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Bio

Ray Sr. isn’t your run of the mill rapper/producer releasing another average hip hop album.  In addition to teaching the first set of college level Hip Hop Production courses in the entire state of Texas at Austin Community College, Ray Sr. is also an up and coming actor with a lead role in a new feature film based on his own true life story.

Ray Sr. began attending audio engineering courses to further his music career in 2008.  Since that time, he’s released 4 albums for himself, produced an album for local Austin singer Serafia Jane, and has produced, mixed, and mastered a number of songs with local Austin Rappers and R&B singers .  Ray Sr.’s accolades landed him on the Austin Chronicle’s Top 10 Hip Hop Artists list for the last 3 years in a row.  His latest project “Ray Sr. Presents The New ATX” is a collaboration with 15 hip hop artists which he considers to be the best in the city. “I chose these cats for The New ATX because they are the best rappers in the city, period,” says Ray Sr. when asked how he selected the artists for this project. 

Ray Sr. produced, mixed, mastered, and rapped on every song with his fellow Austin Texas comrades.  Once the album was complete, Ray reached out to Grammy award winning engineer Steve B Baughman (The Eminem Show, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, The Game, etc.) of Next Level Mastering in Los Angeles to master the album’s first single You Don’t Understand

In the midst of the music and movies, Ray landed a job instructing the first set of documented Hip Hop Production courses in Texas, at Austin Community College.  Renowned for its state of the art music program, Austin Community College brought Ray Sr. in to fill the void experienced by its hip hop students.  Ray is currently teaching 1372 Hip Hop Production, 1201 Applied one on one lessons, and a Hip Hop Production 2 course which is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017.

Ray Sr.’s wife, Ericka Marsalis-LaManna, is a feature filmmaker who collaborates with Ray on all of her film projects.  Ericka’s latest movie The Bag Lady is based on Ray’s true life story of being homeless at the age of 16, becoming a father at 17, and catching a 5 year prison sentence at 18.  The Bag Lady stars Ray Sr. and Colby Crain, and has been received warmly in the short amount of time since its release, with Official Selections from the San Diego Black Film Festival and the San Antonio Film Festival.  “People are blown away by Ray’s performance in this film because they’ve only seen him in supporting roles up to this point.  He has a lot of emotionally charged scenes in this movie and his performance left me speechless every single time,” says his wife Ericka.  Ray was recently picked up by Acclaim Talent for representation in Austin and Louisiana, and has high hopes for his future in the entertainment industry.   
 

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Film & Video

Press

Review of Ray Sr.'s Debut Album 5 In 5 Out by DJ Dora Robinson of KAZI 88.7, Austin – DJ Dora Robinson, KAZI 88.7 

I love [this] CD. It will be very innovative and inspiring to those who take the time to really listen to the content of the lyrics. [5 In 5 Out] is a catalyst to making people take notice of what's really going on in our world. By not giving into situations and circumstances that he's encountered in life, Ray Sr. can be the voice and inspiration of those locked down in the justice system, as well as an inspiration to those who are hungry for a change in their lives.

Ray Sr. 5 In 5 Out Album Review – Amorn Bholsangngam of URB Magazine 

The American prison system has produced some of the greatest rappers, imbuing MCs with a lifetime’s worth of inspiration, street cred, and demons to exorcise on wax. Austin’s Ray Sr. is no exception to this rule. After half a decade spent in the notoriously harsh conditions of the Texas prison system, Ray has committed to telling his compelling story in verse. The rapper/producer’s gravely Southern drawl and minimalist beats combine for a fearsome sound that oozes passion and conviction. “Activist” casts Ray Sr. in the role of a thug beckoning the dance floor to get going to its raging, syncopated drum machine and sparse synth adornments.

Ray Sr. Austin Hip Hop Scene Interview – Austin Hip Hop Scene 

AHHS: What gives you inspiration and how does that transpire into your music? 

Ray Sr.: I’m inspired by real life struggles and that’s what keeps me grindin’ em out. This album is a reflection of my life and real life situations that everyone can relate to…I’m really just expressing my range of emotions that I might feel on any given day. Some days I might be sad than a muthafucka – other days I might be like “fuck the world” – other days I might feel like rockin’ in the club – and other times I might feel socially conscious - and all of that is me…5 In 5 Out.

Achievements


Adjunct Professor at Austin Community College teaching the first set of college level Hip Hop Production courses in the entire state of Texas. 

Austin Chronicle’s Top 10 Hip Hop Artists list for the last 3 years in a row. 


Austin Chronicle’s #3 Producer of the Year 2014 - 2015

Feature Film Official Selections 


Generation Me
  • Amsterdam Film Festival
  • Las Vegas Film Festival
  • South Texas Underground Film Festival
  • San Francisco Black Film Festival
  • Daytona Beach First Look Film Festival
  • San Diego Black Film Festival
  • San Antonio Film Festival
The Bag Lady 
  • San Diego Black Film Festival
  • San Antonio Film Festival
  • Capital City Black Film Festival
  • Dallas Video Fest

Awards
  • Van Gogh Grand Jury Prize, Amsterdam
  • Official Finalist Award, Las Vegas
  • Best of Austin Chronicle
  • Best Up & Coming Filmmaker, Corpus Christi
  • Best Local Filmmaker, Corpus Christi

Contact

Email RaySr@TrendSmasherRecords.com regarding any questions you may have.