Ray Prim Is Living His Rock & Roll Dream One Inspirational Song at a Time

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Photo by Sean Mathis

For Austin-based singer/songwriter Ray Prim, the journey to the stage was a circuitous one with an unlikely catalyst – a Depeche Mode concert he attended in his mid-twenties. “I decided after that show that I wanted to be on stage and perform,” Prim tells Texas Music Cafe®, “and then fell in love with the art of writing songs.”

While he may have been a late musical bloomer, Prim has clearly made up for lost time. The affable tunesmith recently accomplished a lifelong bucket list feat, performing at Austin’s iconic Paramount Theatre. “It felt like I got close to that Depeche Mode show that started this whole journey,” he says.

“I don’t let anything business-wise decide what I do musically. It won’t come across the same if I did. I write about whatever feels true to me.”

Ray Prim

Now Prim is taking his inspirational brand of indie folk-rock on the road, announced as the opening performer for Jo James Band’s studio taping at the Texas Music Cafe® in Waco on August 24th.

“I’ve been told that my shows are a mixture of comedy, inspiration and music that makes you want to dance and think,” Prim explains. “This one girl told me after a show that my music was ‘sexy music with a message.’ I’ll take it!”

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Ray Prim

For an artist who shuns commercial considerations in favor of uncompromising personal expression, those kinds of candid live show reactions are ultimately the greatest barometer of success.

“I don’t let anything business-wise decide what I do musically,” Prim states emphatically. “It won’t come across the same if I did. I write about whatever feels true to me.”

That authenticity is evident on the aptly-titled “Mr. Midlife,” a showcase for Prim’s talent at transforming life’s uncomfortable truths into cathartic music with a healthy sense of humor. “It’s a song about me dealing with getting older and having to deal with the fact that there are more days behind me than there are in front of me,” he reveals. “Anxiety is no joke. I’ll play it that night.”

Though his melodic songcraft is certainly worthy of mainstream recognition, Prim is additionally honing his craft behind the scenes as an in-demand producer and mixer. “I just hope I can get better at mixing and producing other people’s music,” he says. “I’ve been working hard on my mixing skills.”

Up next for Prim is an album release celebration in September at another of Austin’s most revered venues, 3Ten Austin City Limits Live. It’s just the latest accomplishment in Prim’s continually unfolding musical dream, one he manifested into reality simply by following his passion with uncompromising integrity.

“There’s no one thing that inspires my creative process,” Prim explains. “Sometimes a melody comes out of nowhere. Sometimes I’m in a songwriting group and I have to sit down and write. Sometimes I’m just practicing scales and an idea will pop out of nowhere.”

However the muse strikes, Prim has clearly figured out how to channel it into the kind of authentic, emotionally resonant music that sticks with an audience long after the show is over. For a taste, catch his opening set before Jo James Band’s taping in Waco – a rare chance to experience the magic of great live music in an intimate studio setting.

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