Gaye Magazine had the pleasure of being Raymond Salgado's first magazine interview, but we doubt it will be his last.
If you haven't heard of the name you may at least recognize the voice. Raymond is a Canadian of Filipino heritage. You'll find him killing Whitney Houston's song " I Have Nothing" on TikTok @raymondsalgadoomusic or hitting Minnie Riperton's whistle note on his IG @raymondsalgadoofficial.
Many prominent singers have already taken notice of him. Raymond was recently on the Canadian show "The Launch" by CTV network. IMBD explains the T.V. show as a six part talent search where unknown singers are matched with original songs. The producers set the singers up with a hit song no one has yet heard. The singers have 48 hours to get a song, record it acoustically, and send it back. Raymond's audition was early in his career at the age of 19 and he placed top 30 out of 10,000 applicants.
"There's so many talented people in Canada and luckily, the producers liked my audition and they flew me out and I got to perform for them which was amazing."
Though Raymond didn't win the show, Sam Smith himself had commented on Raymond's talent on Instagram saying, "This killed me x your so talented".
Raymond recalled when judge and famous gay pop artist Boy George acknowledged his talent.
"...I think the overall experience of being on a reality T.V. show really like made me grow as an artist and made me really work towards my singing, and the advice that Boy George gave me was really, really, um, really, really inspiring because he was telling me...'there's no doubt you have like, such a great voice'. The fact that they saw the potential in me made me really push towards my goal. I saw myself singing performing, writing songs, and hopefully hearing myself on the radio and that was in high school."
At such a young age, he's close to being on his way, already hitting over a million views on covers and writing his own music on Spotify. Raymond's song "Runaway", which he created at the age of 17 about him coming out as gay to his family, captured everyone's attention. Raymond explained that he wanted his music to help those in the LGBT community who struggled with insecurities and fear, but he said that is what all people fear.
"When I first wrote "Runaway" actually, that was the first song I ever wrote and it inspired me to write more songs. And when Runaway was written that's when I was...in the process of coming out to my parents and so Runaway is like one of those songs that's so personal to me because I talk about being yourself and I think that's what a lot of people are like - struggling with today. If anything this was the first song that I was scared to release because it's so vulnerable..."
Some lyrics in the song include: "I was locked in this prison cell, where everything was trapped inside of me.... I wanna runaway from all the pain to make it go away", was songs that Raymond personally felt but most people in or out the LGBT community at some point has probably felt. Coming out can be a nerve-racking experience especially for those who grew up in conservative homes.
"I want to say I was very lucky - they have questioned my sexuality back in the past... when I was younger people in elementary school were always like ' oh he walks weird, he talks weird' and I never understood and couldn't understand what that was or being gay was or me being gay. It took a long time to tell my parents and have that talk. They always had that feeling but I felt so much relief afterwards."
Raymond explained that his parents both grew up in the Philippines with traditional mindsets. His mother in particular was worried about his future, but they have since become very accepting and Raymond has continued his music completely transparent. He noted that though he was LGBT his target was for everyone.
Although Raymond rose through TikTok's ranks by singing covers from a variety of artists, his own musical style is based on a select few.
"My style at the moment I would say - I always had a love of contemporary and pop music. I grew up listening to like Micheal Jackson and Micheal Jackson was one of the first performers that made me say ' I wanna perform, I wanna sing'....and listening to like, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, the 90's Divas too, I think really inspired my singing style."
Raymond's newer song is his feature on "The Takeaway". The song was written and produced by with LGBT+ singer/songwriter Jon Armswood a.k.a "Tawnted." As of October 11, Raymond's newest single "Superhero" will be available for pre-save on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, and other streaming service with the release scheduled for October 23rd.