With the R&B scene yielding more and more new acts everyday, it’s getting hard for many to stand out. A clear way to stand out is by making good music, and that’s just what Cincinnati native Arin Ray is doing. After a stint on the X-Factor, he retreated back home for a second before deciding to make the leap to LA, and pursue his R&B career full-time. After some years working in LA, both on his own music and writing for big names such as Chris Brown and DJ Mustard his debut is here and it’s impressive to say the least.
Platinum Fire has been in the works for roughly a few years now, and has caught the attention of many ears since it’s March release. Arin crafts a smooth 14 track album that features the likes of Sir, D.R.A.M, Ty Dolla $ign and a few more. Behind the boards he enlists Terrace Martin, F Keys, Childish Major amongst more notable names. RESPECT was able to catch up with Arin about moving to LA, life after the X-Factor, Platinum Fire and more.
RESPECT.: What made you want to go on the X-Factor?
Arin Ray: Nothing. My mother. She wanted me to do it. We got the audition, she said she would do it with me and I agreed.
RESPECT.: How did your life change after being a contestant on the X-Factor?
Arin Ray: It didn’t really change. You think it will change, but it didn’t really change. I wasn’t getting too many calls. I wasn’t doing much as far as the industry. Me going to LA was the biggest thing, me being able to see LA for the first time cause I had never been out there. I went out there to do the show. So me being in LA for the first time, it helped me make a decision to move there after I got kicked off. I graduated too, a week later.
RESPECT.: For those who don’t know, where are you from?
Arin Ray: I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio.
RESPECT.: So explain the title Platinum Fire and where you got it from?
Arin Ray: The title ain’t that exciting. I came up with the name after it popped up on a strand of weed. I was like damn this s**t crazy, and I liked the title, the title came early within the album. So, it just helped me tryna figure out what Platinum Fire would sound like. So it really helped me shape my album, instead of it just being a cool title.
RESPECT.: How long have you been recording Platinum Fire?
Arin Ray: “We Ain’t Homies” was the first song I had for the record. It was dope because I didn’t do to many records for the album. Only 4 or 5 songs didn’t make it. I started the summer of 2016, and I finished the last song in like summer 2017. So I was recording for like a year, and you know mixing process took a little while, so it was done about December-Januaryish. So about a year and a half.
RESPECT.: So what’s your favorite song on Platinum Fire and your favorite feature?
Arin Ray: My favorite song is “Skeemin,” I like the story, the beat, it speaks to me and I can relate. My favorite feature? That’s hard man I got a lot of dope features. The one that inspired me was the Sir verse on “F**k Ya’ll.” He inspired me to write my verse, cause I was struggling at writing that record at first. I had the melody I just couldn’t write the words, and he came in and killed it. I finished my verse the day after, so yeah SiR, I think he bodied that record.
RESPECT.: Is there anything that you wanted on Platinum Fire that didn’t make the album?
Arin Ray: Everything kind of came together the way we wanted it to. It’s a process to making an album, and I think we did good this being my first one.
RESPECT.: How do you feel about R&B today and where do you feel you fit in that scene?
Arin Ray: I’m liking R&B today, I feel like we coming up. We could get a little more love on the shows, but I feel like that’ll come in due time. I think I fit in pretty well, I don’t think I’m just R&B though, I feel like I’m every genre if you listen to my album you can find a splash of everything. I really try to dab in everything. Hip-Hop, R&B, alternative, everything. The homies are really dope, H.E.R., Brent Faiyaz, Buddy and everybody man. I’m just glad to be apart of it.
RESPECT.: Who are The Underdogs and what did they do for you?
Arin Ray: The Underdogs are a group I connected with when I first got to California. I studied under them, recorded at their studio for the longest, for about two years when I got out to LA. They’re multi platinum, diamond recording producers that know how to make a song. They really helped my process and developed me into being a song writer. They’ve done a lot for the culture as far as dope songs, 90’s, 2000’s, they killed it.
RESPECT.: Since you’ve done writing for other people what’s your favorite track or artist you’ve worked with and why?
Arin Ray: Maybe “Red Lights” for Chris Brown. It was on one of his mixtapes, it didn’t make the album but it’s a cool song. I like the new songs that I’m writing and the ones that are coming out. I couldn’t really say a favorite.
RESPECT.: Did writing those songs for other people influence Platinum Fire at all?
Arin Ray: Not the songs, but the work ethic and seeing how people do their thing. It definitely helped.
RESPECT.: Is there anything else you want to tell people before we wrap up this interview?
Arin Ray: Go get my album. Go get Platinum Fire, it’s a lot of songs you can enjoy. I want to know all your favorite songs man just grab my album!
Be sure to check out the latest video from Arin, “We Ain’t Homies” feat. YG below!
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