Ray Bishop has had a long and illustrious career in the music industry, which includes composing, singing, and now producing.
His most recent album was reggae-based and released through Waatea Music but for more than a decade, it has been his charity, support, and work with rangatahi that has been his driving force.
Bishop has made waiata for charity, including the Tania Dalton Foundation and the foundation for Jonah Lomu. Now he is a fulltime student nearing completion of a music degree he plans to release two albums, one at Christmas and one next year.
Bishop says that the importance of a happy life is what drives him and he says, “I think it's just about helping young ones, make the most of that time that they're here, doing something that they love, and it's been a passion for a while, so it's good to be a part of it.”
Tania Dalton Foundation
Tania Dalton, a former Netball Silver Fern, died in March 2017, and according to Bishop, she sang one of his songs when he first moved to Auckland in 1994, sparking a friendship.
Bishop says he was honoured to be allowed to write the song"Heavenly Star for the Tania Dalton Foundation, which was founded to honour her memory, with the permission of Tania's husband, Duane Dalton.
“It was a great honour to be able to ask Duane and the Tania Dalton Foundation that he’d set up for the permission to do it, and then we kind of charged into the work, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and it was very exciting to be able to deliver the project the way that we did,” he says.
Bishop says he hopes that people will listen, download and stream the songs he composed, to support the organisations that are continuing the legacy of people like Jonah Lomu, Tania Dalton and The Big OC Foundation championed by NRL Rugby Great Owen Craigie.
Bishop says, “It's just nice to reach out. Music has no bounds, given the internet and the way that we're talking now and the way I talked with Owen last year during the lockdown. I just asked him if we could write a song to support his kaupapa, and it was wonderful to be a part of it, doing music in that way.”
“It means a lot as a singer, songwriter, that you can actually hit the target the way that it's supposed to the way that the songs intended to, to generate goosebumps and emotion, and it just makes me proud to be a songwriter, in that space when you can hit the target the way that we have.”
Singer, songwriter and student
Bishop believes that he sees what is possible in the world of music and wishes to enhance his knowledge and talents in composition and writing music. He is currently in a band with two doctors who lecture in jazz at Auckland University, studying for a degree in music, and also compiling songs for two albums. “It's a feat of the utilisation of time as well as studying for the degree at the same time, so it's working out well.”
“As a singer, which is my main instrument, I just want to get better at it so that I can do more. I still got a few years left on this planet so, during that time, I just want to write, write more good music and do good things,” he says.
Bishop says his band is called, “MGN - My Greatest Now” and all its songs are available on iTunes and Spotify.
“iTunes and Spotify is the way to follow the band. We'd love people to get behind this latest EP that came out, it's got all five songs on it, please follow us.”