During every Pride season there are one or
two songs that capture the mood and memory of the event like
lightning in a bottle. If you have already celebrated Pride in
your city, then you may have already downloaded that song to
your playlist. If you are still awaiting the festivities, then
the next big Pride anthem may be right on the horizon. Ray
Guell, who was born and raised in
Miami, has recently remixed
his song “Celebrate” for the Pride season, and it has quickly
become a hit among DJs at Pride. He recently spoke with Mark’s list about
writing the song, working with popular DJs and how his music
career has evolved over the last few years.
What inspired you to write the song
My inspiration for writing this track came
during several emotional challenges I was facing—the loss of my
dad and the frustration I felt due to bullying and
discrimination. Instead of writing the usual relationship
song, I decided to write a song that was more relevant and help
inspire listeners. With the Pride season upon us, I thought what
everyone needed was an uplifting song. One of my prior tracks
released was "Love Is the Answer", and that particular track
dealt more about the political challenges and the discrimination
the GLBT community faces. I guess it was my own personal
Who worked with you on the track?
I wrote the song with Giuseppe D, with whom I
have had a long- term creative relationship. We also worked
together on "Love is The Answer" and "You Don't Know Me." As for
the remixes, I brought back Twisted Dee, who did a mix for me on
"You Don't Know Me." I also brought in my friends, J.Bartet,
TimG, Julian Marsh and Lewis Martinee (producer of the group
Expose), for their remixes. Additional mixes were done by the
Klubjumpers, Giuseppe and Crugliano. For my die-hard fans from
my days doing freestyle, I used Wilson Oliver and Lazaro Franco
Do you think this song and its
remixes represent Pride?
Well, I do believe that it represents the
essence of Pride. Its message basically inspires you to believe
in yourself and all the dreams you have for yourself. Even if
you are feeling down, don’t dwell on it—it’s a brand new day. I
believe Pride is about being proud of who you are despite what
the establishment might predict is the norm. It all goes back to
the Stonewall experience—had they not stood up for what they
believed, where would we be now?
What kind of feedback have you
received from DJs?
I am super excited at how this track is
starting to develop a following with the different DJs. It takes
hard work and determination to get music out for everyone to
listen to. I am an independent artist, and I don't have the
budget that a major label has to market my music. With all of
the remixes available to the DJ's, I believe that there is
definitely a mix for just about everyone's style. Everyone is
unique and everyone is special. No one should ever be excluded.
How has your career in music evolved
over the last few years?
Well I originally started my recording
career in a genre called "freestyle" back a few years ago. I
enjoyed some success and it allowed me to venture into the Latin
dance market and "house" music. Personally, it is all dance
music that has evolved from disco—and I love disco.
Who would you like to work with?
There are so many creative people out there.
I have worked with many well-know and lesser known producers and
artists, and I would like to continue to work with people I have
worked with previously.
Where would you like to see your
career in the next five years?
I just learned a valuable lesson to live in
the present; but I must admit it is difficult, because I have
always been more focused on tomorrow than today. I find myself
trying to alter my thought patterns, but it is a daily struggle.
My original dream has always been to be on Broadway, which I
know is so far from dance music. I am also continuing to pursue
my acting career. I will be filming in New York City on an
independent film during the month of July, and I am very excited
about that. I just hope I am living in a world where we are all
respected, enjoy equal rights and can live in peace and harmony.
If I got that, then everything else would just be gravy.