Oct. 31, 2002

From VJ To DJ, The Transformation of Ray Munns

By Randy J. Klodz

“Oh hah heh hah heh” may be the sound of a laughing hyena, but it’s also the sound emitted from a giggling former MTV VJ, and current DJ mix master Ray Munns. Munns’ new disc of mixes, “A DJ’s Night Out,” is due to hit stores on Nov. 5, giving him one more thing to grin about.

Munns, now 22, got his start at MTV by winning MTV’s “Who Wants to be a VJ” contest where he beat out thousands of contestants winning him a chance of being an MTV VJ. The prize, however, did not furnish him with a place to live during his move from Colorado to New York. “I was homeless for a couple weeks,” Munns said.

MTV set him up with a hotel room for a month, but Munns was busy with preparing for the MTV Video Music Awards and making other television appearances so he was a too busy to find a place to live—which led to a little confusion. “I was thinking ‘Ah, man, they’re not going to kick me out if I cant find a place, I’ll just stay here longer,” Munns said. “Sure as heck, the month ends and MTV’s like, ‘You haven’t found a place yet? You need to get out.’”

Munns later found an apartment and settled in. Once leaving his job at MTV he began mixing tracks, and put a debut album together, titled “Ray’s House.” No dummy the business world, Munns hoped that his MTV popularity would help spark sales of his debut record. “When I released “Ray’s House” I thought it would go gold, but I think that I’ve learned to face reality,” Munns said. “If I could have maybe another two or three CD’s I could see it going gold, then I could see myself being a concrete DJ.”

I’ve come to that point in my life where I’m having a lot of fun being a DJ, but I don’t know if I want to be a DJ when I’m 40 years old,” Munns said.

For both of his records, his debut “Ray’s House,” and his new “A DJ’s Night Out,” Munns has gone through the process of mixing tracks, not producing them. Though Munns’ goal is to start producing tracks, he explained that there really isn’t much to his process of gaining rights to songs that he wants to mix.

“When I like tracks I usually just call up the president of the label and I’m just like ‘Yeah, I like this track, I want to put this in the mix,’ and they take care of all that. They will either call me back and be like, ‘No, we cant do it because they want an outrageous amount of money,’ or ‘Yes they want an outrageous amount of money but it’s cool,’ or they’ll call back and they’ll say, ‘Yes, we got it and it’s cheap,’ or they call back and they go, ‘No, that song sucks, why do you want that?”

Munns is excited to begin touring sometime in November and hopes to make a Chicago appearance, which he believes will be at Nocturnal, which is located on Lake Street.

Ray Munns Photo: Susan Blond Inc.