..As Naked As You Can Get

Being a songwriter is a beautiful challenge. I'm grateful for my abilities and I've been able to use the act of songwriting as deep therapy. When I write, I dig into my mind and soul to find out how I'm really feeling. What do I feel good about? What is hurting me? Writing takes me to a fantasy land. Where the party is always fun, the love is always flowing, and any heartache is fixed with a melody. 



My mind is constantly expanding. I welcome my emotions, whereas when I wasn't writing, I shut my feelings out. Sometimes it's hard, too. This pressure to constantly make something that people will enjoy and connect to. Because, part of it is, I write and create to connect with other people. If I go through a phase where I can't make any art, it's like falling into a black hole. If weeks go by and I'm not writing, I start to feel...almost useless. You know? I don't know if people really understand the emotional journey a writer/composer goes on to create a piece of music.  It's cliche, but it's as naked as you can get. Being a creative person is all I have; when I give a song, sing a song, release a song - I'm giving all of me and leaving it for you to take with you, do with it as you please; love it, dance with it, cry with it - or leave it behind.

Instagram @rayceejones

Instagram @rayceejones

Writing for other people is a little different. It's a little less emotionally taxing. You get to collaborate with others and dig into their world. Parallels are drawn, but also new perspective on certain situations come to light. Songs can have completely different outcomes than you originally planned. Maybe a love song started out with a bad ending, and when you write for someone else that love song has the fairtytale ending. My favorite thing about writing is the opportunity to connect with other writers, finding out we are going through (or have gone though) the exact same thing. We can finish each other's ideas - it's really something special. That is the chemistry you should never lose. If you find those people, don't let anything come between that. 



Writing is like a relationship, you have to know very personal things about one another. If you want to create a song with depth, a song that will transcend; you have to dive into each other's minds! You have to work on it, learn each other's thought patterns, what excites you both, what inspires you? It's personal and REAL. That's why I love songwriting - the realness you experience is freeing and refreshing. In a world full of blurred lines and messy people, it's essential to find what is real to you. That is songwriting for me. 

c. Beth Laschever 

Black Magic

Black Magic focuses on the idea of being in love with being a dreamer. I've had many moments with myself where I'm trying to figure out if I'm awake or dreaming. Could this really be happening? You know the feeling when you are dreaming, and you wake up longing to fall back asleep and pick up where you left off? That's how it feels to me to be a dreamer in a world that sometimes stifles creative minds.

Be a dreamer, even if it feels heavy sometimes because it's such a roller coaster. It can seem scary, lonely, dark, but I promise it's actually extremely rewarding, essential, and exhilarating. It's emotional; but emotions are real and yours are valid. We are programmed from a young age to reject dreams and to suppress how we truly feel. To think realistically. To have backup plans. But what is reality, what is a backup plan? What are we so afraid of? The man preaches that whatever you dream about, should just be a hobby. But, I want my full time job to be my dream. I'm very fortunate to have grown up surrounded by an extremely supportive family and group of close friends. I owe them a lot - they've given me the courage to carry on with my music. 

I'm learning to fall in love with the unknown. Learning to be powerful in that ambiguity. If I am strong when I feel unsure, I will be unstoppable when I am secure. It's all a lesson and building my character. Allowing me to be a pioneer for the dreamers, allowing me to shed light on the fact that having a wild imagination and big ideas enhances your quality of life. That it is not a waste of time to think outside of the box. My life is an adventure and I don't want it any other way. So maybe it won't be simple, I won't have all the answers, there are no guarantees - but I will never be bored or unfulfilled. 

Tell me my dreamer state is my true self and the day-to-day survival life is the dream, and when I wake up - I'll be an awakened Dreamer. I need it all. Give me the good, the bad, the Black Magic.

The Bomb

c. Beth Laschever

Some days I feel like a warrior. Some days I feel like I want to crawl into a hole and hide. Some days I feel like everyone gets me. Some days I feel like all I've got are my own thoughts. And in understanding the gray space, I became somebody. It was important for me to acknowledge that I don't have to move mountains every day to know that the universe is conspiring in my favor. I think everyone should have a place for themselves in this world to be free and mentally escape. I found a place that only I know and when I need to revive myself, I go there. 

Enjoy life, man! Do some things for yourself. There will be people who don't get that and you know what - sometimes it doesn't matter what people think! People don't always understand your very simple need to just get down. But hey, you know, Whatever Forever. Act with love and respect and get out there and BE somebody.

c. Beth Laschever 

Do whatever makes you feel good in the moment. It's okay to be loud or to be quiet; happy or somber. Don't let ANYBODY tell you it's wrong to order from Grub Hub twice in the same day, and don't feel bad for cutting a rug until 5am two days in a row. We waste so much time getting down on ourselves. We should spend more time enjoying, loving who we are, being good to our mind and body, and being surrounded by people that make us shine. 

The Bomb is about having a moment with yourself. You're doing your hair in the mirror and singing to yourself. You're dancing in your bedroom like Beyonce, looking back at it - just really feeling yourself! You feel like DYNAMITE and anyone that doesn't know that you are, just doesn't know it YET. Life is your party, make it whatever you want! Play whatever music you want or sit in silence. Slam a shot of whiskey or drink tea. Love a boy, love a girl or love both. There's no right or wrong way to live. BUT there is one rule: If you are at somebody else's party, you only have two options: get down or get out. You are the bomb. Now let's get out there and blow them away. 

Recording The Bomb at Platinum Studios //  2AM

The End

raycee jones-the end

I wrote The End 4 years ago. I was in a very reflective part of my life.

We've all had relationships with people, either friends or lovers, where you give your whole world to the person. You sacrifice and exhaust yourself, even lose yourself. Sometimes you allow yourself to lose control, say things you'd never want to say, use all of the words you can think of - hoping just one of those things will make the other person see what you want them to see or feel how you want them to feel. At a certain point though, you've got to give up and walk away from toxicity. And one day you will wake up and realize, it's over; there is no more. The End. There's no more story or fantasy to live in and hide with. We stay so much longer in situations we shouldn't because of comfort. The idea of working on ourselves, being reflective and acknowledging things we don't want to is hard. It's easier to stay with what we know, even if it's no longer benefiting us. In allowing yourself to admit that it's over, you gain a sense of freedom. The burden starts to lift and now you can start the process of letting go, moving on and becoming your better, healthier self.

I was tired and hurting, and this song just fell out of me and on to paper. I remember vividly sitting in my first Brooklyn apartment on Bedford Ave in Bedstuy; out of energy and things to say. I could only face the situation for what it was. I had life ahead of me, it was time to put the feelings into a song, and move on.

And I did, and I now really do know what it feels like to be free; to discover myself again.  So while it is a song about heartbreak, there is that whisper of hope. That at the end there is a new beginning, and sometimes we need & deserve a restart.

raycee jones - the end 2

Every time I perform this song it resonates very deeply within me. My heart pounds and I have to take deeper breaths, but my voice is strong. The End lives in a place of extreme healing and self discovery. I'm grateful for this song and the ability to hopefully let it connect with others who have felt the same. Let everyone have a moment of acknowledging that we all deserve something so simple - to be free and happy.

Take a listen to the song in full and let me know what you think. Listen here.

waking up

today, like every other day

we wake up empty & frightened.

don't open the door to the study and begin reading.

take down a musical instrument

let the beauty we love be what we do.

there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

don't got back to sleep

you must ask for what you really want

don't go back to sleep.

people are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch

The door is round and open

Don't go back to sleep

 - Rumi

Quick Trip to LAlaLand

The last few months have been the start to a new adventure for me! Jumping on the road solo has been a tremendous experience so far. I'm overcome with emotion knowing where this road has the potential to take me. 

I kickstarted with a little trip to LA for the VMAs! After a few hour delay, I finally landed in Los Angeles at the glorious hour of 3AM. With bags under my eyes & in my hands, I headed to West Hollywood. With a full weekend ahead of me, I knew what I had to do - pass out like a champ! 

Waking up with a view of palm trees ain't a bad thing! I popped out of bed, and by "popped out of bed" I mean, I slowly sat up. Okay! First things first, I forgot my toothbrush .. CVS, please? In my NYC programmed brain, I'm thinking - no problem! just walk to the closest store and grab one. But, Dorothy was not in Kansas and a simple trip to CVS turns into a 30 min cruise. Which was fine, after all, can't I consider this vacation? 

I brushed my teeth and hit the streets of LA. Brunch at Blu Jam Cafe, a coffee meeting across town and a little thrift shopping at Wasteland. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a sunny Friday. We headed home to get fancy (yes, alright, cue Iggy & Charli) and headed out to the Next2Shine showcase. The night consisted of providing emerging artists with a platform to show some of their original material. An overall inspiring time with performances by Ginnette Claudette , August Rigo Nick Boddington  to name a few. I finally got to meet the very talented, Aarahdna (Do yourself a favor and check her out. I have this song on repeat.) who was hanging in the crowd. All very gracious people on top of being completely entertaining. I went to bed grateful & full. 

The weekend continued with guest appearances from home friends, an essential stop at In-N-Out Burger and drinks at the W. I got to spend Sunday in the hills with Mr. Dru Decaro at his home studio. Aside from being Miguel's guitarist, Dru's got some super fly projects going on. Check out the smoothness that is Monomaniac here. Looking forward to getting back to LA soon and connecting with these mega creative people. 

To say I left fulfilled would be an understatement; I was rejuvenated and ecstatic about this next step in my life. A last minute decision, led to a weekend spent making new friends and getting a taste of the future! However, I did miss my jungle. The palm trees are beautiful, but nothing beats chasing a dream on this concrete. I'll see you soon, LaLaland. Now back to reality..