In 1986 Ray Hayden opened Opaz Recording Studios in Hackney, by 1992 Opaz had become one of the leading recording studios for black music in London and he started Opaz Productions. Its first record, Martine Girault's Revival, went straight to Number 1 in the Dance Chart and Ray went on to become an internationally renowned producer and singer and Opaz an established independent record label. His credits also include Mica Paris, Marvin Gaye, Will Smith, Mary J Blige and his work has featured in major Hollywood films, TV shows and advertising. Ray used his position and resources to co-found The British RnB Association which brought about the first official Black Music Chart in the UK. The RnB Chart was essential as a reference for the American market for the successes of artists and musicians hoping to export their work to that territory. It was published weekly in Music Week magazine and the Top 30 was counted down every Sunday on Kiss FM, hosted by Trevor Nelson.
By 2002 he gave regular Master Classes in Production and Mixing at Guildford Music Academy, hosted seminars for the Musicians' Union and was approached to set up a college with a local charity based in Hackney Wick called UXL.
Opaz Studios taught music technology to people with learning disabilities, long term unemployed, problem kids and parolees. Between 2002 and 2006, 526 students acquired the Opaz City & Guilds qualification and many went on to full time careers in the music industry. When the lease to his Hackney studio expired he acquired new studio premises in St Johns Wood a stones throw from London's famous Abbey Road Studios. where his associates Dharma Sound Labs run a state of the art production and mastering facility and also provides a home to Solar Radio, the world's leading soul music internet radio station.
With the development of the internet and digital technology he broadened his activities, learning 3d arts, website and computer game design he consolidated his studios, production and label activities under the new banner of Opaz Multimedia. Ray is currently finishing a documentary for Public Health England and directing his first feature film called Brightlingsea, see www.brightlingseafilm.co.uk and developing a longterm project called Agatha Crup, a motion comic, with the option to jump into scenes as playable computer games. Although the project is still in its infancy you can view it here www.agathacrup.co.uk and see some content below.