Craig Raymo is a LGBT singer-songwriter that performs under the name Craymo, writing sing along songs about life and love. He also an anti-bullying advocate on a mission to help make the world a better place, one song at a time.
Craymo has been influenced by pop music his entire life because it embodies so many different genre’s. He is always creating songs or little pieces of songs, they seem to come to him spontaneously at all times of the day.
When did you recognise you had a talent for music? What was the first song you wrote/sang?
When I was 12 my parents got me involved in the local Knights of Columbus sponsored yearly talent show entitled ‘Showtime!’ It was in the kid’s talent portion of the show and I was hooked! I loved being on the stage, it’s where I felt home.
That year, was the time that I started getting bullied and the first song I wrote was called Troubles. ‘Troubles are here, Troubles are there, Troubles are everywhere, I wish that someone would take them from me, cause I just want to be free.’ You know something? I have never recorded that song, I think it’s time I do! Thank you for giving me that inspiration.
Which musicians do you admire and who do you think you have learned from and why?
I admire artists who just organically exude empathy and compassion, The Beatles, Elton John, Adele, David Bowie, Morrissey, Robbie Williams, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Elvis Presley.
They have all taught me strength, heart, kindness, showmanship, being bigger than life and fun.
What influences you music, how would you describe you genre?
I describe my genre as Alternative Pop. It’s pop music with an edge, a positive message and a bit of camp. The decade of the 80’s is probably my biggest musical influence as well as the early 60’s, both British invasions!
Do you write your own material? If so what is your writing process?
I write my own material and love to co-write with other songwriters. I usually start with a hook or melody in my head however sometimes the lyrics come first. I am always creating songs and melodies, it never stops actually.
Which artists do you have on your playlist and why?
Conrad Sewell is amazing! Sam Smith because of his honest passion and his voice is like buttah! Robbie Williams, I love the tone and sound of his voice, it speaks to me.
Adele, I mean she is my favourite singer of the moment, I can’t listen to Hello enough times, truly brilliant artist, her voice can bring me to tears, that’s powerful. Kylie Minogue because she simply exudes pure joy in her songs .
Bruno Mars is my favourite male performer because his voice is out of this world, he can dance, is a true showman and he is bringing back the funk!
Do you perform in public, which have been the most rewarding performances you have done and why?
Yes I do however not as much as I’d like to! Performing at The Whiskey A Go Go twice were definitely highlights for me because there is so much rock and roll history there! Opening a concert for Smashmouth was a blast and performing as a male vocalist on Star Search ‘89, while being introduced by Ed McMahon, was a lot of fun.
How do you handle mistakes during performances?
You just roll with it baby! It’s live, I just go with the flow, hopefully I am the only one who notices. I’m human like everyone else. I just pick myself up and keep going!
How do you balance music with other obligations like job, family?
You have to focus on and make time for the people and things that matter most to you. I have a loving partner, John, for 23 years and two beautiful dogs, Serena Sue, a teacup Yorkie and Roddick, a rat Terrier. Yes we are huge tennis fans.
I have a flexible job working at Walt Disney World that gives me opportunities to write, record an perform. Yes kids, I work for Mickey Mouse!
How did you get involved with the Worldwide Music Contest and go on the win Best video, after last winning best song?
I discovered the Worldwide Music Contest online and liked it’s philosophy and amazing jury of judges so I entered my anti-bullying song Be Myself and it won Best Song out of 1200 entries from songwriters all over the world. That was a career highlight for me for sure.
Be Myself is an empowering song about having the courage to just be yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. The song is dedicated to anyone who has ever been teased, bullied or made fun of for being different.
Then I entered my music video One Love One World (We Are One) in the next version of the contest and I won again, this time for Best Video out of 600 entries! It truly has been a magical year for me. One Love One World also has an anti-bullying message of pure love, acceptance, equality, diversity, brotherhood, human rights and world peace.
What is the direction for you now? Where can fans-to-be access your music and find out where your performing?
I am currently in the studio recording an amazing power ballad entitled December Rain and a modern remake of my song Take It Slow and have a few other surprises this year for sure! My music is available on ITunes, CD Baby, Amazon, Google Play and other online retailers.
I will be performing next on April 23rd at The Indie Music Channel Awards at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA. Fans and new fans can follow me, my music and performance dates
Connect with Craymo
Courtesy of World Wide Music Contest