We had the good fortune of connecting with TaRhea Ray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi TaRhea, why did you pursue a creative career?
Well, I’ve been an entertainment junkie since I was a kid. It was hard not to be intrigued by the entertainment industry since my father was a performer. He lived his life regretting certain decisions that took him away from succeeding in the music industry. When he would talk about it, I could feel the regret. I didn’t want to live my life like that, always wondering, what if I would’ve just taken a chance. My dad gave up on his dreams and became a family man and I’m extremely grateful for his sacrifices. I grew up with an amazing father who was very present in my life, but my heart also ached for him because I knew he wanted his life to be different. He inspired me to just go for what I want, to follow my passion. It’s a sacrifice some people aren’t willing to take, but I am. My father passed his gifts on to me and I’m going to see it through. I refuse to let my talent go to waste. I want to connect with people emotionally and on a spiritual level, hopefully providing perspective and clarity on certain issues through my artistic work.
I was a shy kid, so It took me a while to come into my own as an artist. I spent years avoiding my calling, but somehow I always find my way back. It kept knocking on my door and wouldn’t let me escape, so I finally caved. I’m really thankful that the God/universe kept reminding me I was on the wrong path. My life would have been completely had I not paid attention.
My family and friends weren’t surprised when I told them, I’m finally going to pursue an artistic career professionally. They have been very supportive throughout my entire journey. A close friend once said to me “there’s so much of you that the world needs to see,” and he made me promise to fall forward and give it my all, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a sassy goofball of an artist that’s in love with everything retro. My clothing and musical style is heavily influenced by the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I bring a modern retro vibe visually and musically.
Getting to where I am now was and still is a long hard road, but I like a challenge. Lots of tears, frustration, sacrifices and triumphs. I don’t regret any of it.
Some things I’ve learned throughout my artistic journey is the importance of patience, consistency and discipline. I’m also learning not to compromise myself as an artist. One of the qualities that I feel separates artists from each other is their individuality. No one person is the same and if you tell them to change who they are to fit in a box, then they are no longer unique; they’re just a replica of something else wrapped in a different package.
The biggest challenges I had to overcome were actually being myself and being OK with it. I’m starting to feel comfortable in my own skin, comfortable with my personality. In this industry I’m learning that people are attracted to confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself and believe what you’re doing, how the hell can you expect anyone else to believe in you.
If you would’ve met me about 10 years ago, you would have met a completely different person. I was very insecure, I didn’t want to sing in front of anyone, I wanted to be a part of music, but from behind the scenes. I always dressed down, never wore things that showed off my figure. It took a lot of self care, reflection and ownership to get here. I also see a therapist regularly, it’s so important!
During the pandemic it’s been hard trying to find my rhythm, but I’ve been working. I have some music that is going to be released this year and I’m so excited to share with everyone.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My top 5’s in no order:
Stuff I Eat
India’s Tandoori Hollywood
Art District Brewing Co.
The Brickyard Pub
Bang Bang Room
Next Door Lounge (good music)
Garden of Oz
Ferndell Nature Museum
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate this shoutout to my late father Gregory Allen Ray, I love you more than the whole wide universe.
I’d also like to shout out Vilda Ray, Luca Brown, Keelah Tay, Uri’el the Light, Tina Vonn, Maria Katre, Terena Williams, Jessica Sutherland, Barbara Laronga, Britnie Mosby, Zakiya Williams, Benita Yates, Ricki Ray and Sharonda White and my mother Charline Greggs. You all have been so supportive and very patient with me throughout my journey and I am forever grateful.
Carissa Mosley, Jessica Sutherland, TaRhea Ray