What Happened To Nicole Wray After Creating Hits With Missy Elliot, Timbaland & More | #FindingBET | Facebook

BET 3.2M Views
  • 30.4K
  • 10.5K
  • 1.8K

Nicole Wray's roller-coaster career proved that her voice and passion made her a force to be reckoned with. From teaming up with Missy Elliott, and...
Before the Rihanna's before the T Marie, I was the first female to be signed to Rockefeller Records. I need to say more stuff out loud because this is happening. In my household, I would have to say it was a little bit of church and kinda like rock and roll. We will go to church just like any black family. I was raised in church. It felt like seven days a week. I went to church. I think there's when I first found that love for music and I wanted to like be a singer. But outside of that, I would watch my dad saying all the time he would do a lot of leads in church in the church Choir and I felt like if my dad can do it like I always wanted to be like him once he left, I think. When I wanted to sing and be seen so he can come back. I think that was my whole perspective on it. That was my goal. I was about to try and get into the industry. I was going somewhere and they would go up into the devotions and it was like a path church. I'll never forget and my mom had put you put the little prayer in a box and she said. I would like you guys to pray for miss. Nicole and sister Ray. They're going out of town to take a meeting with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the pastor got up he. Disregard the prayer They're serving the devil and I like my heart like drop and I think that was the pivotal moment that kinda deterred me a little bit cuz I didn't have that that motivation around me to say let's go gospel because I could have easily went gospel, but I think that moment it kinda just broke my heart and it kinda left some type of void my whole career. I felt like it left some type of void there. Missy Elliott discovered me she was looking for a female singer and my. Was like I got I got somebody my sister. She's a singer, you know and I guess they exchanged numbers. My mom called me and said, Melissa Elliott is at the House and she wants to meet you. I'm walking. I'm like Melissa Elliot and I get in the House and she's there and she said she was working with Joe and this guy named Timberland and she was like well, sing something for me and you know back in Dallas. just blessed out singing loud and she's like Oh my God. you remind me of a little Mary, a little Mary J Blige. I was just so blown away cuz. Middle School and my Middle school was right directly across the Street from Macy's Mom House and so I would walk over to her House after school and she will have meetings with her group and and then one day she asked my mom if she could take me to Philadelphia and I think that's when we embarked on Nicole is gonna be an artist. She was like. I'm gonna get you a record deal and at the time I was like record deal you know if you're a kid, you're like record deal Okay and she got me a freaking record deal at 17. Yeah. Yeah. During my record came out, I was still in school and nobody believed that I had met puff puff daddy Little Kim faith Evans was hanging out with faith and nobody believed me everybody was like she's lying and my video came on in the cafeteria and lunch where everybody has their lunch trade. Let us watch BT and my video came on make it hot and everybody like surrounded the lunch table like she was not lying. That's Nicole. That's her video. Being on a set of make it hot video was a Dream come true. everybody there. There was a part of we had like a Super Super friend camp. It was myself you got Missy Missy Timberland genuine Ali came. I mean the list goes on. it was so many people that was there for my first single. The set was insane in the dancing and it was just a lot going on and it was it was exciting and I was Super young, so I wasn't in engaging in any like drinking and. So I was out there. It's like Super like yeah. I'm happy to be here. It was just mind blowing to be from a small town. I felt like I made it not knowing that I made it, but I just felt like being surrounded by so much good energy. that makes you had my back and I was in school in my page goes off and it's silver and I'm like trying to get some change to put in the payphone in high school to call to call the number back. But when I got home my mom, she was so excited she was like Sylvia called she said the single this gold, It's only been like four weeks and I think back then it was no social media. so we had none of that. Draw people in it was just all about charisma cuteness if you could if you had some damn talent, so I felt like I had something for my single to go goal and nobody in the world to know who I was and to be stamped by Missy Elliot in Timberland. Better not wonder was just Missy, putting me on the phone early on to speak with the static over the phone, so he can hear me sing and get a kind of idea of my tone and he told Missy Nicole star everybody that I worked with back then I think he was the main one that kinda wanted to get to know what was going on in my mind and I listen to a lot of songs today and I know that that song writer has sitting down with that artist because you get that you you you're pulling out truths and he will. Out real stuff that I would tell him outside of recording and he would write it like as if I wrote it and I will get in there and singing and it was just it was just amazing. I just I'll never forget it like his face like how he felt he was whoo like I got recordings like with him like like that's a good tape. Let's keep that one you know you wanna always wanted to hear that. The album still did good it just didn't. I don't think he did is great as to make it hot. The single did I just remember like not feeling comfortable anymore like not feeling so sure that I can do this. I felt like I don't know what's going on. I don't know if they still believe in me, I was a new artist and everybody was confused of what the hell to do with me cuz you get that you get that. When you're out there, you know they're they don't know what is gonna hit and what's gonna miss. I just felt like maybe I should just kinda. In another direction or just that's what that's what I was feeling, but I didn't know how I would do that. I just knew that it just didn't feel the same as it was in the beginning you hating you missed and I learned that in my journey and you can't you can't my mom said. You can't cry over spilt milk. What you do. you're cleaning up. you get your butt up and you do something else. and that's what I did. Missy was that artist that everybody wanted a piece of I mean I'm talking about everybody and their mama needed to have a piece of her and Timberland, and I felt just honored and grateful that I she was like a sister to me. My sophomore album was titled Electric Blue. This is when I started writing this is when I remember Michael Blue Williams. He was managing me and he said. You know what you need to do you need to pick up a pen and you need to start writing and that's when the light bulb went off and I think I might have been like 20 - 220 - 120 - two. When I first like I'm taking myself seriously as a writer. I'm looking for someone to hold on to looking for you. I'm looking Everybody just let me just be myself and she wants to write. let her write and I wrote. I'm looking that was one of the first songs that I wrote and everybody was so excited and I was like wow. She's you know really gonna do well, you know as a songwriter. Inside show na ito ang training i just like also excited working on myself and thanks for the same time i told you understand um voters happening with the second because i have already recorded i was never shall i decided to walk out of the situation because there was no nurse me there's nothing there are needed in the only extra head the excess of I wanted to keep going. I didn't wanna be on the back burner. I didn't wanna wait the information that I got. it was that we're signing these other artists and maybe you have to kinda slow it down. I talk to Missy and I was like I wanna just move forward. I think that it was just not enough time to nurture what I was doing as a young artist because of her mega success. Sometimes I feel a mother shouldn't have a whole bunch of children. I've been all around, I said. I've been everywhere but I have found but until then my heart is true, but I can't wait so much love inside, but I still have not found someone for me. When I moved back to Virginia, I started making putting the artist to the back. Artist Nicole Backseat and I think that's where the fans kinda get lost. I was writing and doing a lot of things to just stay above water and that's what I was doing so I did some stuff for three L W when they first hit the scene. there's some gospel stuff with Pam and Donna. so I was kinda like becoming that writer mentor. You know behind the scenes person that I never thought that I would even be able to handle. I met Damon Dash through Kenny Burns Kenny Burns was an AR over at Rockefeller RNB division at the time. I saw a video and it was Rockefeller and it was freeway spark. It was Beanie Sigel. It was all of them and I was like I'm gonna be signing the Rockefeller. I told myself that as I try to fall asleep. And I had a manager at a time, they said. Come to New York. I'm gonna do some things for you and I went to New York packed up my little bags and from Virginia went to New York. I met this young lady from Kansas City. I'll never forget priceless diamond. The girl didn't she knew everybody. She took me everywhere that I needed to go. She took me to rock and fellow record one day and I look at this guy. He's looking at me. He's like Nicole Nicole Ray, he said. Come in my office at the time it was Kenny Burns and I just played some music that I had recorded and he was like come back tomorrow for me. Big is gonna be here and Damon Dash came in and I was inquiring studios. I'll never forget. Damon was like you're ready for this Rockefeller Lifestyle and I was like. Yes, I am and it just happened and we just started working on music and when they gave me that crown in Miami, they put that necklace around my neck, Damon Dash and big everything of Memphis bleak and rail. everybody was there. I remember when I told myself that I was gonna be signing the Rockefeller. I mean it just flashed. I remember just being at my sister's House and I was like I'm gonna be an in at that moment. I was like I'm the first female RNB at the time before the Rihanna's before. Marie I was the first female to be signed to Rockefeller Records at the time and I was just like I need to say more stuff out loud because this is happening in my life. That's how I feel and then you go. I went on the Internet. I went back home and I saw that Rockefeller records is done. Jay Z is going this way and Damon Dash. I was like what nobody told me nothing you know. so I was like here we go again like it's the lord trying to tell me something I still stay. Around after the whole, Dick, Jay Z and Damon Dash split, I still was there. If I was your girlfriend came about, we were just in the studio in the studio just driving out and we came up with this record. I think it was Ohio players sample and when I just started singing, I think back, then we were doing more jamming and jamming you just sing on a microphone you just singing in. then you go back and you listen and then you put words to it and that's what we were doing that embarked on the whole. I'm with Rockefeller. now it's a little bit. Thank you. The album Love Child went on to be just on hold it did the album never came out. I was home and there again took another break a long one and then I go back to that pastor saying what he said I love Virginia. I love it, but for me it felt like after a while, I was a fish in a tank, so I felt like I gotta get out. Cuz I cannot breathe and everybody had left everybody. that was somebody had left Virginia. so I felt like I can't be the only one here so I gotta figure out where my direction what I'm doing where I'm going. I had a situation that was happening in Atlanta and I was like this is the opportunity. I need to take it my sister and I we packed all of our things. She hooked her car onto the back of a U and we drove all the way to Atlanta and she didn't stay with me long. She was like I can't she saw that downside like me just sitting around waiting for you know opportunity. And you know that knock on the door or the phone ring and I think. She felt like wow this is you know because she love me. I think she felt like. I think she felt like at the time that like I can't. Watch her like a suffer. After having like such a great career, I think cuz I was so sad when she left. I felt like I was there myself. Damon Dash out of nowhere he reaches out to me and he says I got this group that I think it'll be perfect. You need to come to New York and I'm not gonna get you a return ticket home and we were in Brooklyn Williamsburg and I met The Black Keys. I met Dan Impact Patrick of The Black Keys and we went on to work on that black rock album that was unique cuz it was like rock meets hip-hop. Eyes love what I did so much on that album. They asked me to come and work on the brother's album that went to win three. Grammies went back home after that and I drove from Atlanta to Alabama muscle shows where all the greats we got share You got Aretha Franklin. you got. I mean so many of the greats that worked in this studio that was actually a museum and that's why I fell in love with soul music and I was like this is where I should be and that's what I that's what I just kept doing. I just kept writing and doing my own thing. This is the third situation you got Missy, You got Rockefeller and now you have rock soul that is embracing me from the Nicole from back that was with Missy. it just let me know that I have something special is a voice that is in my blood line. My father, my grandmother, my great, my grandfather. They just passed away. all of them have that it's in my blood. It's my ancestors is what I am put here to do. I'm 40 years old. Now. I have a 11 month year-old daughter about to turn one and I changed my. I changed my name from Nicole to Lady Ray. I learned that I can keep going. That's what I I've always learned to keep going and that's what I've been doing from day one. I'm scientific Cobo the biggest publishing company that's out there right now. I have a song that's popping right now on the the the theme song of the show, Barry Bill Hader, I wrote that theme song That's on HBO right now. Piece of is a new single off of my new album. It's probably gonna be called peace of me which will be out probably late November. You know you have your friend. you have you know, family and people talking at you. You know, draining you from your energy and I think is that that thing that is okay. They're like distance yourself and maybe if you have to cut somebody off, you know because they're draining you and you need to protect your energy. Nicole rate today is a mother, a daughter, a sister. A friend and a B I T C H, should ain't got time for no damn games and I will walk through any door any opportunity. That's. Ready for me what I wanna leave behind my legacy is the roots of me from my ancestors cuz it runs deep is in my blood. I cannot run I cannot hide from it. I'm gonna sing loud and hard and strong because I know it's gonna help somebody in the end and that's my legacy.

Posted 8 months ago in .