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.