Nicole Rayy Talks New Single “Unfinished”, Working With Doug Romanow And Career Highlights

Kat Harlton

Canada’s up and coming country sensation, Nicole Rayy, just released the video for new single “Unfinished” off of her upcoming album. Having first blasted into the Canadian Country music scene in 2012 with the release of her debut EP “Only Everything”, this led her to work with the renowned Record Producer/Writer and Musical Director Doug Romanow, whose long list of clients include Justin Bieber, Johnny Reid, and Chantal Kreviazuk. With Doug, Nicole released “Dig” and that album garnered her first hit “Fireproof” which took over the Canadian country charts in 2017 and found her headlining gigs like The Calgary Stampede and Burlington Ribfest – sharing the stage with artists such as The Chris Buck Band, Crystal Shawanda, and Joe Nichols – and being nominated for a Rising Star Award by the CMAO.

We had the opportunity to catch up with Nicole and talk about her new single “Unfinished”, working with Doug Romanow and career highlights.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest video/track “Unfinished”?

Nicole: Unfinished is actually a title I’ve had written down for quite a while. The inspiration comes from my relationship with my current boyfriend, Damon. We dated once before when we were 18 and 19 years old. Of course, relationships are hard and we ended up going our separate ways in life, but I always had the feeling our story wasn’t over, that things between us were unfinished. I wanted the video for the song to be inspired by our real life story together too, so Damon himself was in the video and we filmed it in Alliston, Ontario which is where we currently live. It is also where Damon and I had many dates back in the day, including at the Alliston Potato Festival where many of the scenes took place.

Kat: Can you talk about your relationship with renowned Record Producer/Writer and Musical Director Doug Romanow, and how that relationship has helped your career?

Nicole: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Doug! We started working together back in 2014 and he really took the time to help craft my album “Dig”. We went down to Nashville together and Doug set up writes with many talented songwriters and many of the songs from “Dig” were born on that trip. In the studio Doug really pushed me to record some of my best vocals and continued to do beyond the album when we worked together on my singles “Fireproof”, “That’s What You Get Boy” and “Bad Habit”. Doug has worked with both pop and country artists, and he really helped to deliver the cross over sound that I wanted for my music. Doug continues to be a great supporter and friend and I’m so thankful to have worked together.

Kat: Is there an artist you’d like to perform with, that you haven’t had the chance to yet. Or a song you’d love to do a cover of?

Nicole: There are many dream artists on my list that I would love to perform with including Shania Twain, Kelly Clarkson and Eminem; yes I like all genres of music. Currently though I am hooked on Marren Morris, I’m obsessed with her new album and would LOVE the chance to share the stage with her one day.

I’ve definitely had the feeling many times over the years where I hear a song by another artist that I love, or I resonate with so closely that I wish I had written it myself. Right now it’s “Uh Huh” by Jade Bird. I cover it in my sets a lot a lately but I would love to record my own version of it too!

Kat: You’ve performed at The Calgary Stampede and Burlington Ribfest, sharing the stage with artists such as The Chris Buck Band, Crystal Shawanda, and Joe Nichols – and have been nominated for a Rising Star Award by the CMA Ontario. Does anything stand out as a career highlight for you?

Nicole: All wonderful moments in my career for sure, but I have to say one of my ultimate highlights is performing at the World Music Festival in Shanghai China. I’ve been lucky enough to perform as a part of the festival for the past four years and it’s been an unbelievable experience. To go all the way to the other side of the world and have people excited about my music is so surreal. I’m looking forward to being a part of the festival again in 2020!

Kat: What’s next?

Nicole: I’ve got an EP all ready to go that I’m excited to release titled “All Woman”. It is a really special project to me. It includes 6 songs, 3 of which I recorded with producer Doug Romanow and 3 which I recorded with Brian Howes and Jason Van Poederooyen. I don’t have an official release date yet, but I’m looking forward to sharing it soon. Keep you posted!

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