Q&A: Ray Wroten

I chatted with Ray Wroten about his musical beginnings and how his social distancing is going.

Talk about your background; where you’re from, etc..

I’m from South Baltimore, Locus Point area, I’ve been playing professionally since 2006. I have multiple albums w/ my band Bond & Bentley and I’ve released 3 solo albums. All available where ever you purchase or stream music. I’ve toured the country multiple times playing in 39 states Canada & USVI. 

When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

I guess my whole life. I would watch my uncle play as a kid and I knew that was what I wanted. I started out as a restaurant manager & cook. I went to culinary school but it just wasn’t fulfilling. I saw all these wonderful people playing in Fells Point & Annapolis etc and I just wanted to do it. I quit my job no notice and started playing open mics til I got gigs. I haven’t had a “real” job since.

What is your song writing process?

I’m more of a guitar melody first writer. I play licks & chords on the guitar til inspiration pops up. Then wham … song. I have a few songs that just popped in my head while I was driving and I pulled over and wrote them word for word and even knew what the chords were but that’s very few and far between. It’s usually music first then words.

What is it like being a part of the Maryland/Baltimore music scene?

It’s amazing. We’re very lucky here in Maryland. Some places have no live music at all, all garbage DJs flinging the same shitty top 40 songs in bars. We’re very lucky to have places like Fells Point, Annapolis, Ocean City and even Frederick that actually pay decent money to have musicians. I know everyone thinks of Los Angeles ,New Orleans ,Nashville , and New York as huge music towns, but most of the musicians there don’t get paid to play. In Maryland we are appreciated and we all for the most part work together as a music family.

How hard has it been the past few weeks staying inside and social distancing?

Easy for me. My job is to be an extrovert but really I’m a closet introvert. Sometimes I crave some goddamn peace and quiet, but it’s time get back ASAP. I luckily have a very good support structure but bills are coming.

How did you get involved with this Charity Concert Stream?

I book all the  Friday & Saturday acoustic acts at Jimmy Seafood and John, the owner, came to Fernando Delgado & I about putting on a huge thing for charity. Everyone needs music in the time like this. So we couldn’t be more down to play.

Are you excited about performing on April 11th?

Absolutely. I’m sick of being bored in my apartment eating and playing video games. Let’s go do something fun for people that need it. 

Ray will be one of the acts performing this Saturday live on Jimmy’s Famous Seafood’s Stay At Home Charity Stream!

The show benefits meals for local hospital staffs, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Show Your Soft Side, and The Brigance Brigade.

Donation options for anyone willing to contribute:

Venmo: @StayHomeConcert

PayPal: jminadakis@mac.com

Facebook Event Link

Follow Ray on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram