Producer, singer-songwriter and DJ from North-West London, Ray Sargent releases his debut EP Wait For You on Shift K3Y’s Thru The Nit3 Records. An astonishingly accomplished first solo release, Wait For You EP showcases his dance-influenced production style, characterised by deeply satisfying basslines and soulful, emotion-laden vocals and melodies…
Photo by Toria Chys
Welcome to DMC, Ray. What’s the first record you heard today?
Hey! Today’s first record was ‘Shootin Shots’ (feat TY Dolla $ign & Tory Lanez) – Trey Songz. It’s a vibe.
For people who don’t know you, how would you describe the kind of music you make?
I usually describe my music as bass driven dance music, with pop & Rnb influence.
Did you have any major influences when you started out making music?
I was around 16 when I started producing, I was making Hip-Hop inspired records (Mac Miller, Odd Future & Wiz Khalifa), but was also listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Anita Baker, D’Angelo & Marvin Sapp (gospel).
I think we’re right in saying this is your debut solo EP… how did you hook up with Shift K3Y for the releases on his label?
It is my first proper release as a solo artist! Me and Shift K3Y have been working together for a while now, we met in 6th form music tech, and we now live together. I was actually just playing him the material when the EP started to take shape, I remember saying to him I was gonna start sending it to labels, to which he responded, why don’t you put it out on my label? (Thru The Nit3 Records) It was an easy decision for me, he knows me as an artist better than anyone, as we play each other everything, it was a super natural link up.
It’s a really beautiful collection of tracks… was there any particular inspiration?
Thank you! As mentioned before, TY Dolla $ign is a big inspiration for me. On his ‘Beach House 3’ album all the tracks are beautifully weaved together, which is what I decided to do for my project. There is also a track on Vince Staples Recent LP featuring TY (‘Rain Come Down’) that starts with incredible sounding bass, I experimented with this style a lot.
And it’s you singing on them right? That’s pretty rare for an electronic producer… was that something you were always aiming to do with your music?
Yes my vocals are on 4 of the 5 tracks. I am aware it’s different, but doesn’t feel rare for me as a lot of producers I know do the same. I also didn’t view myself as a singer really, in all honesty, I was just completely done with collaboration at the time of making the record. I’d done a bunch of tunes before the EP, that just weren’t coming together, as there were too many people involved, or it just wasn’t fitting, so decided to take things into my own hands. Subconsciously, I think I was waiting for the right moment to get my vocals involved, but it wasn’t a clear aim.
The EP seems to touch on a lot of different genres, from house, bass and even a touch into pop territory… do you think there are less boundaries when making music that crosses genre nowadays?
I do have difficulties labelling my music, as it is very cross over. There are almost no boundaries now though, it seems to me. My intention was to create something that my friends could vibe out to, but also something that I could play my mum and little sister and they could enjoy too (hence the pop nature of the EP). I listen to, and make such a variety of music day to day, it wouldn’t have felt right to make a one dimensional record. Despite this, there is a strong theme throughout, the variety of styles, within my style, is what makes the record interesting I think.
Is this the direction you see your music going on? Or can we expect something completely different from your next EP?
This EP is an introduction to my sound. So the plan is to use the project as a stamp for my sonic, and then expand from there. My aim is to keep the solo EP’s more musical, with singing and instruments, so yes expect a continuation. The single I want to lead with for the next project, starts with a 30/40 second mellow guitar melody, into my vocals, followed by a weighty drop. I try to make stuff that makes me feel really good.
Do you have any musical heroes that you’re aiming to emulate?
Originally, I wanted to be the next Carl Cox. I remember watching his Space Ibiza opening parties from the early 00s, and thinking, if I can do that, I’ll be happy. In terms of relevant references, Zayn, Majid Jordan & Redlight, soulful, but dancey, if I could get somewhere in the middle of those 3, happy days.
What’s next for you?
I am currently sitting on 2 remixes, one is a bassy/lazery edit of a current song, made by a UK garage legend, will be dropping it early December, I’ll say no more. The other is a remix of the latest Sophie Faith single, she is amazing definitely look out for her. Trying to get in with Raf Riley & Kwaye, as they are both making incredible music at the moment. I also have an Afro Beats collaboration with a producer called Midnight Phunk, which we are finishing currently. More solo stuff early next year.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Watch out for the ‘Wait For You’ music video which is out now. Also go check my latest Ella Mai edit of ‘Trip’, online everywhere (https://youtu.be/y9r_DtNKMO8), which was heavily supported by BBC 1xtra Resident, DJ Target. Enjoy the EP!
Ray Sargent ‘Wait For You EP’ is out now on Thru The Nit3