Oldie Butta GoodieBar: The GoldMind Edition – Nicole Wray & Torrey Carter

Watch me as I get my Late 90s Nostalgia swag on real quick – Where were you when you first heard these songs?

I was snooping around a friend’s room the other day, peeping her CDs (I believe she must have stopped purchasing CDs in 2001, like the rest of North America!) when I came across a CD single for a guy called Torrey Carter. He had a smooth baby face and was wearing a blue bucket-style Kangol hat.

torrey11

Take That

His face was not familiar to me at first, but the CD was for his debut single, Take That and featured Missy Elliot. This guy was a Goldmind artist! This started to jog my memory: Take that, Take that, Torrey Carter…who is this Cat again?

Finally I gave in and typed the name and song into Youtube. When the video came up and I heard the familiar strong guitar lick and Missy’s voice blaring out the speakers, “Bang this joint!” That was IT! I was nodding my head harder than a head banger – This was the Jaaaaammmmm!

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I still cannot pinpoint where and when I first heard this song; it came out in 2000 and Torrey’s album was supposed to be released the same year. For some reason, it hit the backburner and was never released – similar to the fate of labelmate Gina Thompson. In fact, the only artists from The Goldmind whose albums ever saw the light of day, were Nicole Wray and Tweet.

Still, this was 2000, the Heydey. And The Goldmind was at the forefront of innovative R&B. Timbaland was still killin us with his futuristic-sounding R&B beats, and Missy was still finding Artsits with just enough style and flair to take on the vocals. This was a time when my sister and I would wait patiently for a Superfriends song to be released so we could practice dance moves to them for upcoming talent shows. This was New Age R&B back when Originality still mattered, thanks to Missy, Aaliyah, Timbo, Ginuwine, Nicole Wray, Tweet & crew.

torrey21

All grown up

Sadly, Torrey Carter’s talent was never put on full display. I tried to do some digging on him, but Torrey has been laying low. He DOES have a Myspace page and he has posted some music on there as well. According to his page, he is residing in Michigan.  Also, Torrey appears randomly on Amazon.com; a blurb on his album, The Life I Live, that was never released but may still be available for purchase – if you’re patient enough.

Ms Wray

Ms Wray

Another Artist, Nicole Wray suffered a similar fate, but continues to make a name for herself. Nicole was the first artist signed to the Goldmind in 1998 at the age of 17, by Missy herself. Nicole’s first single, Make it Hot peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.  This song was such a Monster. It matched the signature Attitude and vulnerability you would expect from a Missy-penned song, and the production was so hard hitting, it was Aaliyah-worthy. In my opinion, the video could have been themed better. Although the dancers did provide some hype factor, Nicole – a very beautiful girl – was overshadowed by the large bucket hat (the style at the time)and the video’s old-fashioned theme. Still, this song is one of my all-time favourite Debuts of a female singer, ever. Nicole is still battling the Music Industry machine, trying to release that elusive second album we were anxious for…7 years ago. Good luck on that one, mama!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] his Father being in Gospel group and his Aunt being Gina Thompson, an artist I mentioned in the Gold Mind post.  Soon, he was appearing in local talent shows – eventually making it to a […]

  2. […] The Gold Mind Special (Missy Elliot’s long lost record label) […]


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