Artist on the rise Brandon Ray just released his brand new single, “Ends of the Earth.” The Texas native currently resides in Nashville, and has been working on music with producer/songwriter Ross Copperman and Keith Urban.
In an exclusive Q&A with the country newcomer, Brandon Ray shares details with us about his brand new single “Ends of the Earth,” working with country superstar Keith Urban, and much more.
Country Music Rocks (CMR): You just released your brand new single called “Ends of the Earth”. Give us a little background and tell us about this new song.
Brandon Ray: I was writing like crazy and also listening to songs through one of my producers Ross Copperman. He sent me this song and I just knew it was mine. We started playing it live and a few weeks later we recorded it. I can’t wait to release it!
CMR: Tell us how Keith Urban got involved with this song? He not only co-produced it, working with well-known producer Ross Copperman, but he also plays bass and sings background on the track.
Brandon Ray: Yeah it’s all pretty crazy how everything happened…
Back in December, Bobby Bones invited me on his show. I played some songs live and he played my single at the time “That Could Be Us”… Shortly after, Ross Copperman called me up. After talking about working together, Ross called up Keith to see if it was something he’d be into. Next thing i know I’m in the studio recording with both Ross and Keith Urban. Insane!
CMR: What was it like for you to work with Keith Urban? Has there been a piece of advise that he has given to you for your career ahead and/or is there something from his career that you have put some focus on to apply to your career in your own way?
Brandon Ray: It was been absolutely unreal working with Keith. While we were recording one night, I was wondering about a certain part in the song. He told me “speak up if you don’t like something. It’s you who has to go play this song every night not me. You wanna make something you’re proud of and comfortable with.”
I just really appreciated that – Now being in the producer role, he knows what it’s like to be in my shoes. Him and Ross just work so well together, I’m honored to have such an incredible team behind me.
CMR: You are no stranger to the stage and have already had a busy year so far with performances and still have a calendar packed with dates. For folks that haven’t seen you perform yet, how would you best describe your set?
Brandon Ray: I’d best describe my set as a high energy musical gumbo show – my originals and covers go everywhere from Country to Rock to Pop to Motown. Honestly, my goal is for each and every person in the crowd to forget whatever problems they have, put a smile on their face, sing along, and just have a kick-ass time.
And maybe someday, I’ll have the money to add a fog machine.
CMR: In addition to the multiple performances you have scheduled, you are also booked for some major festivals throughout the summer including Country Thunder, Watershed, Faster Horses, and more. You also performed at Stagecoach earlier this year. What are those performances like for you? Do you prepare a bit differently, knowing you’ll be reaching such a huge country music fan base?
Brandon Ray: Ok.. Festivals are SO fun!! It’s definitely nerve-wracking and exciting thinking about being on such a huge stage. But once the nerves get out of the way, you realize you just need to do what you do best. We prepare quick transitions and mostly uptempo songs to keep the crowd engaged. Honestly, it makes me so thankful to play for that many people – i just want them to have the same incredible experience that i’m having up there on stage.
CMR: You hold a very busy schedule. When you’re not writing or performing, what do you like to do in your off-time? How do you unwind and make the most of your time off?
Brandon Ray: I LOVE touring and writing, but when i have time off I love to play sports, go to shows, and work on cars. I have a 1978 Ford F100 truck that I’m constantly working on. My wife Alyssa and I also love to chill on local restaurant patios to hang/eat/drink before i have to hit the road again.
CMR: As fans continue to get to know you, what is one thing you would like to convey to fans about you and your music?
Brandon Ray: I think what I want to convey to fans is that I’m exactly like them and share their same life stories. So many people work so hard all week just to spend their hard earned money to come see a show. That means more than anything to me. Coming from a hardworking family, I understand that nothing comes easy at all. I think my music resonates love, nostalgia, and growing up in the blue collar Heartland of America.
CMR: Music consistently evolves and grows, and we see and hear that with country music. What is one aspect about this genre that has always resonated with you and continues to do so?
Brandon Ray: The one aspect about Country music that always blows my mind and resonates with me is the undying support and loyalty from the fans. I used to be in a rock band – we were on the warped tour and opened for bands like Fall Out Boy, Sugarcult, and so many more. The attitude of the fans was very much like “flavor of the week”. Maintaining a fanbase was almost impossible with the hundreds of thousands of rock bands being thrown at them everyday.
Country music is the opposite. The fans are PROUD to be the ones that discover us “up and comers”. And they follow us through thick and thin. We honestly wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.