Ray Quinn, will be releasing his first album in 13 years, Undeniable, on 29th May 2020. We managed to grab Ray for an quick interview as he released his new single ‘Mercy’, which is out now.
1. Thanks for your time Ray. You’ve got a new album coming out shortly. How does that feel ?
Finally! It’s been a long time coming and I almost have to pinch myself at the moment. It’s all a bit surreal. It’s been thirteen years since I last brought out music. I’ve never really had the confidence or the music and it never really felt like the right time really until now. I’m a bit older. Slightly wiser (laughs). I just feel like it’s the right time and it’s the best feeling really. The last twelve months has been spent in a dark room in the studio creating something that is so close to my heart and I now get to share it.
2. In those thirteen years how do you feel you’ve changed as a performer and a person ?
Wow! In so many ways to be honest. I think, as you get a bit older and you get out of your twenties, you sort of understand who it is you are. You find yourself as an individual and as a man and work out who you want to be. I’ve got kids and that changes your perspective as it’s not about you anymore. Also I’ve got the experiences I’ve had with my singing and touring and musicals, panto. I think your voice settles down as well as you get older and there are songs now that I love that I’d never attempt to sing (laughs). I feel that I’ve definitely improved thanks to the experiences I’ve had.
3. Over the years have you had fans pestering you for new material and, if so, what’s your message to those fans ?
The fans have been amazing. They’ve followed me, some of them, since the Brookside days and then the X-Factor stuff. I’ve always been promising to get music out soon or next year but it never came because I’ve been so busy. I went through a phase of wanting to be a pop star then realised I wasn’t a pop star. I know who I am. I’m a contemporary artist of an era that once was and I want to bring that to people.
To be able to say to people who’ve waited at stage doors for me that there is new music coming is great. The amount of messages on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter saying “thank God” has been amazing. I couldn’t have done this without them. Of course, I do it for my family and myself but the fans most importantly because they’re the ones who’ve been asking for it and who’ve been supporting me.
4. Why do you think now was the right time to release an album ?
You just have a feeling in your gut. When I was doing the pop record and the EP’s it just felt like something was missing. It was more of a journey to where I am now. It was a natural progression. It was supposed to happen. I believe everything happens for a reason and this was supposed to happen. I’ve said it before but I was doing a gig and out of the blue gig where someone pulled out so I stepped in and did a medley for about an hour. It was all songs I loved from the ’60s and the audience were amazing.
They were up out of their seats and singing songs I loved. I came out of that gig and rang my manager straight away. I said to him “why do we need to fix something that isn’t broke. I need to get back into the studio and I want to do what feels right and this feels right”.
5. How did the record come together ?
I got the band together and over twelve months we had the tracks listed. We had music from four decades of contemporary classics and it’s a journey from start to finish. There are some songs on there that were written when I wasn’t even born. People from that era may listen to those songs and reminisce about that time when they were listening to those songs. It’s my way of tipping my hat to the old crooners and bringing that music into a new, contemporary way. I’ve got a fifty piece orchestra on this record. I’ve taken a dance track and turned it into a ballad.
There are songs which are quite vulnerable. There are lots of clever little notions throughout this album. The umberella of the album is love. The good times. The ups and downs of love. Different types of love whether it’s family or an individual who you fall in love with. There’s also a lot of James Bond influences in there as well because I’m a massive James Bond fan. My 21st birthday was Bond themed and it was the best party ever. I’ll never forget it. In a couple of the tracks you’ll hear an almost Bondesque feel to them which I wanted to try and capture.
6. We’ve touched on this already but you’ve picked classic songs including new single “Mercy”. What was your criteria for songs to include ?
The album is called ‘Undeniable’ and they’re basically all undeniable artists of their era or an era. I’ve got Tom Jones there and you can’t deny he was a legend of his era. He’s living legend and that’s generally what I’ve done with this record. The music industry is so vast these days but then it was either rock n’ roll or in the ’80s it was cheesy pop then in the ’90s it was dance.
I’ve tried to make the album a journey across those decades. Every single person I’ve picked had their moment over those four decades and it felt like this was mine. These were songs that were close to my heart or my career. Also, recording the album at Parr Street in Liverpool and the colours being blue and red, it’s all heart, it’s all me.
7. What about modern artists then? Are there any who you think people will be listening to in thirty years time ?
(laughs) There are so many artists out there that it’s hard to pick just one. You’ve got your Adele’s and your Bruno Mars. Ed Sheeran. They’ll all be classic tracks in years to come when you look back and remember them. I think I’m just celebrating those era’s with this record.
8. Once the album is out, what are your plans for the rest of the year ?
Well, once the album is out, it’ll be crazy. First thing I will do though is walk into a shop and buy one myself just so I know it’s real and not a dream. I’m doing some cruise ships. Some shows potentially in the West End. A few support gigs at the end of the year and I’ll be touring the album in the early part of next year. Busy busy really. I can’t wait to get the album out there and start to be able to perform the songs to people. It’s been a fantastic twelve months and long may it continue.
9. Okay now, just for fun, what’s the worst thing you have ever smelled ?
Babies nappies (laughs) or a dog turd when you’re out walking the dog and you’ve got to pick it up. That’s not good is it ? (laughs)
10. Thanks for your time Ray. Just to finish, what do you hope the future holds in store for you ?
“Who knows? Nobody can predict the future. My dad has always said to me that whatever happens in the past is history, whatever happens in the future is a mystery so celebrate today and the present. It’s a gift which is why it’s called a present. I’m always living in the moment and I’m looking forward to the future and whatever it brings. The future is bright so you’ve just got to keep positive and keep going and see what it brings.”
You can read more about the single https://www.totalntertainment.com/music/ray-quinn-to-release-first-album-in-13-years/