Erica Ray-Maynord is creating music that exudes peacefulness, mindfulness, and intentionality. This is the music you listen to on a long night-time drive when you’re thinking about life. Elorah is a new electro R&B project featuring 23-year-old vocalist Erica Ray-Maynord. Featured in the project is also Ryan Miller and Garrison Brown. Adam Chamberlain mastered the four-song EP (entitled Borealis pt.1), and Mitch Bell (of ZHU) produced it.
Elorah’s Journey through Sound and Nature
“The music is a journey for me,” Ray-Maynord said. “It’s just like my pursuit of inner peace.”
She said ideas for songs sometimes come to her in her sleep, like the song “Quicksand.” When she wrote the song, she said she was hesitant to share it, but Bell was immediately receptive and wanted to help her pursue her project. She said Bell did a great job conveying emotions and vibes through the music.
Ray-Maynord is from Norman, around Lake Thunderbird. There’s a special place she goes to write to be in nature and just let herself be creative. She recently took a trip to Colorado to be in the mountains and work on new music, while receiving input from Bell.
She grew up singing musical theatre, jazz, and classical music and dabbled a bit in country before finding what her sound was.
“I feel like I’ve had a little bit of every genre, and I feel like, for me, I just didn’t know where I fit,” she said. “Now that I’m older and more mature, I realize I don’t have to fit anywhere.”
Ray-Maynord said she loves breaking down boundaries and creating something no one has heard before.
“I never want to make myself be just one thing,” she said.
She’s received a lot of positive feedback, specifically in how the music makes people feel, which, to Ray-Maynord, is the point of it all.
“The feedback that’s meant the most to me is when people have reached out to me and said they feel a lot of peace when they listened to it, and that’s exactly why I created it,” she said.
The sound of the album is like a really soothing electronic experience, very light, but very modern.
“I drive a lot. That’s when I when I practice my music. That’s when I listen to music,” she said. “So I wanted to create something that people can take long drives and listen to and be introspective and feel release and peace, and just kind of think about their life.”
Ray-Maynord said the song “Dimension” came about from a place of frustration of people who have hurt her, and it’s about her decision to go into a different place in her mind. Many of the songs deal with emotional vulnerability.
“I was in my first years in college, and I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t know what to say,” she said. “I basically just tried to write for a long time without being honest, and that’s really difficult. I tried to write what everyone else wants to hear, not what my soul needs to say.”
She said she’s dealt with a lot of depression and anxiety throughout her life, and so the album is an opportunity to express that.
“I was definitely someone no one knew, someone who hid what they are feeling, and I felt like I had to put on a show and act happy or act goofy and make a ton of jokes,” Ray-Maynord said. “And I still do that, but now I’m more real about what’s going on.”
Ray-Maynord said she’s been excited to see the talent coming out of the Oklahoma Music scene lately, and she feels like the scene is growing even more.
You can catch Elorah’s music on Spotify. A few songs from the EP are also featured on our Indie Spotify playlist!