Interview With DJ Sean Ray
By Chris Stroud
DJ Sean Ray was first exposed to the electronic dance music scene as a kid in the early 80’s, making the transition from dance floor to turntables in 1993. Moving to Colorado for a few years, he played three nights a week at one of the most popular clubs in the area (the Underground) playing 80s, industrial, and house. Playing off his surname (Duckworth), he gained notoriety as DJ Ducky there and in California where he now resides. Since then Sean Ray has gone on to play some very notable gigs both nationally and internationally including:
Hosting and DJing Area 1, a twice weekly underground music radio program with Clear Channel's Kiss-FM for almost 7 years, the 2011 GRAMMY Style Studio, headlining the 2009/10 New Year's Eve Heineken Countdown Party in Vietnam for over 300,000 people, underground events (including Nocturnal Wonderland, Electric Daisy Carnival, Global Beach Music Festival, Open Air Sundays), clubs (including Los Angeles Entertainment Center, Insomnia Afterhours, Club Ruby/World, Vanguard, Ecco, and more.
Bio by Alter Ego Management
FON: So we are here with long time DJ, Sean Ray. I want to thank you for your time today.
Sean: No Problem.
FON: Where are you from?
Sean: Short answer Santa Barbara. Long answer all over, FL, CO, WI, & Scotland. I have roots all over.
FON: What is your background in music?
Sean: I've had a pretty wide range of influences... my Grandmother was heavy in the jazz scene & dated the bassist from the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. She was friends with Chet Baker and a lot of big names of the day, in fact she was there when Gerry meet Chet. She brought free style jazz into my life. I used to listen to heavy metal and hard rock with my uncle on vinyl while we played on an Atari 2600, my mom and aunts got me in to 80's pop and rock... I was fortunate enough to get all kinds of influences growing up.
FON: Did your grandmother play any instruments?
Sean: No she was just a party girl, she had lots of great stories though.
FON: When did you realize you wanted to do music?
Sean: Actually I just just realized it recently. Music is something I have always just done without thinking about it. When I was little I would make mixed tapes off the radio, I would cut out all the commercials and the disc jockey by hand so there was just music. Music has always been in my life. I kinda just fell into being a DJ because I wanted to hear good dance music, same reason I threw parties, and now make the music. I've always just kind of been doing music but it wasn't until recently that I realized I could do it full time. Even though I always had been doing it full time.
FON: I had the pleasure to see you open for Benny Benassi at Tonic in Santa Barbara. Amazing bro, I saw that you still use vinyl is that correct?
Sean: When I can, it is getting harder and harder, fewer places cater to it. Now I like the Tractor & vinyl combo. There is just a certain warmth and feel to vinyl that is irreplaceable.
FON: Who are some of your biggest influences?
Sean: Pink Floyd, Depeche mode, Led Zeppelin, Bronski Beat, Petshop Boys, and John Digweed just to name a few. But Pink Floyd is probably at the top of my list.
FON: What is your opinion on sampling?
Sean: It's all art, everyone connects to art differently, it isn't really my thing unless I am doing a proper remix or bootleg.
FON: So I see you just teamed up with Papa Joe Aviance for a few things correct?
Sean: Yes, we just released Live for Life with Willy SanJuan and have a couple of other things coming soon.
FON: I saw you just did a Grammy Pre Party how was that?
Sean: The Grammy Style Studio was fun... what's not to love about hanging out with awesome people, playing music, and partying several days in a row?
FON: So how was it being the host for the Grammy Style Studio video presented by Papa Joe?
Sean: It was fun... I'm always down for the experience. I don't think I will be taking over for Regis or anything, but I had fun hosting. I used to do it on air, on stage, and in the classroom... in front of a camera isn't much different
FON: So do you have anything coming up?
Sean: I have some upcoming releases, my collaboration with Rob Nutek, "Simulation Sensation" on Gut Feel Records, dropping April 28th. My next single, ”Between You“ should be coming in May on System Recordings and a bunch of remixes on their way.
Well we would like to thank DJ Sean Ray for spending his time with us. You can hear some of DJ Sean Ray's music here:
You can see Sean Host the Grammy Pre party here