RAY NOIR – LONDON’S UNDERGROUND PRINCE.
Interview: Bartek Fetysz
RAY NOIR. Poster boy. Host. DJ. Recording artist. Personality. For some – a style icon (I could name a few who he has inspired a lot).
The biggest Marilyn Manson’s fan I know. A Wild animal on stage, but quite shy and not in your face type of person either, tho his look is literally an opposite. Heavily tattooed, always wearing black, London’s underground scene bad boy. We’ve met to talk about his latest single “All Alone” and plans for the future.
Are you interested in fame?
I just want people to like my music and I would like to play live gigs all the time really, if fame comes with that I’m happy with it.
Norwegian artist, DJ, poster boy, host, I could keep mentioning stuff you were doing here in London. What brought you here?
London is a city of opportunities! And for my music it’s a great place to reach out wider than I would’ve been able to if I still lived in Norway.
What is the biggest difference between Norway and the UK? How would you describe the difference between English and Scandinavian way of living?
Money and boredom! There’s so much more to do and get inspired by in London compared to Oslo.
Through the whole years you’ve been living here – how do you think London has changed?
I moved here in 2010 and it was full of creatives, Larry Tee, Daniel Lismore, Jim Warboy, they were all running amazing, full of fashion crowd, parties. There was Mark Dupe doing great night in East Bloc. Borja Pena and Tom Stephan were doing DISH.
Don’t you have a feeling that the good times are now gone?
Things come and go. I don’t think it’s a negative thing really, but of course I miss some of the parties like Dish and all the crazy stuff Larry had going on here in London.
When it comes to partying – which places would you recommend to visit now?
I usually just do house parties with friends nowadays, but I always have fun at The Egg or Dollar Baby.
On that note – do you think that “homing” is the new “clubbing’?
When I go out to clubs they are always packed, so I don’t think so.
So, Prince of Darkness, two videos out, great public response but – still in the underground. How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I love everything underground, if I wanted to be a mainstream artist I would never do the music I do I guess? I’m very inspired by everything dark and twisted, club life, Industrial, Metal and weird and different people and friends.
Is it hard to be an independent artist?
I believe it costs shit loads of money to release new music, not to mention video clips.
It’s easier to release music as an independent artist now I guess, but it’s a lot of work you have to do and networking is really important to get your music out there.
Streaming – a blessing or a curse for artists these days?
Ages ago, I was collecting every penny to buy my favourite artist’s CD, now you can listen to everything straight away after the premiere for free.
I remember doing the same, I was collecting before and had thousands of CD’s. When I moved to Paris a few years ago I actually took 5 flights forward and back to Oslo only to bring all my CD’s with me. I still have a lot of the CD’s, I just kept the booklet and VCD and got rid of the cases in the end. I think streaming is good and bad, the sound quality ain’t that good with streaming unless you pay extra money, but it’s easy access for everyone to check out your music.
Spotify, Tidal or Soundcloud then?
I use Spotify myself to listen to music and Soundcloud to upload tracks for previews etc.
My first album I bought from savings was Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous”. What was yours?
I remember my mum had that record, I listened to that a lot when I was a kid too. My first record I bought myself was this Swedish Dance girl duo called Yaki-Da, pretty embarrassing.
Let’s talk about your music journey. What were your beginnings?
I’ve always been into music, I worked in a rock/metal shop in Oslo where I met a lot of artist’s which I went on tour with later as a crew. I also started to do parties Djing in Oslo and Paris when I lived there. It was when I moved to London and met Frankmusik I we birthed my debut single ‘Double Trouble’.
Ages ago he had a big moment in Poland. Those were the MySpace days and all my friends had a crush on him. Years later, when I posted a selfie with him, they went insane. Do you remember MySpace? Who were the people in your top 10 friends?
Frankmusik is such a handsome fella, ha! I had MySpace, I don’t remember all my top 10 friends, but I know I had Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo, Rammstein and Hole I think, then a few friends from Norway.
Do you feel fulfilled as an artist at the moment? What would you like to achieve?
I’m getting there, I feel I’m lucky to be able to travel already and do gigs around the world even with only 2/3 songs. Next is to release an album.
What can I expect from the album?
It will be heavier, more metal guitars, but still beat driven.
You first single “Double Trouble” – what was the story behind it?
The story behind ‘Double Trouble’ is from when I used to go out a lot and it’s about the whole “party” scene really. All the good and bad that comes with that.
“All Alone” – what was your inspiration behind the lyrics? I am a massive fan of this song. It’s very Depeche Mode slash 90’s electronic. And Marianna Rosa is just fabulous.
Thank you. I wrote the song when me and my ex broke up. Me and Marianna was kinda in the same situation. We were both very pissed off and angry I guess.
Being heartbroken and pissed helps in writing and creating?
Everything negative is always good for the writing process for me. I don’t think I could ever write a happy song.
I can’t imagine that either. The video to “All Alone” has been directed by Kassandra Powell, another London’s big, creative artist. How was working with her?
I love Kassandra Powell. She really get’s my vision and we have a lot of the same inspirations. I’m looking forward to work with her again for my next videos.
I don’t think there’s another personality like hers on the scene at the moment. She’ll go far. What inspired you to create such a video?
She’s great and I’m pleased to see a lot of people working with her now. I think Double Trouble opened people’s mind and how creative and good she is. I really like videos that are weird and freaky, so we got inspiration from everything from Sigismondi to old school pin-ups, fetish and so on.
What will be the next step in your Ray Noir game?
I’ve started to work on my album with Charlie Dawe. Hopefully we will be done by the end of the summer. Watch this space!
Your biggest dream for now?
Get the album out and tour the world 😉
Interview by Bartek Fetysz