mondomedeusah creative hangs out with music artist and producer Don-Ray and drops a world wide exclusive Midnight Maraudaz Mix on mondo


mondomedeusah world wide exclusive release: Don-Ray (Midnight Maraudaz Mix)

download this mix

Donald K (mondomedeusah creative) recently hung out with Don-Ray, music artist/producer (Midnight Maraudaz Recordings) and talked about music, beats and life. We also dropped a world wide mondomedeusah exclusive Don-Ray Midnight Maraudaz Mix. Enjoy!

mondomedeusah: Don-Ray tell our readers how the whole music thing started and what

inspired it all?

Don-Ray: OK - it basically started at home with my parents love for music;
reggae, american RnB, soul, etc. Hip-hop came later with my crew in
Toronto (Big up!). I eventually, moved into various electronic music
from abroad; from the house sounds of Chicago to deep Detroit Techno
to UK jungle. I ate it all up. I really couldn't get enough music so I
branched out more. I started finding much older soul music inspiring,
jazz influenced music from Brazil to Germany, Afro-Latin flavoured
rhythms as well as European inspired orchestral pieces. I continued to
dig deeper and began appreciating the local ethno-cultural music from
Japan to South East Asia to India... it was a trip...

mondomedeusah: Are there any artists that inspired your music?

Don-Ray: There are many layers of inspiring artists which transcend several
points in my musical development. The earliest points of reference
would be reggae since both of my parents where ex-patriots of Jamaica.
Dennis Brown, The Scientist, Alto Ellis and Horace Andy were regular
favorites of my youth who's music still carry the torch of brilliance.
Eventually hip-hop made it's broad stroke into my life and I was taken
aback by UTFO, Roxanne Shante, and Art of Noise. Time and resources
allowed me to indulge in the likes of Eric B and Rakim, ATCQ, Public
Enemy and RUN-D.M.C. I, however, had an inkling that this too wasn't
enough and didn't really capture the entire spectrum of music that I
was growing accustom to with my travels. In the late 90s, I began to
be inspired by various niche sounds and found some real gems like
Azimuth, Roy Ayres, Jay Dee, Horace Silver, Bob James, Marc Mac, Ron
Carter, Joyce, George Benson, Ethel Beatty, Lynn Collins, Lalo
Schiffren, Tony Allen, Joe Bataan, and Jorge Ben. These musicians
captured the very essence of music to me and really challenged me on
several levels...

Tell us about the album that's about to drop. What can we expect from the album?

Don-Ray: I'm working on two at the moment. I'm not sure which is going to drop
first. One is focused on bringing my Midnight Maraudaz podcast to
another level. I'm deeply into soundtracks and have a fascination with
where they can take someone if they're put together right. I used
to spend hours listening to the Blade Runner soundtrack and analyzing
every piece for transitions, harmonic overtones, drones, etc. I
noticed that if done right, a mix can actually be as enthralling as
any other medium of story telling. I guess it was only a matter of
time before I began creating my own mixes. I'm currently looking for
original works of nu-jazz, neo-soul, broken beat, future funk,
dubstep, afro-latin house, soul-jazz classics, and orchestral music. I
hope the spiritual element behind putting together something of this
nature carries with it a message of universality. I'm not advocating a
one world approach to musicology just to the appreciation of music.
Luckily, I've received some great music already and when I've got all
the right material and arrange it, I'll put a CD out..

Then there is my personal album. It's been years in the making. I've
been doing a few other things that have distracted me so I hope to
have it finished soon. But again, I'm not going to force it because,
when the times right, it will happen. It will incorporate various
musical elements that I feel echo the growing one world essence of
rhythm and sound, but it will be on a more personal level than the mix

So why don't you walk us through the entire process when making an
album. Does it come from an inspired thought and span around that
topic or is it just a creative collective of music that you feel will
inspire the listener?

Don-Ray: I wont deny it... I believe it's a mixture of the two. You've got the
germination of the idea of the album which could be because of a track
you made or a collective ensemble of music you've created over time
which contains similar elements. I rarely go in with a clear idea of
what it will turn out to's a process of creation and critique.
Some songs are right for a time, but don't carry through when
compiling the album. This can be for various reasons such as
establishing a theme, fitting the length, licensing, or something
along those lines. Songs that are tracked with singers or live
instrumentalist take a bit longer. It requires several interactions,
sometimes online, before the songs are actually finalized. This can be
a tedious process if you're not a lover of making music in general.
I've collaborated on songs that have taken month's to years to
complete do to scheduling and whatnot. The latest song "Breathe" on
Deborah Jordan's album, released this year, was created in 1997! It
took 12 years to complete.
Music making today is not for the faint of heart - it's tuff out here
and looks like it will only get tougher. Many have already jumped
ship, but I understand that the motivation isn't there. I respect the
ones who have continued to put music out and push the envelop.
Anyways, once the music is done, then it's mixing and mastering. Today
you can get Universal Music mastering for only a faction of what they
used to's hilarious. After that I finalize the credits and
liner notes. It's important that one gets this part right. I've
forgotten to place credits for an artist on my last CD and that artist
has continued to give me flack lol!! Artist's have big yet fragile
EGOs, so it's important to give them credit when credit is due.
Nowadays, most skip the CD creation stage and just place it online for
free. Kenetic, Ian Head, and the Dollabin crew do it up just like that
and I've done the same for a while now. My current doctrine is to
upload before you download. I've also heard the Brazilians are
encouraging this mantra..

So how long have you been working on your new album?

Don-Ray: About 3 years now. It takes a while if you want to do it right...I'm
hoping I don't pass the 5 year mark with it, however, it may be out of
my hands and god willing it will be ready before then.

mondomedeusah: Are there any singles currently out from your forthcoming album?

Don-Ray: Right now there's a single called "Rising" with Replife... it's
available at my soundcloud page for free. It's not from my album, but
it's one of the latest things I've done. Replife and I were both away
from home on Christmas in 2008 so we got together online (he was in
San Francisco and I was in Montreal) and quickly put together a
broken-beat track. Took no time. I threw in a couple of vocal samples
I had laying around from my previous sessions with Lady Alma and
everything came together in about a week. I made sure to let L.A. know
about it and that was that. It's part of my homage to the new world
order of music, if you taketh, giveth...

mondomedeusah: Will you be touring anytime soon in the future? Tell our readers where they can catch you.

Touring is something that is definately in my mind at the moment. I've
been getting mad luv in several spots around the world including
Italy, South Africa, Brazil, Japan, and the UK. I hope to make it to
all these places, however, I would like to bring something to the
people that have supported me all this time so it's important for me
to finish one of my albums soon. Fans can stay up to date by going to
my sight on Facebook...

mondomedeusah: Dope, yeah we checked it out, love it! Tell our readers where they can buy your music?

Don-Ray: Anyone can purchase my older releases on iTunes...just look for
Don-Ray. Vinyl may be a bit harder to get but Groove Distribution is a
good bet. I'm also getting ready to upload my old catalogue to Juno
Records and I have a DJ chart there as well at:

...if you want actual CDs, hit me up!

mondomedeusah: Now you are currently based in Montreal, did you grow up in Montreal?

Montreal was sort of where I found my groove. Toronto was where I grew
up but T.O. was limiting in many ways. I found that although there was
a rich pool of musicians and DJ's very few were internationally
recognized. Toronto wasn't reflective of the reality of the rest of
the world, the struggle that was necessary for most artists to reach a
higher level was missing. I was speaking to Sacha Williamson this past
summer about my thoughts on Toronto after being away for 10 years and
moving back for the summer. I told her it felt like the city was
becoming a graveyard for talent. I, however also believe Toronto was
becoming very international thanks to various advances in technology
and due to a growing immigrant population. Montreal has always been
international thanks in part to its bilingual culture; it was part of
the reason I moved. There are real world challenges here. This city
opens one up to various cultural nuances that not only inspire me
musically but socioeconomically and politically as well. All the same,
I hope to reach out a bit further beyond caring so much about where I
reside physically. The internet sees no borders....

So about your record label, how did this all evolve?

I created a record label for myself in order to help get music out.
It's called Marauder Music and it's representative of our modern
"thieving" ways. But, it's not all about theft, it's about what modern
copyright law has conceptualized as theft. In the past one would quote
music from a revered musician and that was thought of as paying one's
respects. This, I believe is a natural thing for us to do. However,
our modern society has twisted this and imposed duties on quoting from
inspiriation. It's almost like a form of taxation without
representation. Instead of musician feeling happy about being quoted,
they feel deserved of monetary recoupment. I'm not saying it's wrong,
however, I'm saying that this is the day and age we are we're living
in. We are all Marauders.

Luckily, I've worked with several labels in the past and continue to
work outside of my own label. I think that in this day and age it only
makes sense to go beyond. You don't even have to set up an official
label. Just put out what you've got.

mondomedeusah: So what artists have you worked with in the past?

I've worked with several artists. The biggest was working with
producer Daniel Lanois. This guy had worked with U2, Peter Gabriel,
Bob Dylan, Sinéad O'Connor, and many others. Real heavyweights in
music. It was total luck that he walked into my mother's African store
in the early 90s and I chatted him up. Next thing I know, we're in a
24hr none stop studio session that lasted several days long. It was
crazy! He didn't seem to need sleep or food. Just music...I was amazed
at the level of dedication and found it truly inspiring.

Lady Alma was one of my first international artists upon moving to
Montreal. We eventually got together on my first album because we had
a mutual friend in common. She did such an amazing job on "Hold it
Down" as well as "Adore" that I had to work with her. We had a great
time in the studio in Montreal and hung out afterwards speaking about
the music business and where it was going. A truly deep angel of
musical inspiration.

Fertile Ground came through the same connection I had with Lady Alma.
I heard a song called "Let the Wind Blow" while at a spot in Toronto a
few years ago and I knew they were a unique ensemble. I was lucky
enough to be given a remix to do of their music and we got along well.
This led to working with Navasha Daya (the singer of Fertile Ground)
on a song I produced called "I Know". I don't think there are too many
singers our there that have been able to transcend so many genres of
music yet still remain unique - you know her sound and that's

Deborah Jordan, to me was a late comer as I had never heard of her
until the Silhouette Brown album. However, that album was enough for
me to want to try something and Replife was good enough to hook us up.
We worked over the internet on "Breathe", her in London and me in
Montreal. She was so professional about the vocals. I hadn't had a
singer know so much about the technical side of music and still be on
top of her game as a musician. It's these rare qualities that speaks
volumes about her and why she will continue to be an important voice
to look out for...

Right now I'm remixing for Ai Laika out of Brazil and the Polyshufflez
from Tokyo Dawn Records. Things are really great and I love that I'm
connecting with so many musicians from various countries on so many
levels. Here are a couple of recent releases I've been associated

Deborah Jordan "The Light" Album Feat. Atjazz, Jneiro Jarel, Simbad
and myself. Remixes by Domu and Masirah
Replife "The Unclosed Mind" Album Feat. Dego (4Hero), Kaidi Tatham
(Bugz), Mark de Clive Lowe, Atjazz, Arch-Type, and myself..

Hey we really dig your podcast, tell our readers where they can download it.

Cool, everyone can download it to there iPod from iTunes by going to:

they can also find it on several net radio spots:

mondomedeusah: Just out of curiosity what's currently playing in your ipod?

I'm embarrassed to say, but I tend to listen to my mixes alot!(laughing)

I'm always re-evaluating's the only way to get better at
what I do. However, I do listen to Marc Mac's Soul Arrangers podcast
on iTunes...deep stuff.

mondomedeusah: Nice. What musical artists are you currently feeling right now?

I'm feeling quite a few so I hope peeps don't think I'm restricting
myself when a drop names...I'm feeling
Georgia, Crazybreed, Skye, Ye:Solar, J.A.M., and Sleepwalker at the
moment. But there are really so many more.... If the readers would
like to know what I'm feeling, they should tune into the podcast and
goto for the tracklistings...

mondomedeusah: Don-Ray, thanks for taking your time out to hang, we're loving the music, keep doing what you love!

Thanks for having me Donald, you run tight ship. Your site is where
it's at when it comes to creative arts and culture so I'm glad we
could finally link up. I look forward to working with you more - let's
continue to build.

mondomedeusah: Thanks DR!

// end of interview

Don-Ray's Discography


As Don-Ray “Foundation” (working title – in production)


Deborah Jordan (4hero, Silhouette Brown, Bugs In The Attic) “Breathe”
for the Album “The Light” also featuring production by Atjazz, Jneiro
Jarel, and Simbad as well as remixes by Domu and Masirah, Futuristica

Replife (The Politik) Feat Ki Allen“Out Of Soul” for the Album “The
Unclosed Mind” also featuring production from Dego (4Hero), Kaidi
Tatham (Bugz), Mark de Clive Lowe, Atjazz, and Arch-Type, Futuristica

Replife “Rise Up” All Massive Productions

X-Ray “Blue” Guidance/Subtitled

X-Ray “The Blue E.P.” Guidance/Subtitled

Maxelle “The French Connection” E.P. PTR

Maxelle “Maxelle” E.P. M3SD/WOMB


Ai Laika “Hit de Verano” (in production)

Solid Pleasure “Solid Pleasure” (DRʼs Remix) Afrokats

Dennis Ferrer “Lost Tribes” (DRʼs Remix) Gotsoul Records

Fertile Ground “Come 2 Me” (DRʼs Naked Remix) Gotsoul Records

Esthero “Heaven Sent” Sony/Work

Nigel Hayes/Abacus “Charlie Brown” Indepedent

Lazybatuzu “Last Nite” Emunity









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