Contemporary R&B artist Arin Ray parlayed appearances on TV’s The X Factor into work as a songwriter for names like Jason Derulo and K. Michelle before making his full-length solo debut with 2018’s Platinum Fire on a major label. Artists including but not limited to Ty Dolla $ignand VanJess contributed to the singer and songwriter’s second album, 2022’s Hello Poison.
During the first season of The X Factor in 2011, the Cincinnati native was eliminated as a member of the bootcamp-stage group Intensity. He returned in 2012 for the second season, mentored by Britney Spears, and finished tenth. Ray self-released a single, “Turn It Up,” in 2013, but within a couple years had co-written songs for Jason Derulo(“Love Like That”) and Chris Brown (“KAE”). Ray resumed solo work with the Phases EP in 2016, the same year he was credited with co-writing songs for the likes of K. Michelle (the charting single “Ain’t You”), Ro James (“Ride”), DJ Mustard (“Another Summer”), and Jahkoy(“Don’t Stop the Vibe”).
In 2018, Ray made his major-label debut with Platinum Fire on Interscope. The album featured collaborations with Terrace Martin, Nez & Rio, and Childish Major, among others. Included was the single “We Ain’t Homies.” A deluxe version of Platinum Fire followed later that year and added three more songs including “Always” featuring Babyface. In December 2019, he came back with the Kehlani-featuring Phases II EP.
It would be over two years before Ray returned with new material in the form of seductive single “The Mood” featuring D Smoke. It arrived on Interscope in April 2022, just two months before it showed up on Ray’s second long-player, Hello Poison. That album also included several collaborations, including tracks with VanJess, Ari Lennox, and Ty Dolla $ign. ~ Andy Kellman & Marcy Donelson, Rovi