Ray Mitchell has always been intertwined with the music world, growing up listening to many different cultures of music. After developing a passion for production and DJing, he got his bachelor's in radio and television and is now full-time pursuing music.
The latest release, "WHG," featuring Disanti, Mili Milz, and Lyndon Laveaux is Ray Mitchell's take on a classic Rap song about the trials of today's political climate in the United States. A savage beat mixed on top of a melodic chorus gives the listener the whole eye-opening package. A creative opener emphasizes the importance of today's climate, a cry for help into a sea of corruption.
A flowing piano intro eases the listener into the ethereal first chorus, and you are quickly taken aback by the powerful first rap. All three artists bring their own flare to their verse, and on top of Ray Mitchell's production gives something for every music lover. "WHG" stands for White House Gangstaz, and using the talents of his three featured artists, Ray Mitchell makes a strong statement.
Ray Mitchell creatively twists in his own storyline and quotes from Michelle Obama, driving the emotions all packed into the song. "WHG" is stimulating and fearless, a must-listen for all old school rap fans. Ray Mitchell uses his platform to spread his message with "WHG" and uses the joy of music to do it.
“WHG” has so many enthralling elements to it, what made you decide to go with such an eye-opening song for a first release?
Well, it was really a team effort and decision. I wrote the instrumental back in November
2018. Lyndon came to me and wanted me to sample the theme song from the show,
Succession. Instead of sampling it, I used it as inspiration to writing my own original piece. I have a little classical training, piano, and music theory under my belt, so I wanted to use my skills to create an orchestra-esque beat. I love the tension you can build, and the feelings you can invoke when you blend strings and piano. So the track started off as an epic instrumental, then I told my brother Mili that he needed to write something meaningful and jaw-dropping, to match the beat. He came over and listened to it in my studio for a few hours and then he wrote it on the spot and we recorded his main vocal. Then I wanted to have Disanti on it, so I told her to write a hook, and she took what he said and ran with it on a much deeper level. Disanti said, “Through all the news and articles of faulty practices from those entitled with power, I began to think about the concept of different represented groups. What is the definition of a gangster? A member of a gang of violent criminals. A person who has committed a crime. Then I started thinking about what constitutes a crime? For example, if you kill someone, is that only a crime depending on who you represent? I don't believe all law enforcement and the government are bad. That would be a completely ignorant statement. I have family who has served our country and are in the police force that believes in the system and I support what they are trying to do. However, I do believe that there are some "bad apples" so to speak, that like to work together. The crooked ones that are spoiling it for the rest. Those are the "White House GANG$TAZ" because they hide behind the flag and patriotism.” I thought she had a great idea, and I love to educate ignorant people, so that is how “White House Gang$taz” was born.
How long did the production process take for “WHG?"
As far as the writing of the music I wrote the main skeleton in a day, but I adjusted and added elements over a few months. The vocals were recorded in my studio starting January 2019 and between all the refining of lyrics and vocal records, we finished the main vocals around May 2019. Keep in mind we all work full-time and to get everyone on the same schedule, mixed with my perfectionist tendencies, it took much longer than it would have if this was our only job. We wanted to release it in late Spring/Early Summer, but we all know what happened in 2020. The music video was mostly written by Disanti and me (with input from the rest of the team) and was done in about a month through zoom meetings. I came up with the intro for the music video with Anonymous, and that is actually my voice playing Anonymous as well.
How did you decide on what artists to feature, and how did they bring the track to life for you?
Milz is my brother and we always work great together, and I have built a relationship with
Lyndon, and Disanti over the last 7 years recording and working on songs together. Disanti is
an amazing lyricist and we have a lot of the same thoughts when it comes to how a song
should be written, so whenever possible I work with her. The same goes for Milz and Lyndon,
and we all work great together because we are also friends outside of the studio.
What made you decide to insert the clip of Michelle Obama? This made quite the impression and really made “WHG” stand out.
That was Lyndon’s idea to insert the clip, and what he told me is he wanted something to add a little punch before his verse. If we were talking about a system that has screwed over the black and brown communities, then that clip fits perfectly. Michelle’s quote has layers to it, there is poetic justice and the underlying irony, behind the fact that she was actually waking up in a house that was built by slaves.
Do you have any follow-up releases planned after “WHG?” What are your next steps for your career?
Yes, I’m currently working on 10 different songs at the moment. I write a lot of different styles of music, so I don’t stay locked in a box. There is a song called “Toodaloo” I just sent in to get mastered. This is another track just with Disanti, and it almost has a John Mayer type vibe, it’s not hip hop, it has elements of blues, soul, and pop. It is a very laid back song, not sure how else to explain it, but it’s going to be a hit! Another song with Disanti called, “Mind and Body” has a Bryson Tiller vibe to it, I would call it a sexy R&B track mixed with Future Bass. Then I have another track I just sent off to mastering as well called, “My Friend”. That track is with my brother Mili and it is about the recent passing of our other brother, it’s a dedication to him. That one is hip hop, with another deep piano melody that I made, but the drums lean more towards Trap Music. There is quite a bit more than we have ready to go, but I don’t want to reveal all my secrets just yet.
What has been your biggest source of inspiration while creating new music this year?
I mean 2020 made me go through a lot in a short period of time and just made me realize what is really important in life. It brought into perspective how fragile life really is, and kicked my butt into gear. So that was the main source that made me get over my perfectionist syndrome and just start releasing my tracks.