From a scene-era emo kid with big dreams to a chart-topping producer, Ray Volpe’s passion for music has brought him to heights he never dreamed of reaching.
Many bass music lovers will recognize Volpe’s emotive yet hard-hitting tracks recalling dubsteps’ early boom days, but even more will recognize his chart-shattering track “Laserbeam” which dominated the dance music world in 2022.
And yet, as he finds himself in a whirlwind of rapid success, Volpe nonetheless stays true to his humble origins.
Speaking from the comfort of his home, Volpe is chipper and humorous as he candidly shares his story with EDM Maniac. What results is a lively conversation about perseverance, inspiration, and the power of support and believing in one’s dream:
EDM Maniac: So you’ve got over 20 festivals on the books for 2023. Which one are you most excited for?
Ray Volpe: Yea, that’s right, which is crazy, considering how in 2019 I did one festival. Two, if you count a jam band festival that had some EDM in it. The jump from that to now—it’s crazy to look at doing 20 festivals this year.
The one I’m most excited for is definitely EDC Las Vegas because it’s something I think every producer works toward and I’ve been working towards it for 13 years.
Words cannot describe how excited I am. There’s a close second one, I can’t say what it is yet, but it’s something that I think is going to be extremely special, for the fans and for myself.
EDM Maniac: You’ve sure come a long way as a musician, in fact, you experienced a lot of rejection from peers and even some educators for wanting a music career when growing up. How did you overcome negative criticism in those early stages?
Ray Volpe: It’s interesting because a distinct memory for me is when I was in 11th grade. I had an English teacher who had us write an essay about what career we wanted to do in our lives.
I did a full paper on how I wanted to pursue music production, and she failed me on the essay. She felt that the career was unrealistic and that I need to pick a more realistic job.
I was like, “What the fuck, why?” This is something that I cared about, and I think as long as it’s something you’re passionate about and that you want to make a career with, you should be able to push for that dream.
I was definitely motivated to prove her and the bullies wrong. My teacher ended up getting fired for stealing calculators from the school anyways.
EDM Maniac: You were just nominated for best new artist by the electronic dance music awards, what do you think fueled your success these last few years?
Ray Volpe: I think mainly having a good team around me. That’s been a massive game-changer. My previous team had told me that the project was dead, which fueled a lot of insecurity and anger, and sadness.
Then the pandemic hit and I got a new manager and booking agent at that point, plus my girlfriend who works in the industry started getting involved in the project.
Before that, I think I wasn’t focused and I was putting out these B tracks on their own and that didn’t help push me at all. It kept me stagnant for a while and I wasn’t aware of that with my former team.
This new team helped me refine the vision and that’s when we started to make it.
EDM Maniac: What areas of your life would you say you draw creative inspiration from the most today?
Ray Volpe: Well, it’s a couple of things depending on where I’m at. In my older songs where I sing on them, you’ll hear the emo influence because I grew up as a scene kid listening to a lot of post-hardcore and metalcore.
Also, I feel like I look at the state of the scene and think, “where’s the music at right now?” I really love recent melodic music like the new Illenium album and the last Dabin album that came out.
And then I like the “plucky” kind of trends in dubstep right now. So I find a lot of inspiration from either bands or friends that are making cool music.
EDM Maniac: Your track “Laserbeam” blew the top off the electronic music charts and it was the most-played song at EDC in 2022. How does it feel to release new music following such a huge boom?
Ray Volpe: It feels good. I’m excited because, something I’m aware of but a lot of other people might struggle with is that it’s easy to be like, “Okay, this song was massive and it blew up. I need to have a sequel. How do I follow this up and how do I make the next “Laserbeam”?
But I’m not thinking like that at all. I think it’s extremely dangerous to think like that and you can burn yourself out.
EDM Maniac: Your new single “Happy Song”, just released today, and it’s a preview to your upcoming EP Volpetron Ascends…what can we expect from these new releases?
Ray Volpe: I would say you could expect a shift in tone on this one. Going back to your previous question about when you have something go really big like “Laserbeam”, you can have a lot of people that might think you’re gonna be a one-hit-wonder.
This EP and “Happy Song” are here for the long run. I do think “Happy Song” is a very strong track that’s been getting extremely supported by Excision and Slander and NGHTMRE and a bunch of others right now. So I’m excited to see where that one goes. It’s like a statement EP to say that we’re here to stay.
EDM Maniac: So what else is on your radar for this festival season and for the rest of the year?
Ray Volpe: So, in terms of collaborations, there’s a song that I’m working on with Kayzo that I’m very excited about that started out on our tour together. He’s my best friend so shout-out to him.
Then there’s another collab, I can’t say much about it yet but I’m just, shocked that it’s happening. It’s gonna be in a very sick combination that no one would ever expect. Otherwise, what I think I’m most excited about is this new headline tour that we’re building around the EP!
EDM Maniac: That’s all very exciting, thank you for sharing!
Ray Volpe: Thank you!
Listen to “Happy Song” in full below: