Hazel Ray, the remarkable pop-soul sensation hailing from Melbourne, Australia, has recently graced the music world with her latest masterpiece, “My Demon,” released in July 2023. Produced by the legendary Steve James, whose illustrious career spans iconic bands like The Jam, Sex Pistols, and The Screaming Jets, this track is a testament to Hazel Ray’s artistry and vision. Accompanied by a visually captivating music video crafted by the talented videographer Jarrod from Ourfolklore, “My Demon” is more than just a song; it’s an introspective voyage of self-discovery, resilience, and empowerment.
Hazel, ‘My Demon’ is a powerful and introspective song. Could you share the inspiration behind the lyrics and what message you hope your listeners take away from it?”
My Demon’ is just as much about a personal journey as it is about the journey of all. Everyone at some point in their life faces the little voice in their heads that tells them that they aren’t good enough or that they won’t amount to anything. For some people these voices become so strong that it can lead them to paths in life that can be destructive to their health emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. This unfortunately/fortunately was also the case for myself. I say fortunately because it was through facing these inner Demons that has pushed me to live a more fulfilled and inspired life, aligned with my Truth. My Demon is a song of hope and strength, that no matter how dark things become, the light will always prevail. Fear is what cages souls from living their dreams. Face the fears, face the Demon, live your Dreams.
Your collaboration with renowned producer Steve James has garnered attention. What was it like working with him, and how did his expertise influence the creative process for this song?
Steve is an amazing human. Super kind and encouraging. He has one of those minds that must be running with about 50 tabs open at a time. When he is working on your track he gives you all of his attention and is already planning legendary session musos to add flare to different parts of your song from the moment you step into the recording studio. So professional and always willing to explore creative routes.
The music video for ‘My Demon’ is visually stunning. Can you tell us about the concept behind it and your collaboration with Jarrod from Ourfolklore to bring your vision to life?
I came up with the concept for the music video, upon reflecting on what it felt like to have a voice that controlled my every thought and every move. The chess game symbolised the inner fight between the moves that I wanted to make in my life and the way in which the Demon was able to override every decision to make my life a living hell. There is a scene in the film clip where I realise that there are no rules to the game if I don’t want there to be, so I pick up the Queen and place it back in the game. This is the first sign of transformation of control, which puts the Demon on edge. I chose to show the cleansing of the Demon by diving into the ocean, cleaning myself of all those negative thoughts and lack of control. Jarrod did an amazing job capturing the changes between the mental struggle and how the Demon manifests into our reality. He has such a flair for abstract concepts and bringing them to life. I was so grateful for his input and the overall outcome.
Your music has been described as a refuge and a source of healing for listeners. Can you elaborate on how you aim to connect with your audience on a deeper level through your music?
Music that offers healing, answers questions in people that they didn’t even realise they had. It offers empathy in a way that just words can’t. From there the audience feels closer to the artist as for the first time for whatever reason in that particular moment they feel seen and understood. My music can offer this to those who need it. Many of the songs that I write and many of the songs that are yet to be released, discuss the questions of ‘who am I’, ‘why am I here’, ‘what is my purpose’. These very questions are asked by every single human at some point in their life and I hope that my music will be there to guide the future generations as they look inwards to find those answers.
Your sound has been compared to the likes of Adele, Eva Cassidy, and Lady Gaga. How do you feel about these comparisons, and how would you describe your unique musical style and approach?
I am absolutely flattered that people find similarities between my music and sound with these artists. They are definitely inspirations of mine. My uniqueness comes in my very own story and the knowledge that I endeavour to share with the world. For me it’s not just about the music. I have created a unique show called ‘Asleep to Awake’ where I put 10 years of Science teaching, a neuroscience degree, song writing and storytelling together, to invite my audience to explore their true nature and the relationship between Science and Spirituality.
Can you share some insights into your musical upbringing and how it has shaped your career as an artist? Are there any specific influences or experiences from your childhood that have had a lasting impact on your music?
My Grandfather (Ray) was a musician, he played the drums. Sadly, he passed away when I was 10. I really struggled with his passing, which led me down a path of trying to understand death, afterlife. energy, spirit and ultimately how it is possible that I am a soul. I have also had some mental health battles in my life that have taught me so much about who I am and my true nature. These topics of mental health and the spiritual world , for me, overlap and I love exploring their intertwined nature in my songs.
Find out more about Hazel Ray by visiting her website