North Carolina has seen its fair share of success over the years. From J. Cole, to DaBaby and even Jermaine Dupri. The state has been breeding superstars in the 20th century. Now is the turn of one of its most humble and gifted acts, Morray.
It was all a dream before making waves with his debut single “Quicksand” – An anthem which has amassed over 120 million views. Life has changed drastically for the singing sensation who is only getting started on his musical journey.
Talent recognises talent in North Carolina – One of the most established and versatile artists of the scene in J. Cole has taken Morray under his wing, and has set him free on a blockbuster U.S tour alongside one of ATL’s hottest properties in 21 Savage. The trio have already made waves on Cole’s hit single “My Life” – An anthem which showcased the raw, moving vocals of Morray who developed his voice making Gospel music in church at a young age.
As Morray prepares for enough leg of the tour in Chicago, we caught up with the viral hitmaker and discussed what the past 12 months have been like and what the future holds!
I’m going to begin with the single “Bad Situations” – It’s an honest single – What do you want people to take and feel from your latest release?
“I really want people to listen to the song and relate to me. People try to take us down and count us out, but it doesn’t matter what they do, you can never stop us! That’s what the song is really about, explaining that I’ve been down but I’m up now.”
Did you help to take part in the creative direction of the track?
“I let Cristian The Director and Justice come up with the full idea. They both went crazy with it! I’m not gonna’ lie it’s dope!”
It’s been a life-changing year for yourself – Can you describe what the past 12 months have felt like?
“The past 12 months have felt like I’ve not woke up yet! I’m still dreaming, every day I wake up there’s something new. I’m a rapper that hasn’t done much yet in real life so now that I’m here, my mind is being blown every single day. I don’t know if there’s a word for that? Flabbergasted! I’m loving it!”
“Quicksand” is now on a huge 118 million views – When did you know that the single was starting to take off? And was this added motivation to push to be where you are now?
“When I first realised “Quicksand” was going to take off I think it was on 100,000 views. No cap, me and my whole team broke down like we knew it was about to get crazy! We started crying! We knew it was going to go crazy up! It really gave me a chip on my shoulder. Now I really want to top my best record so bad.”
How did the single “Quicksand” come about?
“Honestly, “Quicksand” was really never a song where I was searching for something that meant something to me. I had a lot of support from people telling me write something that you want people to know who you are. I thought let me tell my story, something I think people can relate to. It just happened to work! I didn’t even know that it was going to be what it is now. It happened to be so relatable that other people started to know about Morray!“
You just released the inspiring “Mime” – How does it feel to have your tracks now being played in Madden 22?
“No cap, I’ve been playing Madden my whole life, so the fact I’m able to play and only hear my song, I literally cut off every other song and only play my song! So crazy, sometimes I just play to hear my song!“
Being from North Carolina, what was your initial reaction to finding out being on tour with J. Cole?
“I was in L.A. in a hotel and I got a phone call like ‘Cole’s thinking about doing a tour and he said do you want to be on the tour?’ I’m like why Cole asking he know damn well I want to do the tour! It was life-changing to be on a tour with someone from your city, that should be on the mount Rushmore of rap that comes from the same place where I come from. It was mind-boggling!“
How are you finding the current Off-Season tour? Are you learning more each day being around J. Cole and 21 Savage?
“No cap, It’s like I’m like the star student of the school and it’s just me. I really get to go out there and watch their whole sets and learn so much and take it in to my show. Watching them has definitely given me a lot more confidence in myself, I was so nervous the first show I stayed on one side of the stage! Watching their sets and how they own the stage, being themselves and having a good time, I’ve learnt so much and I appreciate them.“
Street Sermons stapled itself as a top 20 R&B/Hip-Hop album on the Billboard charts– What was the process of creating Street Sermons?
“I did not know that! It was a long process from even bringing out the names of my songs! I was figuring out how to map it out, but it was one of the most enjoyable processes I’ve ever had to do. For people to hear my story out loud and hear it flow in a chronological order was so dope! The last song is just about being grateful about everybody playing my songs and my mixtape.“
Was there an importance in having no features on the project?
“The whole point of no features was I wanted people to know me first. I wanted to thank my fans first and let them know – Morray is Morray! I wanted to make a proper relationship with the people who listen to my music.“
Growing up, who inspired you to make music? And how did you get into singing and blending this skill with rapping?
“It came from the church! Singing my whole life, singing Gospel which is an ultimate pain. When you leave the church, you still have the same church chords. I didn’t want to just be a singer and I didn’t just want to be a rapper. I heard Drake’s So Far Gone album and I was like he’s singing on hooks, he’s rapping his own songs. I want to try and do that! So now I have to find my own way to follow those footsteps. Drake and Gospel music really helped me become who I am in music.“
You were also part of the XXL Freshman class of 2021, following in the footsteps of 21 Savage, Lil Uzi etc. what was that experience like?
“It was super fun! To be on a freestyle and have so much fun with so many different rappers and just have a good time, being on a platform where I’ve been watching for years, It’s amazing! You can’t even explain it. I was just watching 21 Savage, Da Baby and those do theirs and now I’m on there!“
Is there anyone from the 2021 list you would like to connect with in the future?
“All of them. No cap! I would love to do a song with every last one of them. They all have super, amazing talent. They’re all top musicians right now.“
Artist sometimes deal with writer’s block – Is this something that happens to you? And how do you deal with this?
“Every writer experiences writers block. If you’re an actual writer, you’re going to go through that. You’ve got to take a break, step away and live some life! Take a second and come back to it. A lot of people think writers block, you’ve just got to fight right through it – You’ll end up writing some bullsh**! Take a second, get you a breather and relax! When you feel like there’s pressure on you, take it off yourself!“
Aside from yourself, who are your current 3 go-to-artists to listen to?
“I would say Drake, Lil’ Baby and Moneybagg Yo!“