still a bit of an old Mod at heart.


What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?

I have been dabbling in and out of music half heartedly since I was a teenager. Be it in bands or just playing on my own. To date though I am Head of the retrofit team for Northern Europe, for a worldwide Logistics automation solutions provider. I have wrote automation software and designed and commissioned systems for many world renowned companies. As a senior management I don't get hands on as much nowadays.

So, besides the music i have always been involved in Electrical Engineering.


Any Advice For Young People Men or Women That Want To Succeed In The Music World?

The old cliché I'm afraid. My advise is that you must believe in yourself and hold your faith. Hard work is needed to succeed and a thick skin. Nothing in life comes easy but, luck is a factor too. Enjoy your journey and live out your dreams.


What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?

Ask me this in a years time. I like to see things from both sides, as I gain more success I will no doubt have a better view on this.


How Do You Feel About Originality?

I believe in it 100%. But, we all have come from somewhere and influence's will rub off on us and manifest in what we do.


Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?

I am pretty much an average guy, a family man at heart with a positive outlook on life.