What inspired you to become a musician?
Raymond Revel: Everyone in my family was a musician. My mother, Rima Shideler, went to UCLA to study vocal performance while my father, Ray Shideler, played jazz saxophone at Kansas State University. Having two parents who were so supportive of my musical inclinations definitely encouraged me to keep pursuing this goal.
Was there a moment when your parents realized that yes, we need to get this kid lessons?
RR: According to my parents, the day after coming back from watching ‘Finding Neverland’ in theaters, I started playing ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay. Prior to that, I had never even touched the piano. I asked my parents if we knew this song. They signed me up for piano lessons. They were completely taken aback by this.
So, did this initial inspiration with Coldplay mean that they continue to be your main source of inspiration?
RR: I listen to a lot of stuff, which is why I have such a wide array of influences. I find inspiration from artists as diverse as Billy Joel, John Mayer, James Taylor, and yes, the aforementioned Coldplay. I hesitate to say that these are my only influences because my music changes depending on what I am listening to at the moment and what speaks to me.
Is there a method to how you approach your recording process?
RR: Well, first off, I try to go into the studio with an idea of how the track will sound. It can begin anywhere – a bass, vocal line, it can be anything. The process itself – it is the atmosphere that is key for me – getting the lighting, making sure I have the mood set for what I am about to do. I need to make sure that the vibe is right because that’s the only way I am going to feel comfortable.