A Certain Soulfulness With Raycee Jones
Meet Raycee Jones
You and I both know that there is a certain soulfulness to do-ing; Raycee Jones, a Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter, demonstrates this oh-so-well. Her immense talent as a skilled vocalist + writer, paired with her knowingness to embrace forward motion is a match made in People Who Do heaven. We're so excited to share her story, talent, and reasons for do-ing
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
People Who Do focuses on those who excel at moving forward throughout their passions in life, why is it important to you to “do”?
It's important to me in the same way that water is important to me - because I need it. Without doing, there is nothing, there is no life. And I don't know how to be nothing, I don't know how to NOT live. My whole family is like that, too. We are independent "do-ers". It's in our blood. I keep my mind in a constant state of motion. I tend to analyze everything and try to understand my surroundings. Plus, I know if I want something done, I gotta do it myself. This constant flow of thought, paired with my determination leads to something more than just talking about it. Taking the next step; doing it. Since I was raised thinking this way, actually "doing" is an after thought, it has become a reflex.
To date, what accomplishments (of any kind) are you most proud of?
I am most proud of myself for creating myself. I think one of the scariest things in life is to sit with yourself and discover who you are. It can be a beautiful journey though, if you see it through. I spent the last year recording and writing a completely new sound; I discovered who I am, where my voice wants to take me and it allowed my songwriting to flow freely in ways I have never explored before. I wrote a ton just by going into the vocal booth and improvising over tracks, with the guidance of my god-sent-producer-turned-buddy, Robert Lux. It has been therapy. To bring that to an audience is very terrifying. The desire for them to enjoy it, especially when it's pop music, can be overwhelming. To essentially be like, "this is my heart, I hope it makes you feel something!" is an extremely vulnerable state to be in. I'm proud of myself for becoming that vulnerable and taking a leap of faith.
What is your #1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments?
"What is to give light must endure burning."
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
That I am capable. There was a point in time that I felt as though I couldn't do things on my own. For some reason, singers have to prove to other musicians that they are worthy of respect, and worthy of the title "musician"; It's a very warped concept. I want to smash that mentality into little, bitty pieces - and I am. I realized this year specifically that I am capable of achieving certain things that others tried to take away from me. Whatever I consider flaws of mine, never can, nor will, define my destiny.
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?
To check your ego! It's human nature to have an ego, but it's up to you to become aware of it. You have to control your ego, not let it control you. Think: How does your energy affect those around you? Does it make people feel comfortable or uncomfortable? I pride myself on being able to connect with many different types of people. I took a long hard look at myself and my ego, and I learned how to drop it at the door and come to the world with nothing to prove. Humility is freedom from your own driven ego. The closer you get to reaching that equilibrium, the closer you allow yourself to get to others by understanding them more. Therefore, the better the relationships around you become, the brighter you shine, the happier you are, the bigger your dreams become and the more positivity you attract to your being!
Can you describe the thrill you get from being on stage?
When I'm singing, it's like an adrenaline rush. I hit certain notes and the frequency resonates through my body and at times, can literally make my heart race. Nothing else in the world can thrill me in that way. As for when I'm on stage, I enjoy the idea that it's as though I'm leading a group of people on a journey. It's like we are walking through hallways together unsure of the destination, the only thing we are sure of is the fact that we need to get somewhere. I'm saying, "This way! Follow me!" and the people are following close behind me because they have been waiting to be freed. I aim for my live shows to take people somewhere like that.
What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?
"Wouldn't It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys. That intro always makes me feel like kicking two doors open and busting into a party like "BOOM, BABY!"
Who are the top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party?
Cleopatra, Carl Sagan, Deepak Chopra, Whitney Houston, and Jimmy Fallon.
What's your favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration?
The Notepad and Voice Memo apps on my iPhone. I jot words down that I see or hear, even sentences people say to each other. Or I hum melodies into my phone while walking to the subway. Technology is amazing like that; every fleeting creative thought I have I can capture and turn into something more later on.
What advice would you give to those pursuing the same passion?
Two things: Your art is valid. Your purpose is valid. Not only can no one take this gift away from you, but the world needs more of it! And lastly, It's important to embrace discomfort because nothing grows in your comfort zone. People think just because I am happy that I am comfortable. When it's the opposite. Life as an artist is unstable, society doesn't nurture arts or those that dream. You must create your own path because nobody else can or will. But, I have found stability in the discomfort - it means I am still growing.
What are 3 words that you want to be remembered by?
Bold, Compassionate, Real.
What’s the next goal?
To survive and to remain happy.
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look/be remembered?
Someday I want to be an old woman that still wears red lipstick and fringe jackets, sitting in a big velvet chair, telling stories of the rich life I had. I hope to leave a legacy that truly demonstrates that life is meant to be lived, and that it should be shared with people. Laughs should be hearty, tears should flow freely, nights should last until morning, we should fall in love with ourselves every day and keep our hearts open for beautiful people to come and teach us new things. I want to carry those ideas and embody that mentality so others look back and say, "She inspired me to be free."