Mystery man Allan Rayman just delivered us his new album Christian. Rayman's soulful vocals, coupled with grungy production, explore his growth through 14 tracks. He took some time out of his day to chop it up with me about the new album, Greek mythology, and Christian Slater.
Christian is the newest instalment and follow-up to Rayman's 2018 release Harry Hard-On. Categorizing his albums in two ways – either "Roadhouse" and "Allan" – Rayman decided that he would be the voice on Christian. It's really about perspective –Rayman's albums bounce between the first and third-person. The switch between "Roadhouse" and "Allan" albums allows Rayman to move freely between his alter-egos. His "Roadhouse" albums are dark and grungy. Conversley, because Rayman has struggled with his own evolution, "Allan" albums, find him really telling his story – there's a sense of true discovery in his music. The production is lighter and theatric on Christian, as Rayman works through his transformation. "On 'Roadhouse' albums, I'm creating a setting for a story to take place, which of course is about Allan", he says of his process. "Harry Hard-On is Allan's attempt at a full-length album. He doesn't get it quite right, but Christian is Allan's real stab at it. He thinks he has finally got it", Rayman goes on, explaining how Christian has come into fruition. The backdrop is set on Harry Hard-On. Christian is all about telling the story.
It's inspired by the Christian Slater film "Pump Up the Volume," and Rayman credits his entire career to the cult classic. The shy protagonist mirrors Rayman's low-key demeanor, often lurking in the shadows, but always with a message to deliver. Slater's character gathers a cult following throughout the film, and Rayman's alluring vocals have done the same. Since the release of his debut album Roadhouse 01, the singer has gained quite a fanbase. "I have an eclectic group of followers", he says. Rayman's description is, quite frankly, fitting – the album is composed of non-conforming, genre-bending tracks, which would indeed accrue him the fanbase he has.
Christian wouldn't be an "Allan" album without Rayman exploring a range of themes. He tackles his ever-evolving relationship, family ties, even the music industry, but his visuals are just as symbolic as the music. He dons wings in both his "Chief" music video and album cover, because he considers them symbolic of the story of Icarus. "The music is like the wings, allowing me to fly, while not getting caught up in the vices of success are similar to burning out in the sun. You don't want to burn out, you want to fly the right height. And I think I'm finally enjoying my cruise."
Rayman seems to have found the right altitude. Having garnered attention from the 2018 JUNO Awards for "Breakthrough Artist of the Year" and even signing a modeling deal, Rayman seems to be on the right path. The artist was set to tour with his latest album this year, but due to current travel restrictions, things are up in the air. In the meantime, check out the sublime album.