I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ray Ray from the American R&B/pop boy band Mindless Behavior. The group formed back in 2008 and includes 4 members: Ray Ray, Roc Royal, Prodigy and Princeton. Mindless Behavior have toured with the Backstreet Boys, Justin Bieber and Jason Derülo, and wer the sole opening act for Janet Jackson’s 2011 tour. With all this success and fame at such a young age, I had a few questions I needed to ask plus some of your burning fan questions. Check out my interview below.
K:Now you just guys scored your first number 1 hit on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with “All Around the World.” You have got to be feeling good right now!
RR: Yo, I feel amazing! I woke up my manager was telling me about it and I was extremely excited. I was thinking about screen shooting that and instagramming it (laughs).
K: For sure! You have to share that with the world when these things happen! That is incredible! Number 1 is an accomplishment. Now, how have things changed for you guys since the first album?
RR: Well, you know since the first album we have been on tour a lot a lot. We were away from family most of the time and we were just on a roll. Then you know as soon as we got off the road we thought we had a little vacation. Turned out to be like days off then we were right back out on the road and recording the second album. So really just been on the road and working a lot. I love it though!
K: Did you guys learn a lot from travelling between records? Travelling the world and seeing all these people and places do you think that experience helped in creating the second album?
RR: Yeah absolutely. You know, I am 17 and honestly this business matures you – a lot. You see a lot of things you experience a lot along the way. I think that is what really helped this album. Travelling helped us a lot and hopefully we travel to make the third album (laughs).
K: That would be awesome! You guys all grew up in different places in the states, what has the reaction been like from the community that you grew up in?
RR: Wow, it’s crazy cause you know I was born in South Central, Los Angeles and that is like the hood hood. My grandmother I don’t know what it is she just loves it there. So when I do go back its like mayhem. Everyone is going crazy and things like that. They are like yo Ray Ray is still coming here. I love it I grew up here so it’s all good.
K: What’s it like to grow up in that community and then inspire all these kids that still live in that neighborhood?
RR: You know really my main thing is you can make it from anywhere. It’s funny cause when I was a kid I used to dance a little bit and I used to get mad like why am I still here, why am I still here and I finally got the break. On the road with Mindless Behavior I try and let everyone know it don’t matter where you come from anyone can make it. Just keep developing your craft and be confident. There is going to be a lot of people that will tell you that you aren’t good but you have to remain confident in yourself overall.
K: That message is really what you guys are all about. You are so inspiring to so many people you are all about having confidence and believing in yourself, why is that message so important for you to communicate to your fans?
RR: Cause you know for me it’s all about only living once and being happy and remaining positive at all times. Try to let everyone know that they can do it as long as you believe that you are good at it you are great at it that’s all that matters. You don’t go off of what anyone else has to say and that is really the message. You have to remain confident at all times because you have to live your life you can’t live your life through other people.
KK: You guys inspire so many people, you have fans coming up to you and telling you that they self confidence because of your message and that they believe in themselves because of you. That’s incredible! When someone comes up to you and says that kind of thing and you have given them this confidence what is that moment like for you?
RR: When fans come up to me and share that we gave them confidence and things like that I feel like Mindless Behavior delivered the message. You get that feeling like okay we are glad that everyone is understanding it. Now we just need everyone to understand it because that one fan she is going to spread it to ten fans and that ten fans is going to spread it to twenty. That’s how it works and that’s all that matters you know we are here to influence fans but you know fans influence us sometimes. Like they are telling stories that make us want to even work harder, make us want to change. So you know it’s all good it’s like a big cycle and that is always great it’s just about letting everyone know to believe in themselves.
K: Was there anyone at the beginning of your career that inspired you?
RR: Ya absolutely you know my mom my family of course. Keisha Gamble she is so open minded and creative. I love her mindset she inspired me a lot. And you know Kanye West. I would go listen to Kanye West and his music but also his sense of style. I love fashion. He inspired me that you know no matter what you do just rock it. I think overall he inspired me with that.
K: You have always been a dancer studying under the legendary L.A. battle dancer Tommy the Clown when did singing come into the picture?
RR: Actually it’s funny because I didn’t start singing until I joined the group.
K: Wow, really?!
RR: Yeah like I wasn’t a great singer I just started four years ago. Before I joined the group and I was dancing with Tommy dancing was just a thing I did because I was good at it. My number one thing was art I loved to draw portraits. My dream was to be an artist and then I ended up joining the group and I have grown a love for this. But you know I still do my art. I am coming out with a clothing line pretty soon and I still draw my portraits and things like that so I can still incorporate my art.
K: What was it like coming into a band where you know you had to sing but you never had before?
RR: (laughs) At first it was kind of difficult for me. But I am the type of person that if I am not good at something I have a lot of inspiration around me telling me I can do it I am not going to give up I am going to keep trying. You know I am not a great singer now but I am decent enough to be in Mindless Behavior (laughs) I remember when I auditioned they were like can you sing for me and I was straight up like no (laughs) that is not going to happen.
K: I just love it because you guys are such hard workers, even with that story you can tell how hard you work as a band and also individually do you think that is the biggest factor that has led to how successful you guys are?
RR: Ya you know confidence and work ethic is the main key in this business. You have a lot of people in your ear telling you a lot of different things but you have to believe in yourself and remain confident. And work ethic, you always have to have work ethic no matter what. Sometimes we may have to wake up at 6:30 then have a show at 9 get to your hotel at 12 you have to wake up at 6 again and you might not feel like getting up at the time but you have to have that strong work ethic and desire and love what you do. I think that’s really important.
K: Those days when you know, you don’t feel like getting up at 6AM what keeps you going?
RR: For me, the fans and a good warm breakfast.
RR: You know we do it for the fans most importantly. Its all about the fans when we get up and start working that is what is most important to us and you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
K: (laughs) When you go up on stage and you have all these fans screaming your name and singing your songs, what is that moment like for you?
RR: When I get on the stage and I hear all the screams its like wow this is really happening you know, came from nothing and now we’re here. We haven’t made it yet but our fan base is growing it’s always good to see that. Really you know a lot of people think you have a lot of screaming girls so he might act this way or that way. No you know we are just here for them we are here to put on a great show we are here to be good artists we are here to be Mindless Behavior and that is the most important in our career.
K: Now speaking of girls I have to ask, do you have a girlfriend?
RR: (Laughs) Actually I don’t! I have friends that I talk to that could eventually become a girlfriend you know. I have my little friend that I hang out with here and now and yeah.
K: What do you look for in a potential girlfriend?
RR: For me a like a girl that is confident. She is going to wear what she’s going to wear. She don’t care what people think. Have a great sense of style that’s really smart and a girl that just likes me for me not for the hype not for Ray Ray from Mindless Behavior you know me and the inner person of me I think that’s really important.
K: You guys have opened for huge acts likes Justin Bieber and The Backstreet Boys out of all the incredible things you have experienced so far in your career, what has been your favourite moment?
RR: The favourite moment for me was performing for the Obama family twice. You know Sasha and Malia they personally asked us to perform both times. But I want to say everything you know Janet Jackson we have done a lot in our career and everything was a great experience. Performing for that family especially where I come from that is like a dream come true.
K: On the new album there are a lot of catchy dance tracks, but also some pretty deep love songs like “Used to be”. Girls are already in love with you, are you prepared for them to fall even more in love with you than they already are?
RR: Yeah you know that’s the whole point (laughs). I actually love this album because the concepts on this album were actually really real. Like these things really happened to one of us in the group. Like “Used To Be” you can really relate to this record. I remember him talking to me and being like yo me and her used to be like and then it’s crazy to hear it as a song. So a lot of the songs on there you can really relate to. I can relate to “Band Aid” so I think it is a great album that people can listen to and actually really relate to because they are real life experiences.
K: Definitely you need that in a song! All right this is going to be tricky for you then, but if people were to listen to only one song on the new album, which one should it be?
RR: I would have to say listen to… It is between “Used To Be” and “Band Aid”. That’s because during this time you know I am 17 you get to a point where you have to assess if you want to take it that far and you know be with someone that will make you happy I believe “Band Aid” is that type of song. And you know “Used To Be” is a real deep song and it makes you just want to have a relationship and you know I actually enjoy being in a relationship.
K: Well I have been listening to the album non-stop and I am thinking that this is going to be the year of Mindless Behavior what do you think?
RR: Absolutely! You know we have the All Around the World Album out and the deluxe version at Target which is a blessing you have the All Around the World movie in AMC theatres then here comes All Around the World tour starting in June. We also got a movie coming out called Bad Behavior we are taking over this year.
K: Yeah you are definitely are! Ray Ray thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us at BestFan!
RR: No problem, thank you!