Born in Highland California, Ryan McKelvey, (Stage name “ArKay”, here-in referred to as “Kay”), has been involved in the music since his early childhood, though not as the versatile, multi-talented artist and engineer you know him to be today.
Believe it or not, Kay initially had no plan to be involved in Hip-Hop what-so-ever, and even went so far to say in a 2014 interview with Dirty Disciple from Noize Cartel Records:
“Bro, Hip-Hop wasn’t even my thing. I didn’t even like it. I was super close minded about it, like it was up there on my music s* list right next to country.”
The first thing to fall into Kay’s hands was a guitar, which has become his instrument of choice in the studio. He took a lot of inspiration from genres such as Rock, Grunge, Emo Core, Reggae, and idolized bands such as: Switchfoot, Breaking Benjamin, A Day To Remember, Mayday Parade, and The Dirty Heads. Early 2014 Kay stepped foot into the vocal booth at a home recording studio to casually record some lyrics he was messing around with. With part of a verse written and the rest done freestyle, he called the finished song “Emotion and Pain” which he posted to Soundcloud. What happened in the weeks following Kay says:
“is what solidified my career as a lyricist and respected Hip-Hop artist. From this nonchalant Laundry Room Studio recording, the single Emotion and Pain ended up spreading around the world, accumulating thousands of plays, downloads, and a rapidly growing fan base eager for more. The people wanted it. They loved it, and I needed it. I had so much to say, so much I had kept to myself. It became my therapy, and I believed what I had experienced could honestly help someone. Just like my favorite bands had done for me. So I said f* it man. I’m in.”
6 months later, Kay’s began working with Noize Cartel Records and was welcomed into the NCR family. From a crowd of 5 in a trashy dive bar, to crowds in the thousands, ArKay became known for his natural ability to deliver music in a way that captivated his audience through performing at venues such as The Air Conditioned Lounge, The Jumping Turtle, The Kava Lounge, Atomic, The Merrow, Eternal Music Festival and more.
ArKay’s debut single, FML, was released on the commercial market worldwide March 2016. Making a substantial impact as an independent artist, Kay has been a guest on LYLT Radio, San Diego local Hip-Hop/Pop radio stations 95.7 & 93.3, Unsynd Podcast, Kay has also performed on live television in association with Time Warner Studios and continues to get airplay around the world!
As driven as artists come, Kay has obsessed over perfecting his craft day and night. Shadowing top engineers, being trained hands-on in both studio production and in live sound by some of the best and most respected names in the Industry; while soaking up everything they had to teach like a sponge that never gets wet.
Kay released his second single, titled “The Edge”, that he had not only fully written, but also produced, mixed and mastered completely on his own. “The Edge” received outstanding reviews and gained over 30,000 views in the first week following its release June 2020! Working alongside some of the most respected names in music has led to upcoming collaborations, more singles, and a debut album titled “Phase One: Virgo” to be released throughout the year.