Music has always been a huge part of his life, and then in 2019, he was crowned the first winner of the reality talent search show “Maak My Famous”, co-created by Emo Adams.
Cheswyn Ray (whose full name is Cheswyn Ruiters) took a hold of his moment in the spotlight and continues to make strides on his musical journey. The bright lights have certainly not dimmed for this 24-year-old singer as he forges ahead with determination and dedication. Often we tend to daydream about the future, instead of focussing on what we can do right now to get us closer to that dream.
Although every journey is a little different, each chapter connects us to different people, experiences, adventures and songs. “It feels like little puzzle pieces being put together to create this journey” says Cheswyn, who hails from Worcester.
Lunchtime Live is proud to present Cheswyn Ray as he entertains the audience with some soul, RnB, and a touch of Gospel.
This fabulous show experience is being brought right to you in the comfort of your homes.The virtual LIVE show takes place on Sunday 20th September 2020 at 2pm, so get your Quicket tickets NOW for R70.
Born on 20 March 1996, singer and songwriter Cheswyn Ray (whose full name is Cheswyn Ruiters) along with his two siblings, grew up in a gospel-influenced home where musical legends such as Cece Winans and Donnie MCclurkin paved the way for his family’s appreciation for gospel music and church.
The 24-year-old Maak My Famous season 1 winner rose to national fame in 2019 when he captured the hearts of South African audiences with his mesmerizing weekly stage performances during the kykNET reality TV competition.
For Cheswyn, growing up in church was his first introduction to the music scene but it wasn’t until the age of 10, when the music bug really bit him.
A trip to a local CD store made him realize his love for mainstream music and the desire to sing – and he’s never looked back since.
At age 14, the Worcester-born music sensation became a member of the worship team at church – a role he held until age 21.
By 2011, Cheswyn took on music as a subject at school until he matriculated from Worcester Gymnasium in 2014 – a move which gave Cheswyn the opportunity to study music in more detail and how to compose songs.
A chance entry into the 2014 edition of Worcester’s Got Talent, saw Cheswyn being crowned as the winner – giving him the confidence to pursue a career in music.
In 2015, the Maak My Famous winner enrolled for a BA of Arts degree at University Western Cape but it wasn’t until 2017 when his initial musical break came in the form of a spot in another reality TV show: SA’s Got Talent.
Despite being eliminated just before the semi-finals stages of the competition, Cheswyn focused on studying deeper parts of music which included vocal production, the history of music and composition.
Being eliminated from the SA’s Got Talent, wasn’t easy for the superstar. He took a six-month break from pursuing his musical dream and entering all talent competitions and things looked bleak for the musician. But after filming a video of himself singing Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up”, Cheswyn uploaded his performance video to social media and the requests for more online singing performances started rolling in.
After receiving 1 000 likes for his debut video online, that’s when Cheswyn realized he should focus on pursuing a full-time music career. A few months later, Cheswyn dropped out of university and moved back to Worcester to begin the process of becoming a musical superstar.
This move allowed the singer to perform at various local parties, productions and events – all in the name of getting the relevant exposure to build his musical career.
His hustling skills paid off by posting weekly music content on his social media platforms, growing his online fan base by the hundreds. As a result, in 2018 Cheswyn was offered to sing backing vocals on a track for South African singer, Lincoln Little, entitled “Where Would I Be?”, giving him his first taste of recording in a studio.
However, Cheswyn’s life-changing moment arrived when a friend encouraged him to enter Maak My Famous in 2019, after seeing an advert for the reality TV competition on kykNET. It took much persuasion from his friend, but after caving in, the move paid off as Cheswyn proved to be a worthy winner of the show’s first season.
Immediately after the win, Cheswyn released his debut single “A Reason” in September 2019 (written by Jarrad Ricketts) and is currently working on his next single.
He hopes to release a full debut album within the coming year and is currently in studio writing and composing some new material – including Afrikaans and English material.
Since winning Maak My Famous, Cheswyn has performed at some of SA’s top events including the Maak My Famous showcase – in front of an audience of 5 000 people.
Performing highlights from the past year for Cheswyn includes singing at Women at Heart FM festival, Toyota Woordfees as well kykNET 20th birthday party, where he’s shared the stage alongside SA artists such as Emo Adams, Jarrad Ricketts, Elwira Standilli and Tarryn Lamb.
Growing up, Cheswyn admits that he didn’t have superheroes that he could look up to in the community. Through his music, he hopes to inspire other young people with an impact legacy and his story of not giving up on his musical dreams.
With a deep love for soul and Afrikaans music, Cheswyn’s musical; inspirations include the likes of Whitney Houston, John Legend, Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross.
He hopes to collaborate with Paxton Fielies, Demi Lee Moore, John Legend and Beyoncé one day.