In this interview, musician and businessman Johnny Ray talks with Mission Matters about his diverse career path in both heavy metal music and the jewelry business, all while exploring his love for teaching.
Listen to the complete interview of Johnny Ray with Adam Torres on the Mission Matters Business Podcast.
What mission matters to you?
A firm believer in kindness, Ray says he's driven to help people bring the best versions of themselves forward. He vows to respect each individual he encounters, irrespective of their profession or social status.
The entire staff at Gold Galore Diamond Center helps its customers plan their special moments, and Ray notes that they think of their clientele as family, treating everyone equally.
"Being honest with people is of utmost importance," he says.
How did you get started in both music and jewelry?
Ray's mother gifted him his first musical instrument, a piano, when he was 11 years old, and he says that's how he got his start. He explains that heavy metal music helped him through the experience of being bullied when young: "It was like taking charge of your life," he says.
With his family running Gold Galore Diamond Center since he was a kid, he notes that it's always been a part of his life, and 12 years ago, he took ownership of the company.
How did Stellar Vocals come about?
With a passion for teaching, Ray shares that he loves to pass down what he's learned in his career. "I like the rewards of teaching, seeing somebody go from good to great," he says.
His recent certification from the prestigious Berklee College of Music enables him to blend traditional and modern techniques seamlessly into his own instruction; this, he notes, allows him to offer his students a well-rounded music education.
How did your band, 3 Headed Snake, get together?
Ray discusses how he crossed paths with the other band members 6 years ago through a Craigslist ad. The LA-based heavy metal band gave its first performance at a heavy metal festival in Bloodstock, UK, and has been solid ever since. Although its songs are streaming on popular platforms, 3 Headed Snake was unable to tour last year due to the global lockdown, but Ray says plans are in the works for a new tour now that musicians are back on the road again as things pick up.
What's your advice for people who are starting out?
Passion is the key; if you really love doing something, you'll eventually get it done. "It's an inner fire that can't be put out," he explains. According to the musician, the simple art of sticking to it is the other part of the puzzle: "Just got to be disciplined and remember you've got stuff to do, one day at a time, and the love for (your craft or profession) will keep you going," he advises.
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