Ray Ricky Rivera
- Artist Management, Development, Marketing & Touring
At Golden Glue Mgmt, artists are first. With over a decade of hands on experience in touring, performing, booking, record production and curating events, GGM approaches management from an artist's perspective. The Golden Glue roster of talent runs the gamut from Grammy award winning artists to international touring djs, to local and regional acts in development. Our main goals are to strengthen our artists' brands and expand their presence by building relationships with like minded creatives nationally and internationally. Ray Ricky Rivera founded GGM after spending a decade as an independent touring musician both as a solo artist and band member. Ray also spent 8 years in music retail working for the iconic Amoeba Music in Hollywood. While at Amoeba, Ray assisted the Talent Buyer with in-store performances and worked with the company's web team to help develop the store's massive on-line presence. As a long time participant of the Los Angeles music scene, Ray has become a go-to tastemaker for sourcing talent, collaborating and curating for various programs and events including, Viva Los Dodgers, Tacolanida (LA Weekly) and Echo Park Rising Music Festival.
- artist management, music industry, artist and creative talent relations, retail, music performance, music distribution, event production, booking
- hip-hop, indie rock, world music, latin music
- West Coast
Let me preface this by saying, I've been a long time fan, creator/producer, and record buyer of hip hop music. Hip hop is easily the genre I listen to most and the culture I identify with best. I toured as an emcee with a local LA band for several years and performed as a solo hip hop artist for a bit. With that said, I can only honestly say I do not get excited over weed records. Back in the early 90's however, I did bump a lot of Cypress Hill and being from LA, Snoop and Dre were always in heavy rotation. Hip Hop is so vast and has so much to offer that I'm just not moved by songs that are only about getting high. It's just not for me anymore. Maybe it's because I'm not a smoker. But, with the current CBD movement and all the new laws surrounding marijuana legalization, I can't imagine there not being a HUGE audience for this (beyond your hip hop heads of course). I'm just not in that demographic. As for the production, it sounds like a demo to me. That's not good or bad, it's just what i'm hearing as far as quality. I did like the use of of the laser sound effect after "light it, light it, light it, like some lasers." That was cool... You mentioned the project is meant as "background music to a cypher or smoke sesh" and I think you definitely deliver on that. So, kudos to you for keeping the overall vibe/theme consistent. I'll offer this advice not knowing where you're at in your career, but I'll assume you're just starting to build your audience and get your name out there... Target the weed smokers. Hit up weed fests, CBD conventions etc. I know some LA rappers who've partnered with weed companies to offer their own strain. Maybe there's opportunities like that for you out there. Your niche is so specific that it should be relatively easy for you to find listeners that'll dig this. I'd also target colleges and try to hit that demographic for shows and radio play. If you'll be sending this out to music/program directors, make sure you have a radio edit ("clean version") ready to go. So, in the middle of writing this I checked out your social media pages. From the quick glance I took it looks like you've been doing things you should be. You just need to produce more content. Your IG looks good with 2,369 followers. Maybe try posting videos where you're talking to the audience and documenting the process. People love to see stuff like that. I hope some of this was helpful. Good luck to you and keep at it! Thanks, Ray
At first glance, it looks like you are doing everything you should be doing. I like how in your description you mention you are aware certain things will "come with time." Having patience and trusting the process in my opinion, is the most crucial part of this journey you're on. You clearly have talent. No doubt about that. I'd say keep doing what you're doing. Make sure you continue to engage with your community online and keep converting all those first time listeners who encounter you live. The one mistake I see most with artist I work with, is they have trouble with fan acquisition. It is absolutely vital to have an email/social media sign up list at every single live performance. If you already do this, then great! If not, you need to make sure you have a way to remind people who you are, directly. Are you familiar with Jessica Fichot? She's a Los Angeles based French/Chinese-American singer songwriter. You should take a look at the types of gigs she plays and see about doing something similar. Jessica is booked by Marian Liebowitz Artist Management. You should look into that. They might be interested in working with you. It can be hard to give advice when it appears as though you are doing everything you should be. Your album is out, you've got some press coverage, you're touring and hustling to get your name out there... keep at it.
The song feels good. You've got some nice vocal stuff going on. The sampled break at 1:16 is really cool, would liked to have heard it again. To be completely honest, I was really wanting the song to go somewhere. It's very formulaic, very safe. I can recognize this mix is aimed for radio play, which is fine but it's missing something. I can't really put my finger on it. Maybe a bridge instead of just a breakdown (at 2:17)? The chorus is catchy/strong and I feel like you could shorten the song for greater impact. You could easily edit down to at least 3:00 and still have everything you need. Forgive the comparison, but as I listened to this song it reminded me of "Drive" by Incubus. Similar in structure, but in their song they have a guitar "solo" that helps the song feel like it goes somewhere other than your typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus etc etc. I feel like one little tweak and you might have a hit on your hands.
Don Dawil, thank you for submitting your song. I'll start by saying I think it's great that you write, produce and arrange your own stuff. That's impressive. I felt like the song could benefit from a couple things... One, the intro feels longer than it really is and I wanted to hear the chorus come in sooner. With that said, the chorus comes in just right before the 1 minute mark and when it hits, it feels really good. I think the chorus is the strongest part of your song. At times there's a lot going on in your verses, as far as phrasing goes. I think the parts where you're fitting in a lot of syllables makes it sound rushed. As for the overall sound of your production, I think it fits in with the "Latin/urban-pop" genre you're aiming for. But I do think you could beef up the track some more. At first I wasn't hearing the "pop merengue" in the mix. I think it would help if the congas were a little more up front in your mix. Maybe add a little more percussion to pad the overall sound of the track. A bongo or a guira would sound nice too, blended with the conga pattern. To be honest, I wasn't really feeling the horn sounds. They sound thin and a little cheesy for my liking. Would sound better if you overdubbed some live horns to give your track a little more life. Your song is almost there, in my honest opinion. Just a few tweaks to the production and you'll have a solid track. It might be good to get another pair of ears to listen to what you're doing. It helps to have another perspective in the studio. I hope this feedback helps! Thank you, Ray Ricky Rivera
What jumps out at first glance is the instrumentation. I love the set up you have here. Visually it's so much better than just having a playback track or DJ (I'm sure you already know that), but seeing the accordion player before hearing a note, I was intrigued right from the jump. This reminds me a little of K-os or K'naan (Not a bad thing at all), where the music is rooted in hip hop, but showcases other genre elements. I dig that and think you can definitely build on those musical ideas. Again, the use of accordion sets you apart from the pack. As for the song, I would have loved to hear more of the female vocal. There's an opportunity to double up on more lines with the backup vocal. You can really add to the dynamics of the verses/choruses. The backup was there, but I think it was under utilized. I would add, if you are going to sing in an accent, you have to commit to it. You drop a little Jamaican accent for a bit and I expected the song to go into a dance hall or reggae rhythm. When that didn't happen I was a little confused as to why the accent was there. Granted, I'm assuming you don't have a Jamaican accent. With a name like Africali and your diversity in arrangement/musical style, I think you would do well with various performing arts programs like Grand Performances or Levitt Pavilion (for example) in Los Angeles. This has the potential to be billed as a Hip Hop and World act. You can go back and forth depending on the program you are trying to book. This is definitely an act for the college circuit as well. So many opportunities as you can target various cultural groups on campuses, multi-cultural events & programs that may encompass the World/Hip Hop/Indie genres or themes. Good stuff! I dig it.
I have to admit, I'm a sucker for clean, polished, catchy pop songs. I felt like I was about to watch a montage in an 80's flick where the protagonist becomes a master of Kung Fu in two minutes, a la The Karate Kid. The guitar lick at the intro has a nice Nile Rodgers meets Hall & Oates influence. I'd love to see this band on a bill with Chromeo and Mayer Hawthorne or even with Bruno Mars. There's not much to critique here as it's very well produced. The vocals are nice and I enjoyed the layers of backgrounds. I am interested to hear what the live ensemble sounds like and how close to the record they actually get. The footage looks like the live shows are fun. I want to hear more. This has so much radio potential and potential to land syncs. Good work!
First impression: Good song, well produced and very polished. Honestly, there wasn't anything that jumped out at me that would get me excited. Although the production is good, the song is very "safe" and very "cookie cutter" in my honest opinion. I definitely could see this ending up on rotation for KCRW in Los Angeles. I recommend sending this to Position Music (positionmusic.com). They have similar artists on their roster and they do well with licensing and placements. Also, get it to Jason Bentley @ KCRW and Ariana Morgenstern who does, "Today's Top Tune" on KCRW. Definitely target the American college radio market. Check out the National Association For Campus Activities. It's a great way to break into the college market.
I really dug this and I'm excited to hear more music. I think this would do well in Los Angeles. There's a few LA bands that come to mind who would make for a great package with GB... Jungle Fire, Orgone, Mexico 68, Haru Kuroi & Quetzal Guerrero. When you book LA make sure to hit Amoeba Music in Hollywood.
My first thought was, "this should be all over KCRW." KCRW is 89.9fm in Los Angeles and is well regarded as a tastemaker constantly breaking new bands. With that said, the production is nicely polished and in my opinion ready for radio. I enjoyed the contrast between vocals and would have actually liked to hear Shpresa's vocal come in sooner (that's just my personal take on the arrangement, but it's still great). This particular song has a very minimal feel to it in terms of instrumentation and I love the spacing within the track. It's a modern kind of folk music. I think music supervisors would really love this. There's also a cinematic element to it that I really like.
Great video/doc. Not much I can critique on this other than it's a message I support and an issue that definitely needs more attention from mainstream media/audiences. The song is great. Lyrics are well written and the verses are very vivid and clear. Emcee skills are there and delivery is nice. I really love the use of statistics as it drives home the point here. If I was trying to get more visibility for this, I'd look for potential partners who have a wider reach and resources for getting this out to more viewers. For ex., maybe team up with a non-profit who focuses on community outreach for homelessness, or find a social media partner who is interested in launching an online campaign to spread awareness.