By Chloe Aiello
Ray J has built an unconventional career to say the least, but the musician and television personality-turned entrepreneur ー and new father ー says he has turned over a new leaf in his personal and professional life, thanks to a leader who once inspired him: Elon Musk.
Ray J told Cheddar he's learned a thing or two from the bumpy year Musk has endured running his electric car company, Tesla ($TSLA).
"I've learned to make sure you pace yourself and do the right thing, especially if you have shareholders and people that are depending on you to represent the brand the right way," Ray J told Cheddar.
When Ray J last spoke to Cheddar in Nov. 2017, he had just closed a $31 million distribution deal to launch his consumer electronics company, Raycon Global, and was promoting the Scoot-E-Bike, a foldable, two-wheeled electric vehicle with a $1,200 price tag.
At the time, he called Elon Musk one of his inspirations and "the god of all gods" in the electric world.
"Big fan, big fan. He's in space, his mind is in space, and he's actually making the products and putting them together. With that being said, there's only a few people out there that are on that level," Ray J told Cheddar.
Following a roller-coaster year for Musk that included a series of controversial public statements, plus a $20 million Securities and Exchange Commission fine, Ray J's enthusiasm for the Tesla founder was more reserved as he sat down with Cheddar on Wednesday. Ray J said he's glad to see Tesla's share value is up and the company is more stable. He added that "sometimes things might be rocky, but it's about how you deal with it" [that matters]."
Today he gets a lot of inspiration for Raycon from his family and his new role as a father.
Although Ray J found initial success as an R&B and hip hop singer and songwriter in the mid 90s, indiscretions in his personal life were what really propelled him into the limelight. A leaked 2003 sex tape with former girlfriend Kim Kardashian launched his career as a media personality. In 2009, he put the spotlight back on her personal life, starring in his own reality TV show,"For the Love of Ray J."
But those days are long gone.
"For me having the image that I've had, and then advancing. I have a 6-month-old baby now; I'm married. So that's beautiful for me because I'm already just an evolved human being, I'm more patient. And I think you have to take that into your business and have the right poise and the right professionalism," Ray J said.
Along with Ray J's grounded attitude, comes a new, more affordable product. Raycon has shelved its electric bike ambitions for now, and is focusing on the E50 True Wireless Earphones, launched in October. Ray J said the comparatively affordable $80 price point has made the headphones top sellers, and for the next year at least, Raycon will continue to focus exclusively on its audio products.
"You sell a Scoot-E-Bike for $1200 retail, or even $1000, it's a different price range. When you're dealing with ... products under $100, for us it seems like we're doing exceptionally well. I think products that are in high demand have great quality, but are affordable. That's where our focus is shifting," he said.
In addition to his work with Raycon, Ray J and sister Brandy announced last week the famous siblings will collaborate on a new album. Ray J said it can be tough to work with his "perfectionist" sister, but he hopes the album will debut in 2019.