This Is Rutherford
This is Redray and Paul Frazier
By Jennifer Ersalesi
Photo credit: Redray and Paul Frazier
While growing up in Rutherford, Redray and Paul Frazier found a common interest in music. As two brothers with musical talent and perseverance, they started out young playing music with neighborhood friends. As they mastered their art, they later landed major record label deals and got to tour with different artists. Redray and Paul are still working together and were excited to tell ThisisRutherford about their new project and their upcoming plans.
TIR: Congratulations on the new single, “The Real Thing". What can you tell us about it?
Redray Frazier: Thank you so much. "The Real Thing" is my follow up single to "Better Man" (click here to view the video) released in 2021 on the Greystone Music Group record label. It's the embodiment of several influences rolled into one, and the result of a quiet moment in my studio. In those quiet moments, I'm usually strumming on my guitar. The progressions I kept landing on lent themselves to an array of melodies so I knew it was something that I didn't want to put into the "save for later" pile. I simply did what any other songwriter would have done when an idea is flowing and saw it through. The surprise is how many people it's reached in a short period of time. I'm really happy that it resonates with listeners.
TIR: You and your brother Paul work together. What is it like to collaborate?
RF: Yes, we do. We've worked together in many capacities. From family/neighborhood garage bands to major label record deals to touring the world with David Byrne as part of his band. We're not strangers to hanging out together or working together. We are friends that happen to be brothers. We understand each other so we have an unspoken thing that works. The biggest challenge is that I live on the west coast in Portland, and Paul is in Jersey so the difference in time zones can be a minor issue. However, we do as much as we can remotely, then I inevitably fly back to the east coast to get some of that creativity and vibe that only comes from being in the same room.
We are friends that happen to be brothers. We understand each other so we have an unspoken thing that works.
TIR: Paul produced and engineered your last two singles, how many albums have you worked on together?
RF: Paul is the lead producer and engineer, and I am the co-producer. We were signed together to Epic Records in a family group and have also worked on other artists' records together but as a solo artist, this is the first time we are working together to put out my music.
TIR: What are your plans now that the single, “The Real Thing”, has been released in the US?
RF: There are plans to tour. I've been doing spot shows in and around Portland, Or. Now that venues have reopened and it feels safer, health-wise, to play shows I plan on expanding my territories more, starting with the Pacific Northwest. I'm sure that I'll do some spot dates on the east coast as well. I want to go to whatever pockets are vibing on my music. The single will be released in Europe in May, so we'll pay attention to European markets as well.
TIR: Tell us why being a musician is so important to you.
RF: It's a good time to be making music. The past two years have taught us that music/art/entertainment is ALL essential. It's essential to us as artists to lift up our communities and to be lifted up by our communities. Now that we can actually get back out and perform, it's important that we show our appreciation for each other. I missed performing during that period when we didn't know what was happening but it was more than that. I was off balance because such a large part of my existence was taken away. To now have that aspect back, coupled with being able to release new music that I'm co-producing with my brother is everything I could ask for. It's just the beginning too. The next songs are absolute fire and I can't wait to share them with everyone. In the meantime, "The Real Thing" is out and on all streaming platforms and I love the video we shot for it so I hope people continue to download, stream, watch, and share it.
TIR: You are the label owner, producer, and engineer for Greystone Music Group and for Redray. What do your roles entail?
Paul Frazier: Yes, especially during the pandemic, I've had to wear different hats. It's normal for me to produce, write, perform and engineer music but now that I started a music label with my partners, Rafael Diaz and Steven Williams, I have to think about marketing in today's world. Social Media is so important when starting an artist's career these days. With help, I am also trying to get the song out to the press on all platforms. It's a lot of work but I'm having fun doing what I always wanted to do.
TIR: You and Redray are brothers. What is it like to collaborate?
PF: It's great to collaborate with my brother. We have always been close and we respect each other's take on music. We have been playing music together and apart for a long time but now it's different because now he's putting faith in me as a label owner and trusting me to help his career.
TIR: Do you and your brother play music together?
PF: We've been playing music since we were kids. We had a group together with friends from Rutherford and cousins from New York. That was just what we needed to give us the push to pursue the life of music. Later on, my brother and I were signed to Sony and we were also together again touring with David Byrne from the Talking Heads. It seemed natural to work on yet another project together. I always believed in my brother and his music so I really thought that after starting Greystone Music Group, Redray should be an artist on our label. You can definitely hear me on bass, keys, programming, and vocals on this project.
TIR: What can you tell us about the new single, The Real Thing?
PF: The Real Thing is his latest single out with us and really are excited about this release. We are not positive about the album title yet but we look forward to getting it out very soon.
TIR: Both you and Redray are Rutherfordians and you currently live in Rutherford. How have you been able to share your interest in music in your community?
PF: Although I'm a bit older, we both went to school here in Rutherford and I look forward to playing a show here soon. We played at the Multicultural Festival at Lincoln Park this past September and we definitely want to thank the Rutherford Civil Rights Commission for having us. Now that the Williams Center is about to get going again it would be fun to play there to perform for our friends and family and hopefully develop some new fans in the area. Please Check out the Youtube video for The Real Thing and go to redrayfrazier.com and join his mailing list!