From Feeling Stuck In The Quicksand To Touring With J Cole – In Talks With Morray

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

20 Oct 2021

North Carolina is no stranger to producing stars, in fact its something that the often overlooked state prides itself on. From Michael Jordan to Jermaine Cole talent is overflowing from the cup that is NC, and that’s exactly what Morray represents – a star in the making.

Having taken the “long route” so to say Morray found his sound, a harmonious blend of soul infused melodies, accented by vocal runs that would fit right in during sunday service – all on the back drop of today’s 808 heavy trap beats.

Part of a new school of artist who blur the lines between RnB, Hip Hop and Gospel the genuinely honest approach he takes to his artistry is endearing, even more so when you hear him speak and without his melodic distractions.

Taking time out of his busy schedule he tapped in for a brief chat, talking about his challenging past, his brighter future and the journey in between. Check it out below!

I don’t wanna take too much of your time so I’ll get straight into it – You lived a fairly wild life prior to the public, give us a little background on that?

Before the music I was a regular guy, had a job, family, kids. Did my shit in the streets, had some money but it weren’t my favourite so I got a job! I had a regular life, I grew up in the church, I sing, I rap, my music is my therapy and I’m glad I was able to use that to get to where I’m at now.

How was it balancing those two worlds?

Honestly when I was doing what I was doing I wasn’t focusing on the church, I was tryna found out who I was. It wasn’t hard to get where I needed to go cause I knew how to get there whenever I came close because I love God, I love the church I fell back on the real decisions, that’s not me. Being in the straights was a waste of time.

First thing I noticed doing my research on you was your personality – positive and appreciative – how do you maintain that in an industry that can be so draining?

I’m still having fun. People see your in the industry and think ‘You gotta work super hard ?’ That’s super true but at the end of the day I’m doing things I’ve never done before. I went to my first NBA game last night, Imma do music forever now cause I can do shit like that whenever I want to. When I go on stage and do my sets I’m extremely happy, its a live track. Why would you pay $60 to hear me do MP3 you can play that in your car ? I love this shit. I don’t get tired cause I love it!

How was that transition from the life you lived before to now?

It’s been amazing! That’s a new feeling for me. To not be scared or nervous about the next decision because it may cost me my next me or cost me my next bill or whatever the case may be. I be chillin bro.

Do you feel like it was divine timing ? How you got to this point, with how your deal is structured and being able to make that decision ? A lot of artist blow at 16, their not ready mentally or even physically for what that entails.

No cap, I really believe I had to wait till where I’m at now to get to where I’m going. If I would of got a deal at 16, 18 I would of ruined my deal, hell nah. Spend my money in one year, one month going crazy tryna flex. Because I’m older I waited for the right deals, I made the right decisions, I met the right people. I was willing to be patient for what I wanted, I didn’t have patience when I was 18 and below, I had to grow that.

You called your debut album street sermons, the cover is you reading a bible on some steps, talk about the role gospel and the church play in your music?

The church plays a big part in my life not just the music. When you grow up listening to gospel and grow up in the church no matter what you do with your life that comes with you. I like to put that in my music because I wanna thank God. The church hymns, the church runs, the soulfulness it comes with him so I put it in my music.

Do you feel like it’s your purpose, you’ve mentioned prior that if not for rapping you would of ended up a pastor?

Yeah, and that’s why I do that because I feel like I’m still a pastor in my own way. I teach in my own way, it may not be by the book per say but I’m trying to to tell you […].

Keeping with identity how important is to represent where you’re from Fayetteville, NC?

It’s very important I tell people I’m from the 2-6, Fayettenam beacause it taught me how to be a man. I had to move and come back to understand there’s so much family morale’s and love in my city, in my state. The south […] it’s different, that’s what I was looking for – stability. I found that in Fayetteville, NC. I owe Fayetteville everything.

Over 100 million views on your song “Quicksand” on Youtube, Jay Z put it on his end of year list what’s the story behind record?

Quicksand was a song I made after trying to figure out what kind of music I wanted to make. I was tryna be like this person, tryna be like that person and I finally was like ‘Yo I need to buckle down and write something and about you, something you can relate to. Don’t just try and give them something they want, give them what you think they may need.’ I didn’t even know what I had at first till it got its first 100,000 views. Now it’s 117m and I’m still feeling blessed.

So that was the turning point in your song writing and recording process?

Basically my process hasn’t changed, I still write and I have to write based off my emotions. Now that I’m in the industry it’s just faster, not as hard or as tedious to make a song now.

Two things I’d describe your music as are candid and introspective, is that something you’ve always had or you learned to put it in there?

My music’s always been something “I” liked. Me being a big Drake fan, me being a big Breezy fan I always tried to make music like them. I think that just started when I realised ‘Morray make your own music, find your own voice, find yourself’, then it started becoming easier to get what I wanted to across because I’m telling the truth. It’s easier to write a song when your speaking from reality. I had to learn that later in life.

In your song ‘Bad situations’ you talk about how being too relaxed can be dangerous, do you have a “I’m still tryna get on” mentality?

No matter where I am in my life, I still wanna do more. There’s still something you can do better. There’s still something that can be perfected or at least close to perfection. You should never be comfortable with being stagnant, I’m still shooting for the stars.

You used to play football and now you’re own the Madden 22 soundtrack, it must feel surreal…

I ain’t gone lie to you, I cut off every song on Madden just to hear mine. I love all them on there but I only gotta hear me when I’m catching in end zones and catching my Pick 6’s, it’s crazy!

Could you ever of imagined in your past being apart of the culture like this, forever now you are in a Madden game?

It feels amazing to be part of any history but to be apart of the history of Madden, I’ve been playing since Madden 2000. I have the game, I’m probably gonna buy the hard copy just to case it, incase I ever wanna hear that song.

Checking your IG you see that you flick up with a lot of other artist, do you feel like the industry has shown you love?

I feel like I definitely have, my energy is the same wherever I go. I never give nobody no fake energy, I don’t try to be too hard or too cool. I go in there as Morray, so I get the same shit back. It’s been a great invitation to the party!

You’ve been compared to other soul infusing artist like Rod Wave, Roddy Rich, Celo Green how do you feel about those comparisons?

If you are comparing me to anyone you love essentially that’s a compliment. I appreciate that. You shouldn’t get mad at a comparison, it’s an opinion and everyone’s entitled. If you wanna play my song that sounds like someone else over and over and over well then thank you!

Lets do a Quick round.What’s your favourite big look so far in you career?

Going on tour with J Cole. Going on stage with him and performing with him and 21 Savage. Seeing all those lights, It’s a lot.

Hmm, definitely AI. That’s not even a thinker definitely tryna link up with The Answer cause I got a couple questions. And you got an AI shirt on you know the vibes already!

Craziest thing you’ve seen/done on the job?

I used to work in fast food, I’ve seen two females fucking in the cooler. I can’t to tell you where I used to work at cause you probably shouldn’t eat there. I used to work in a pig plant and I had to clean intestines and shit super gross.

If you could only listen/make gospel or Hip Hop?

Seeing as I am a Hip Hop and RnB artist I’d have to choose them, but when my careers over I’d wanna switch back.

Your new album ‘Street Sermon’ has no features because you wanted people to understand Morray first, should we expect some features now?

I’ve built a lot of relationships, that’s what it’s gotta be based on. I have features coming up but as far as on my project, I really want it to be people I know for a fact.

What, listen brother. I’m a big fan of UK culture. I would love to, if I get the opportunity.

Keep up to date with Morray via his Instagram here. Listen to ‘Street Sermons’ below.