RW Roldan - 10 Questions Music Interview
RW (Ray William) Roldan grew up listening to Elvis, Hank Williams, Rick Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and George Jones and has fond memories of his grandfather, a drummer, telling him stories and playing Jim Croce and James Taylor for him. RW had been recording under various band monikers since emerging with his debut album In California Country in 2006. After years of leading the popular ensembles Swing Samurai and Broke Fence (and recording under those names), Roldan released Can You Feel This. Teaming with engineer and producer Max Allyn of The Outpost, the13 soulful tracks provide a deeply emotional experience. Roldan has recorded with famed musicians like Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), John J.T. Thomas (Bruce Hornsby), Rick Shea (Dave Alvin, Rosie Perez), Bruce Watson (Rod Stewart), Chuck Kavoorus, and Brad Cobb (Tori Amos), David Chamberlain (Roy Buchanan, Manhattan Transfer). Ray's band also includes Mark Hayes (lead guitar) and Luke Hayes (drums). Roldan's two Swing Samurai albums have received extensive airplay throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia, and songs from those were featured on compilations with greats like Tim McGraw, Billy Yates and The Bellamy Brothers. RW Roldan is one of the artists who will be featured on BWH Music Group’s On Peace Street, a compilation album featuring 19 songs about peace and social justice. What is the name of the song you have on Peace Street? "The Color Of" by RW Roldan
What is the inspiration behind your song? Or, what is the song about? It's about what I perceive as the the part of our society that are taught to judge people through fear and ignorance! I just would like to reach a point where we embrace first; I believe that if you look for the best in someone you may find the best. It's not a perfect plan, but it beats letting hate and fear guide your wagon.
How did you write your featured song? Or, can you describe your songwriting process?
I started with the line What makes The Color Of A Mans Skin a Capitol Crime and I put it to a waltz time. Add a life time of experiences and you've got a song.
Who are your major music influences? Oh lord, so many. Johnny Cash, Merl, George Jones, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earl, Patsy Cline, John Prine, Blaze Foley, Guy Clark, Howlin' Wolf, T Bone Walker, The Flying Burrito Brothers, CSNY amd on and on.
When you wrote this song, did you have a goal in mind? For example, were you trying to raise awareness about an issue that’s close to your heart? I am definitely trying to start a discourse on this subject and its working. People love it and its message, and some folks completely disagree with the message. I love that. I'm not the bringer of the only truth, I'm the bringer of a truth that I believe in. If enough folks are willing to talk, maybe being heard will be enough.
How did you get started in music?
I've been an artist my entire life. I've been blessed with a need and ability to create and be inspired by the life that touches me.
Of all the songs you’ve written, what was the most challenging and why?
When I wrote Lauryn's Song, which was about my wife and our life together, I had to be careful to keep it real and not cliche' or cheesy! This is very close to my heart, to our heart. It's hard to put something so important into 4 minutes or so.
How do you think music help promote world peace and social justice? Do you have a favorite social justice song?
I believe that music and art are the most powerful and invasive way to touch the heart of the global population. Music and Art are the physical manifestation of God's voice. Whatever you may believe God to be, I believe it's a force bigger than all of us combined.
What’s coming up in the future? I'm signed with a label out of Nashville called Allswell and were putting videos, live shows and many other gifts for our fans and soon to be fans. My new album is called Can You Feel This and I believe most folks are looking for just that. To truly feel something that's real.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Check Google, Youtube , Instagram and all the other platforms. And reach out if you want me to play in your town. Peace! RW Roldan