Aden Ray – ‘We are a small country, but we know what good music is!’

Estonia kicks off it’s selection process for Lisbon this weekend with the first semi-final of Eesti Laul.  We were delighted to be able to speak with one of the artists competing in Saturday’s show, Aden Ray.  We asked Aden about his song ‘Everybody’s Dressed’, his hopes and plans for the future and why this opportunity would mean so much to him.

Hello Aden, congratulations on being selected for the final stages of Eesti Laul.  We know that you started singing at a young age, could you tell us a little about your career to date?

Thank you! Well, I started pretty late haha!, I started singing professionally when I turned 12. Before that I was singing in church choir and in a school choir. As a kid I was trying a lot of different things: i was playing tennis , football and was doing yacht sport.

During those school years i was singing in the corridors in school between the classes, but I was wearing big glasses and didn’t look like a fab kid.  Then one day one of my friends asked me to go with her for a walk and she dragged me into a vocal studio. I was shaking and I didn’t know what to sing when the teacher asked me to. But I sang a Britney Spears song – ‘Sometimes’ and the next day the vocal coach asked me to sing at a big event. And I did, although my feet were shaking, so basically this is how it all started. I can say, that the fact that I started to perform and sing, changed my life totally.

Then I started to write and produce music and of course I was performing everywhere.  Later on I met some great people, who are now my team that I’ve been working with since then. Together we started our music production company, Global Movements Media, and we are now producing music for me and for other artists across lots of different genres, from pop to opera.

I’m also writing music soundtracks for apps. My biggest and most famous works were for ‘Atomus’, ‘Flasia’ and ‘Triple X’. ‘Atomus’ was downloaded more than 2 million times. I love composing these soundtracks.

And how did you come to be involved with this year’s Eesti Laul?, is it something you always planned to do, or were you approached and asked to submit a song?

Actually no, I was always participating in contests from early age, but I never liked it. I’ve never really thought that music is right for a competition, because we can’t really compare, for instance, who is better, Elton John or Madonna. And especially their music. This is crazy. 

In my case, I was in the country during the submission time and I saw the invitation to Eesti Laul 2018. I had a great song, that I wanted to share to the world and as we all know, Eurovision is huge! So I decided to participate. It’s an amazing platform for artists where we can show something new to the audience. The world is not limited to listening just to the likes of Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez. Eurovision is a great platform for new artists to show what they got!

Have you followed the Eesti Laul and Eurovision in recent years?, are there any songs or artists that you have enjoyed or been inspired by?

I haven’t followed it that much actually. But of course, I know some great songs that have come from Eurovision. My all time favorite is Chiara from Malta and her song ‘Angel’, also  Marija Šerifović – ‘Molitva’ and the recent winner also, Conchita Wurst. So many to mention and lots of great artists.

Can you tell us a little about your song?, is there a message in the song?

‘Everybody’s Dressed’ was written and composed by me. This song is about us people, wearing masks in our lives. It’s like we are always wearing good clothes, making our hair done and so on, trying to look better and nicer. But the main thing is that at the end of the day, when I meet people, I don’t see their «faces» (like in the song I’m singing), like who they really are, how funny they can be, how easy going they can be)) And only when love comes to our hearts, that is the time when we can become bright, like sunshine, real and natural, like who we really are. We don’t have to be scared of being who we are. So those masks, those fake feelings are making us sad and sometimes stressful. So, the last verse is about how we must fight and not be afraid to be who we are. So, in the end we will all feel blessed and loved and happy.

The song has been released now for a few weeks, what was the initial reaction to the song being published, were you pleased with the feedback?

I love being heard, I mean I love when people are listening and analyzing, when people listen to lyrics too. And what is most important for me is when my music is making an impact on people’s lives. Yes, I’m always pleased with the feedback to my music, whether someone likes my music or not, it’s still important. Even when we get any emotions, whether bad or good ones.

‘Everybody’s Dressed’ has secured some great early chart success.  What is more important to you?, having a big hit in Estonia, or winning the Eesti Laul and being able to showcase the song to an international audience?

For me the most important thing is to be able to deliver the love, to a bigger international audience, to the world. And by that, what is even more important, is that when my music helps people to understand themselves more and to understand and love people around them more.

What would it mean for you to represent your country at Eurovision in Lisbon?

It’s a big honour and I would be so proud to do that and to say to the World – “Hey you, we are here living in a small country, but we know what the good music is!” So people from other countries will learn more about musicians from Estonia, from our culture, from the things that are inspiring us to create this kind of music and so on. Of course it would be a great feeling.

And what is next for you?, are there any other projects you are working on?

I’m making a music video for ‘Everybody’s Dressed’ song right now and also I’m working on a very cool new remix version for the song, that would be released in a few weeks, so keep an eye on my spotify channel!  And also with my music, I am working on a few albums to release in different styles including Pop, R&B/Soul and house.

I also spent a few years in The Philippines and I was making music there and I was making some radio and tv appearances. I loved country so much, so I composed a song ‘The Philippines’, that’s a very cool song and project in general. Right now I’m recording a choir for it, I already recorded main vocals for it. So I’m super excited to make this project happen

I’m also working on a show right now. I’ll be recording some interesting interviews with interesting people. I have a concept for it already and I’ll be going around the world to meet these people. I’m planning to start it on youtube on my channel:

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us Aden, I wish you the best of luck in the competition.  Before we go, do you have a final message for our readers?

As a matter of fact I do. Listen to the great music that sticks to your heart, and that makes you feel good; helps you in your life; that teaches you something, that tells you a story; that is the most important music book of love for your life.

I love you all! And I’m doing that everything only for you and to you! Without you and without your support I won’t be doing that. Of that I’m sure.

You can follow Aden in the first semi-final of Eesti Laul with our Live Blog right here on on Saturday evening, and in the meantime you can listen to ‘Everybody’s Dressed’ here:

If Aden Ray is one of your favorites in the first semi final of Eesti Laul, make sure you cast your vote for him in our poll here:

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