Meet the soon-to-be-legend who has performed with B.B King, Buddy Guy, and Bonnie Raitt...all before getting his driver’s license.
What were you doing when you were a teenager? Well, if you're Los Angeles–based 15-year-old Ray Goren, you were writing music and releasing a five-song EP produced by Grammy Award–winner Steve Jordan. Heading to San Francisco for a show at Biscuits and Blues on August 28th, the singer-songwriter sat down with 7x7 to share his influences and love of performing live.
7x7: What made you pick up a guitar at such a young age?
RG: “Music has always been a huge part of my life. I had been playing the piano since I was nine, and was really interested in jazz guitar. I was trying to search for some videos on Youtube, and a typing error actually led me to B.B King’s music. It definitely broadened my horizons with the music I listen to today—everything I like has blues influence.”
7x7: You've been described as a prodigy. Um, no pressure!
RG: "There is a lot of pressure, but I think it drives me to create more music and push myself as an artist. I've been making music for a while, so I don't really think much about being called a prodigy."
7x7: What was it like working with Grammy Award–winner Steve Jordan?
RG: "It was a very comfortable environment. I have an aunt who lives in New York, so, in 2011, I visited her and connected with him. I had written a lot of songs, so we ended up hanging out and discussing music."
7x7: Do you have any rituals when you write or perform?
RG: "I have a strategy while writing. I first lay down the chords, then the melody, then I start writing the lyrics. Before I perform live, I like to listen to fast-paced, hype music. My music selection is always super varied, sometimes I'll listen to Stevie Ray, and then other times I'm in the mood for Ariana Grande. I listened to a lot of The Weeknd and John Mayer for this EP especially."
7x7: How do you feel about live performances?
RG: "I love performing, it's one of my favorite things to do. I get such a huge adrenaline rush before I go onstage. Biscuits & Blues is a really great venue and has a great atmosphere. I also plan on touring through the Midwest in October, so I'm really excited about that."
7x7: 5 artists you'd love to work with:
RG: "That's a really tough one. I'll say Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Freddie King, and The Weeknd."
7x7: What does Ray Goren the teenager like to do?
RG: "When I'm not practicing music, I like to be with friends and family. Music is just such a big part of my life. I like basketball though. My favorite team is the Knicks, even though they're terrible."
Ray Goren's debut EP Songs For You is now available on iTunes. He will be performing at Biscuits and Blues (401 Mason St.) on August 28th.