by Karen Bard
Published on Gavin.com
January 17, 2000
One-part singing sensation, one-part mystery, one-part musical theatre talent, one- part heartthrob…put all of those pieces together and the sum is Jason Raize.
Appearing in the smash Broadway musical The Lion King as its lead character, Simba, Raize is already familiar to and comfortable with a large audience. Performing two shows a day is no doubt good preparation for the hectic lifestyle of a pop star. His first single, “Taste the Tears” will be released on November 29.
Adopted by a family in Oneata, New York, Raize grew up without knowing his true ethnic heritage. His rearing, which was free of “labels” as Raize puts it, allowed him to experiment with all different types of “flavors” on his new album, NYC. Raize rails against labeling and certainly doesn’t want to be pigeonholed. He incorporates a Latin flavor, a dance flavor, a pop flavor, an R&B flavor, etc. on his upcoming Universal release.
Raize feels that this new type of musical experimentation is where it’s at. Raize says that it’s becoming “chic” to cross the boundaries that had once held musicians and that this experimentation is now being “welcomed in the industry.”
Raize enjoys what little anonymity he has left. He says he loves going to the movies alone, and being able to walk on the streets on New York without getting hassled.
Raize goes after projects that inspire and challenge him. Working on this new album, for example, allowed him to depart from his theatre identity and venture into a completely different realm. While recording NYC in Miami, Raize worked with producer Desmond Child of Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” success which is an experience he describes as “incredible, challenging, and so exciting!” Raize says each track on the album is “unique” and that the album is about infatuation. “Infatuation with love, life, everything!” Most important, Raize is currently doing all he is because he truly loves it. He’ll try his best to perform in the musical while also promoting his upcoming album.
When asked about his impending foray into the world of pop, Raize sounds ready for the masses. Being a performer since a very young age, and being a musical theatre performer–especially in such a hugely popular show like The Lion King–is indeed the best education that he could have had. However, Raize enjoys what little anonymity he has left. He says he loves going to the movies alone, and being able to walk on the streets on New York without getting hassled.
If being a musical actor, singer, and dancer was not enough, Raize has also added ambassador to his already impressive resume. He was recently appointed as Ambassador of Goodwill by the United Nations Environment Programme for his dedication to the Kosovo refugee crisis and the environment. Raize has encouraged awareness about and around these pressing issues. He recently threw a party at New York’s Kit Kat Klub to benefit the Kosovo crisis. Also, Raize will be working closely with the U.N. in order to focus on how to celebrate our differences as individuals, and to be evermore globally active and aware.
Overall, Jason Raize is a multi-faceted performer and a conscientious international citizen who easily fuses his positive attitude with his talent.