Aug. 14, 2023

Unbreakable: How RAII & Whitney Earned The Trust of Top Artists as Married Vocalists

This dynamic husband and wife team reveal what it takes to earn the trust of superstar artists - while building trust in each other as creative partners.

Imagine working side-by-side with world-renowned music artists like Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran, and Common.  

Now, imagine your musical / business partner and co-vocalist is also your spouse. How would that all work? Is it possible to manage the incredibly high expectations of these artists, and still keep a solid, God-centered marriage intact? 

That's the story that husband and wife duo RAII & Whitney are living out.  In this episode, they reveal how working together with love, trust, faith and professional excellence can lead to incredible opportunities - so that you can enjoy the same kind of blessings in your creative life.  

RAII & Whitney are a songwriting and performing duo based out of Chicago, Illinois. For over 15 years, the couple has performed as supporting vocalists for some of today’s biggest stars.  From performing as contestants on America’s Got Talent, to appearing on some of the most iconic stages in the world, they have earned the respect and admiration of the top artists in music as trusted vocal coaches, directors and mentors. 

Through their company His & Her Entertainment, RAII & Whitney have helped to prep vocals for major productions like Saturday Night Live, The Grammys and residencies at Lincoln Center in New York, and now serve as vocal coaches and directors for Alicia Keys and her singers. More than just a singing duo, they coach, counsel, and run workshops to help others achieve their creative dreams, as they expand their successful creative business together.

RAII & Whitney will be performing together in an exclusive concert on August 27th, 2023 in Chicago - follow them on social media for details!

Stay Connected with RAII & Whitney
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Imagine this. Imagine you're singing on the biggest stages in the world behind one of the greatest, most popular artists in the world. And they are trusting you not only to sing behind them, but to work with them as a vocal coach in every aspect of their career. Now imagine it could get a little better. You look to your left or your right, and the person singing next to you is your spouse.

My friend, this is the dream that RAII and Whitney get to live out every day. Our guests on the God and Gig Show have lived out a life where they, as a husband and wife duo, have sung and performed with some of the biggest artists in the world alicia Keys, Ed Sheerhan, Common Estelle, Queen Latifah. And yet their biggest accomplishment is their marriage. My friend, you're going to absolutely be astounded inspired and encouraged by this episode. You've got to listen to every minute of this where Ryan, Whitney are going to share what it takes to be trusted by amazing artists and to build a marriage and a business that is founded on Godly principles and that will last the test of time.

My friend. Just give me a moment to welcome those of you who are new to our platform and then we'll get right into this incredible episode.

Artists, musicians and creatives of all kinds looking for help balancing your passion to create with your everyday life. Not sure if your faith can coexist with your profession? Welcome to a place where real artists discuss real life. You're listening to the God and Gig show. Visit for show notes, links, and more information.

Hello and welcome to our show. Thank you so much for making this podcast a part of your creative day. If you are new to God and. Gigs, you are in the right place at the right time with the right people. And I say that because I know as a creator, freelancer musician, artist, anyone in the intersection between the arts and entertainment space and probably ministry as well, you are someone that wants to build your best creative life from the inside out.

And we help you do that by helping you solve temporary creative problems here with timeless spiritual principles. My name is Allen C. Paul. I'm the host and founder of this incredible community of artists, creatives and musicians. Now on to the reason why you tapped on this episode, which was such a great decision considering the incredible information and inspiration you're about to hear.

Now, if you've ever wondered what it's like to travel and to sing with and to coach artists like Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah, Ed Sheerhan, Estelle, then you can only talk to two people, and that's Rye and Whitney. Now, they are going to tell you in this episode what it takes to be trusted by these major artists. They're going to explain how to survive the difficulties and challenges of not only starting a music career, but starting a marriage and how you can do that sitting and standing and singing side by side with the people that you love and maintain that relationship while you also pursue your creative dreams. And they're going to tell you how. They handle the real life decisions that come with running a business, with creating your creative legacy, with being able to make decisions about family and parenting and all the other things that come with real life.

Even as you become that artist that God has ordained for a specific purpose or goal that you are reaching for now. Ryan Whitney have once again sung with some of these incredible artists as supporting vocalists. They were contestants on America's Got Talent on season Eleven. Their company, his and her entertainment now train and cultivate artistic creatives for various opportunities. They run workshops for marriage on how to work with your spouse.

And they are also recording artists that are putting out music all the time that's being released and shared with the world. So no better couple to share with you on what it really takes to be a fulfilled creative, to be a connected and consistent part of your family as a married couple or partner, even if you're not married yet, this is where you want to hear what it takes to start that marriage on the right foot. And they're going to help you navigate your career and your life knowing that faith in God is the core of your calling. This is an incredible episode. I don't want to delay any further.

So let's get right into it, my friend. Let's talk to Rye and Whitney.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with the highest pleasure, the biggest honor that I welcome two entertainers, musicians, creatives believers and husband and wife team that really are literally the epitome of what everything. God of Gigs talks about family, faith. Creativity and doing it at the highest level. And I could not go another show without bringing them in. Thank God they were able to get off their busy schedules and meet with us and talk with you.

So Rye and Whitney, welcome to the God and gigs show. How are you? Thank you for having us. What's up, man? We are well.

Hey, beautiful people. I'm telling you, I have basically been looking at your Instagram post, not with the FOMO, but with that kind of pride, that weird pride when you don't know somebody but you feel like you know them. So you take that vicarious credit for everything like, that's my people. Those are my people. When you see people like you who are dedicated to marriage, dedicated to music, like, literally have a show called Marriage and Music and then are out there doing exactly what you're doing again, you've been on my bucket list for the longest time, I could tell you.

But I'm not going to blow you up too much because I know you guys have heard all the amazing things. I want to make sure that you have a chance to come authentically instead of me just fanboying tell everybody what you do. So I know you've been to this before, but it's the toughest part for everybody. The 32nd elevator pitch, telling people that are meeting you for the first time those first couple of things that you want them to know about you. So I want to give you that opportunity.

Just let them know what you're all about the first time they get to meet you. What's up, everybody? I'm Rye. And I'm Whitney. We are a husband and wife team from Chicago, Illinois.

Yes. We are performers, songwriters, actors. We produce together, we perform together. We revocal producers, coaches, coaches, and we counselors. Counselors.

We've been put together on this earth to do life together, to do life together, to walk out what it looks like to be in covenant and in purpose all at the same time. Oh, gosh. And the fact that you had to list all those things and all of them, honestly, I feel like you probably did them on the tour bus on the way over here.

I feel like all of those things counselor produced, like, all them happen within the space of 24 hours. I feel like you could be all those things on a stage. Am I wrong? Because no, all those can happen in 24 hours. A lot of times they do happen simultaneously.

Or like, we've come to the place where we have no longer boxed ourselves into a thing. We're just trying to be as led and open to God to use us however he wants us to in every. Space, every industry, every room is understanding that our purpose is to be his image regardless of where we are. And that can be a myriad of things. And if there's a need or a time where we need to counsel, then we counsel.

And then it's time for us to vocal coach. We vocal coach, but it's whatever God needs us to be and how we do that together. We're still growing through that, understanding what that looks like in different rooms with different people, for sure, with God leading us because we didn't necessarily have an example of what it looks like to be married and do so many things together. We're still understanding and appreciating that God is really cultivating a strong sense of teamwork between us as a married couple. There are married couples that work together in a sense, but not like how we do simultaneously, just side by side with a lot of things being in the same industry.

So it's kind of familiar, but it's still new because it's like, this is our lives. So every month we're still trusting God on what that looks like. Every year we're like, what does it look like for us to do at this time with these people on this level? So it's a forever trusting, learning, growing unlearning situation that we are just we're growing through it. Oh, gosh, I love this so much.

So many areas. But you kind of hit on one that we have to talk about because, again, when you said married, the first thing that people will say, okay, how did this all start? I did read up a little bit, did a little stalking, something about joining a gospel group. Somebody didn't give somebody the time of day for at first. But the fact that you guys came together in music I think is significant.

And I'm sure you've addressed this in other interviews, but please let them know in terms of the beginning, the beginning of you entering the music industry and entering marriage, what dynamic did that kind of set in motion in terms of what you're talking about now, now that you've been married for a while. But what was it like at the beginning, starting a marriage and starting a career at the same time? Sure. So we did meet in a gospel group, what, over 20 years ago now? Yes.

And we were friends. Like, we enjoyed the same type of music. We would sit together on the bus and sing together. So the relationship, the friendship foundation, was built through music and grounded on a mutual respect of each other's talents. Yeah.

So it was exciting for me. Again, everybody's like, was it just love at first sight? It was like, no, we really were just friends. It wasn't like we were trying to get with each other. It was exciting to find somebody else that I felt like vocally, I could sing all of these what seemed to be complicated for other people, like, oh, my god, I get to teach him this song and we can start doing this together.

Because I taught him the song that a lot of people know us for is thank him ted and cherry song, which is an acapella song. And I used to play that song a lot and I lost the CD. And so I was like, oh, I'm going to teach it to him. So on one of our days off from being in that group, we were performing somewhere. So we were just in the hotel hallway sitting on the stairs.

I was teaching it to him. We were just singing it and figuring it out and like, oh, let's do this and let's try that. So we were really just, like, excited to work with each other, to arrange vocally with each other. Even in the studio for the group, we were arranging the vocals. Me and him would feed off of each other like, oh, the sopranos can do this and let's try this.

So we were just excited and growing with each other as a team when we met. And so throughout college, I would do shows and she would sing background for me. We would sometimes sing together, but the friendship was the foundation of everything, and we both realized that we had feelings for each other later down the line. It's like years later. Yeah.

And so we decided to explore what you know what I'm saying? Finally, I should suggest that we should move forward in this direction. If she tells us she had already told me her feelings and I kind of brushed it off. I don't see it that way. But the timing of the Lord is better than yes.

Yes, exactly that. The Lord knew what she didn't understand at the time. You were more in tune with the Holy Spirit. She's like, she's catching on. I love it.

She was ready before.

Okay, in a way, maybe it was me catching up. But anyhow, that was then, this is now. So career wise, music started it, but our friendship birthed, the marriage, I believe, in a lot of ways. And then the fact that we're able to do it simultaneously but together in this way, that was a cherry on top that I never expected. I never prayed for that.

I pray for my wife to be a part of my life and be there with me when I have my career. But I never knew she was going to be side by side, step by step, already beginning. It already started, like when we met. Yeah. Amazing, man.

I really can't take credit for it. Even though it's a beautiful story. I know God ordained the whole thing for sure. Amen to that. So you've got the early years of your marriage, but you've also got you just started to kind of allude to it career, right?

So some of these early lessons because you've sang with some of the greats, some of the most amazing artists that we have in our time. But there's got to be some moments at the early part of your careers as well that were teaching you some lessons. You talked about the friendship in terms of your marriage, but what were some of the early lessons in terms of working with artists? Because you didn't just show up, I'm sure, and get that first call, big break when you were singing in college and doing the gospel groups. I mean, there has to be some early lessons you learned at the beginning in terms of how to navigate through the music industry.

So what was that like? I learned very early on to put my all in it regardless. So we did a lot of things for free before we ever got paid to do it. And even though we did it for free, I'm driving up and down the highway. We're putting all of our energy into making sure that we can perform at the best level that we could.

Intentionality with the show creative. If we had the leeway to do that, styling, each other styling, like all the things, it's super intentional because we take this serious and we took it serious. That type of commitment to showing up artistically and to show up as a creative. I think that's served us well now that we do get paid to do it, but also back then, we were just cultivating this mindset of showing up as best as we could in any situation that we was in. Yeah, that's powerful, because when you just number one, the word that people hate free or exposure.

Right. But the fact that you showed up ready, I'm guessing, and I'm only now just summarizing this and you filled me in I'm guessing that whenever that first major call came in, you were ready, whatever that was. And that's why I wanted to ask you about what was that moment that you kind of started to arrive and realize, wait a minute, people want us on this particular tour. What was that moment like? And was it a place where maybe you weren't expecting it, but you were ready?

I think it was more of the not expecting it, but being because, I mean, we had auditions and other things before we started working with Estelle and Alicia and touring internationally before all of that auditioned. I think it was like American Idol, Star Search and didn't get called back. There were a lot of things that we still were a part of, but when the Alicia Keys call came, that was actually supposed to be private, and somebody leaked it on social media. And so my coworker, we were both working at a junior high school in Brooklyn together, and the coworker told me about the auditions because it was leaked. And so we went to the audition and saw that there were like 300 to 500 other people in a line outside.

So we were like, talking to people, meeting people, and waiting in line for hours just to get told to go home because they didn't expect that many people and that we would have to try to come back tomorrow to audition. And they were going to take the first 30 to 70 people. And luckily we were able to come back, and it was less than that amount, so everybody was pretty much guaranteed to be heard. And then there were callbacks. Like, weeks went by when we went back home and visited family and did other things, and then it was like another callback.

And then finally we got up to the top four girls and top ten guys, which we both were a part of, and then it was still other things. And then they chose not to choose any guys at the moment. Then I ended up getting the job first because they chose I was one of the girls that they chose. So I'm in a rehearsal now, immediately going through stuff, still going through another audition process, but with the band, with the musical director, it just still kept going. And even in my first gig, it still was like, still a part of an audition.

But once I started working with Alicia, he ended up started working with Queen S and Harlem Gospel Singers. And as I grew with Alicia, he grew with them from a tenor, to a choir director, to a vocal. Like, it was like we were touring separately. I remember transferring from being an administrative assistant to making twice as much as being on the road singing. And I think at that moment, to the point that you were asking it's like that's when I was like, yo, this is actually a real thing.

And it's not that I'm even the frontline, the headlining artist, but there's a career for me in this industry in this way that's lucrative, that's fulfilling. And as my wife said, I was able to get promoted throughout the years, but that in and of itself was me bringing all the things that I had done years prior to each and every position that I had. And then somebody seeing, oh, there's more to this guy, okay, he can do this, oh, he can do this. And so it perpetuated this like, oh, wow, I can just be me, invest what I have, be consistent with what I bring, and people are going to notice it. And then at the right time, it's going to be elevated.

And then when it's time for it to be another thing, it's going to shift. And I wanted to piggyback on that. Thank you for bringing that back around, because it was the consistency of what we brought to the table when we weren't getting paid, or even when we were getting paid little. Even with my job of tutoring students and working on leadership with 6th, 7th, and eigth graders and doing summer programs, a lot of times I would get put with the bad kids or the kids, the trouble, but they did very well with me. Like, I didn't have issues, I didn't have issues with them and they exceeded so I always was put in situations that usually would be uncomfortable for people, but I would make things happen.

I made sure that what needed to get done would get done. And so it was building that type of work ethic to make things happen and get things done, which is what transferred into me and my rehearsals with Alicia when stuff was needed outside of my job description or what. You think your job description is? Because a lot of people assume they understand what singing background is, and they're like, oh, I'm just an alto. Attendor soprano.

It's like there's so many more layers of responsibility to it. So always doing that, even at the job that I was in, I brought that into this job so quickly. I became very trustworthy and reliable. And those are the things that people really look over when they're excited about. Being on tour and doing award shows and working with major artists is beyond your talent, or in addition to your talent or the depth of your talent, you have to be trustworthy.

You have to be reliable because there's always something that's going to change, and the artist has to feel that freedom. The musical director, the creative director. They need to feel that they can trust you when they need to pivot for the betterment of the performance or the experience or the event that you can pull your weight and they don't have to babysit you and they have to pull you to believe in yourself, to do what they need you to do. It's like having that confidence. So early on in my career with Alicia, I started getting responsibilities like, oh, have Whitney do it or have Whitney do it.

And so it was like, oh, she'll get it done, she can do it, or Whitney, I'll trust Whitney, or even when she bring other artists in, it's like she knows your part, too. If you need help with your part, she can help you with your part. Go have a meeting with Whitney. It was just like immediately I was always getting these to do other stuff outside of singing. I hear you, but I love this so much because number one, I heard the coach come out, like, right there.

Your teacher aura just fell right there because I just feel it in you. Not only is it there for you to use, right, but it's there for you to share and to educate. That's why when you said 6th seven Eigth grade is former teacher here as well. And I immediately felt you there because the skills, I love what you said. And that's what kind of led from that question you already answered.

It the little moments, the little things that seem insignificant when you're first starting out is why these artists trust you. When you are on those big stages, when you have people that say, hey, I just need somebody to get it done, to do it right, to do it with excellence, like the Bible says, not despise the small things. So I want to ask you on the flip side of that, because there's so much we could go into on the coaching side, but I want to make sure I get into this, because you are now stages with people that fans see larger than life, but you get to see them person to person, right, as real people. And they respect you, obviously, because they respect you as vocal coaches for Alicia and also as background singers and directors. What is it about the artists that you work with that you respect?

Because I see that mutual respect, even on the instagram you just did with Alicia, there's this mutual respect where you see what they want and serve them and they see what you are, and there's this beautiful synergy there. So what is it about the artists that you work with that you think makes that work? In other words, why are these artists so good to work with? Why does that synergy work so well? Well, a part of it.

I think people have to understand that the artists are people. And my husband and I are very intentional about keeping that at the forefront of how we perceive them. They're humans. And when we go to sing for anyone or work with anyone, even when we're teaching our singers like we call ourselves supporting vocalists instead of background singers because there is a responsibility to support and come and make sure that your responsibility is to make sure you're taking the stress away from them. As far as how you show up, how you learn music, how you show up as being reliable and trustworthy and all of those things.

And having that intentionality allows people to feel safe and respect. And it's like, you're not coming there to be a fan. You're not coming there to be an opportunist. I want to be good because I want to make sure that I keep touring and get another opportunity. It's like, no, while I'm here, this is what I'm here for.

And so I believe that respect that we give and how we show up and how we treat them, it's reciprocated. Because it's like if you show up as a fan, you'll get treated as a fan. If you show up being whatever, you'll get treated how I mean, you get out what you put in, pretty much. So our intentionality to show up with that genuine care and not just trying to get an opportunity, the relationship is built. And so I remember years ago, I think I was on the Element of Freedom Tour with Alicia, and she pulled me to the side and was like my husband was like, really?

She was talking about Swiss saying, he really loves your character and your personality, and he wants me to connect with you even more. So even in that moment, she chose to kind of be like a mentor of mine. It was like, I want to exchange information. I just want you to keep me updated on what's going on with you. And even when my husband came, when we became husband and wife, she took him in as well.

And it was like, Share me your music. Let's just build. So we've been building this private relationship that a lot of people don't know for years now. She's given us studio time, she's had her staff help us. Some of our pianos, our keyboards at home are from Alicia.

We've been building this relationship because we've come in with just genuine care of like, we want to make sure that you're good. And she sees that and she knows that. And it's been that way since I started back in 2007. So it's been over 14 years of that mutual respect and love that it's like, okay, this is what it is. So when we transitioned to be vocal coaches from background singers from her, I thanked her.

I remember the very first time we were in London for the top of the tour last year, I thanked I was like, thank you for trusting us to do this. And she was like, no, thank you for being trustworthy. That's exactly what she said. She's like, no, it's not even it's I have somebody that's just good at what they do. No, I trust you.

Gosh, I love this so much. It speaks to the humanity. And I think a key of it is and the word is coming, I always end up doing this, forgive me, on podcast. I don't try to add to anything, but the servant word is popping into my spirit right now because you absolutely are epitomizing that in the way you're approaching this. And I'm wondering, what do you wish?

And as coaches now, you're coaching other supporting vocalists, you're coaching other people, and I wonder what you wish. Again, I feel like I'm answering it for you because I wish this. I wish more artists, musicians, creatives had that spirit before they enter this industry. But what would you say? What would be the top thing that you wish that other people who are looking at you now and they're saying, oh, I wish I could be like Ryan Whitney and be on these stages.

What do you wish? They kind of understood before they jump in, especially if know, looking to work with you. Maybe the first lesson or the first time you get to meet with them, what is that first lesson? You're like, hey, before you start anything, this has to be the foundation before you try to get into this business. That's a great question.

Quite simply, I would very strongly recommend self healing therapy, self reflection. One of the reasons why we can show up in these different environments with these amazing global superstars and they feel comfortable with us is because we have at least an inclination of who we are in God and what he's put in us. And that is something that has to happen before you get in front of them so that you don't get starstruck to the point where you don't know how to operate in your power and be exactly who he created. You to be in the midst of these very I don't know what's the word, but in the celebrity world, I would suggest that they do inner work, that they heal, that they forgive people, that they understand who they are in God and understand their greatness, even. Because even though we work with stars who are extremely successful, their greatness is their greatness.

And we are great as well. So knowing that helps us to not shrink when we're in a position where we could or idolize or covet or be envious. It allows us to be. And I think that's the most important thing that you can do. One of the most important gifts that you can give any celebrity or any artist that's very successful is you being comfortable with yourself enough to just be, yeah.

And I totally agree because actually, with our Get More Gigs academy, that our 90 day program. That's exactly what we do with the singers. And because the same thing you say, like, you wish musicians and singers would come into the industry with that, god allowed us to create a program pretty much based off of our lives, of how we maintain sanity and grounded in who we are in the music industry. So throughout our modules, like our first few modules, this is exactly what we go over. Because we've had frustration over the years of people asking us like, do you have singers?

And getting opportunities that we weren't able to do. But we also didn't have singers that we could trust with the character and work ethic and heart posture of being a supporting vocalist. Having that mindset of a servant. So in 2020, even though God gave us this call or this charge years ago in 2020, when things slowed down, is when we started the beta program. We started creating our courses.

We started, we was like, this is what now we have time. And God was like, Are you frustrated enough that you have not discipled and multiplied yourselves? Because even when we got called to do opportunities, I mean, to recommend somebody, they would literally say, but do they act like you? But do they show up like you? And that was the thing that hit me so hard.

Like, this is why God told us to create so that we can start discipling not for people to mimic us, but to still have that heart, like you were saying, that the servanthood. So in our program, we really do go through the inner healing, the forgiveness and how you view yourself and who God says you are and all of that. Because that part is extremely important. So when you do get in those rooms, if you don't deal with the triggers and how you view yourself now, if somebody corrects you just because they want you to sing it a different way. You might feel like, oh, I'm bad or I'm wrong.

And it's like, no, that's not what I'm saying. I just want you to do it a different way. So dealing with that will allow people to not come in with so much anxiety and depression and heaviness and comparison and all these things that would hinder the capacity to be like, we don't realize not dealing with these things hinder the capacity to have such major opportunities. Everybody's like, man, I want to be on TV. Man, I want to work with this artist.

Man, I really want to do this full time. I really just want to be on a tour. But do you understand the capacity that you have to have to be on a tour with this level of artists? Like, are you ready to be on a tour for year and a half? Six weeks in Asia, two weeks home, six weeks in africa, two weeks, home, six weeks.

This all around. Do you have the capacity to do that? Do you understand what that life looks like when you are away from your comfort zone, away from your family? Do you know who you are in these rooms? So this is why we're teaching it, because it has not been a thing that we saw.

And it was hard for us to recommend people because there was a lack of understanding of that mindset. So we're teasing it now. Thank God you are. It is so impossibly hard to explain to people the inner workings of the industry and that it's not all the bling and the shining lights and everything. And I'm so glad there's more people.

I consider myself the local artist. I never went on a tour because I was just I don't want that life because of what I saw, what I thought I saw. Yeah. And I was nervous and I was like, no, I want to stay married. Meanwhile, you all are staying married out on the road and showing it's possible to keep this.

And I love the fact that your focus and your faith is really part of everything you do. But I wanted to talk about this part that you just talked about starting in 2020 in the Pandemic and starting your own thing and your identity as business owners and entrepreneurs, outside of simply be the people that make the other brand or the artist brand look good. So what has been the biggest lesson you've learned about yourselves growing out on your own, whether it be your own artistic career or your coaching business? What is it that especially working together as husband and wife now? COO, CFO, whatever you want to call it, what have you learned about yourselves now, striking on your own as business owners and entrepreneurs?

Learned a lot. Learning a lot, right. One of the biggest things is that we work well together when we can decipher the strengths of each other and allow that to flourish. So instead of me trying to have her work like I work or her expecting me to work like she works, figuring out how we work together, who does this well, who does that well? How can we bring these two styles of getting things done together in a way where it's a complementary thing and not a combative thing?

That's been very important to us. We're learning it. We're implementing it more and more as we continue to work together, but then also taking advantage of those, quote unquote downtimes. When you're not on the road or you're not performing with an artist and realizing that that's not a unemployment season, it's just a refocusing going to okay. Please make sure everybody that hashtags that give them credit, give Rye credit for that, because that is deep.

Right? Say that again. I know it's podcast. I know they can rewind. But.

When you may not be traveling or performing as much as you would like to, as much as you did previously. It's not an unemployment season, it's a refocusing season, it's a reflecting season. It's a season where you can process where you are. A lot of times we get so excited and enamored with getting to the next gig, getting to the next opportunity that can put you on a hamster wheel in a way, because it's always about what's the next, what's the next, what's the next. Sometimes you need time to decompress, to reflect, to figure out who you are, where you are, what you are, what do you like, how are you feeling, especially with us as being married and working together so closely in so many different things.

Having the capacity to shut off the artist, to shut off the CEO, CFO, all the O's, and to just be Mr. And Mrs, that is an art that we're still learning and leaning into what that looks like because it's so easy to just be from one product to the next, even if it's not just music based. The teaching our own artistry, our own other things that God has given us to put out in the world for other people to take advantage of. So we're learning that and that's helping us to pace ourselves with our businesses. Because it does change every opportunity that we're getting does take something different from another level or a different depth of who we are.

So that's why we keep saying we're still learning and we'll forever be learning because it's always going to be something different. And there's a learning curve to everything. And I think that's important for people to understand that something new doesn't have to be scary if you have the perspective of it is a learning curve. So you might not be perfect at it at first, or you might not exceed the way that you would want to immediately, but we're growing. And like my husband said, understanding the strengths of what I do best and what he does best, even when the roles still shift.

And there is a thing that I have to learn that I never thought I was going to have to learn or do, because we are growing. We don't fully have a team yet. We are our team. So there are a lot of different roles that we play that it's like all of those roles are not our strengths, but we find strengths within those roles. Like, okay, for this assignment, I realize I get easily irritable when I do this.

And for this assignment, I'm flowing through it. I'm not even thinking about it. So can you do this? Because you seem to have more grace here than I do, and I'll do this. And if you need me to do this, I have the capacity to do this.

So we're learning how to really verbalize and articulate where we feel like we are strong at and what we have the grace for. And then if we realize it's too stressful for either one of us because we're such a team, it's like, if I have to do this for you, then I'll do it because I want to make sure that you're good. Because if you're good, then I'm good and then we're good. So it gets very intense because you are learning. You are getting outside your comfort zone.

Any person that does something that they are not comfortable with immediately can be irritable or frustrated or things get intense. But if we articulate that's what's happening when we do this or during this certain project and we understand that we're on the same team, then that continues to help us grow and strengthen our teamwork, regardless of what the responsibility is, regardless of what level we're at. So that's what we're doing. Oh, my goodness. I'm telling you right now, I feel like I'm in class.

Not a bad kind of class, like the good kind of. Like, I don't want to leave. The professors are still speaking and everyone else is trying to go home. I'm like, Give me some more notes. I should be writing feverishly right now, but I'm ticking it all in.

There was one thing that you did say that I want to piggyback on as far as when you're not working. I think it will be easier for people to receive the time of reflection if they also steward the working season. Right. A lot of people get so excited about making the money, and they do not steward their money, so when it's an off season, they can't rest because they're trying to, I got to pay the bills. These bills ain't going to pay themselves.

It's like, but what did you do with the money that you had when you did have an opportunity? Are you tithing consistently? Are you setting money aside or are you just buying new purses? Are you wearing your money or are you just going, well, this is a life I always wanted to have, so and I'm going to go to this trip. I'm about to go to Cancun real quick or I'm going to get this.

Because when I first started off in my 20s, every time I came back home, I had new do, Betsy Johnson's. I wasn't getting a whole bunch of, like, Louis Vuitton Armani stuff, but there were things that I definitely was buying because I'm like, I'm 21. I've never made this much money in my life. I'm excited and I want to get some more shoes and I want to get this. And I was not stewarding my money as well.

Thank God. I still understood how to trust God. And there were some unemployment seasons that we used to call unemployment seasons, but now we're understanding, like, these are the time, like, you do well, when you are working, steward that money well, don't spend it all. Save it, because there is going to be a time with this industry, you have to know you are going to work, and then you may not work with that same artist or you might not work in that same capacity because tours start and they end. You know what I mean?

And so that's another thing that people don't understand. If you have a nine to five mindset in the industry, it'll never work. You have to understand, you get lump sums of money here and there and people, oh, the industry is just so inconsistent. No, actually, it's very consistent. It starts.

It stops. There are seasons there are times when there's a season where you're going to work a lot and there's a season where you may not work as much. So with that understanding steward, it well when you are working. So when you're not working, you can actually reset. You can actually embrace the time, the quote unquote, downtime and allow yourself to rejuvenate.

Allow yourself, okay? God, in this next season, how do I need to be prepared for what's coming next so that I can be ready for that and not just try to have the same season over and over again? And just keep striving and striving, and it's like, oh, now you're just not even listening to God, because now you're just trying to pay bills, and you're just trying to keep you just going. So just understanding how to pace with God. Okay?

I know everyone that's listening to this did not realize they were going to get marriage, music industry and finance all in the same. See, this is why you need to listen to the God of Gig show and follow Whitney right now to make sure you get more of this goodness. Because there's no way we can contain it in this one little container. But I want to make sure I get to this because so much of this is just soaking into my spirit. Number one, let me just little aside here.

Transparency. Thank God my wife is not in the room with me because she would be literally, like, doing this the whole time. You were talking about the rest. I hear her. So, honey, I'm listening.

I promise. Okay? If you're listening, I promise I'm listening. So I wanted to ask you about when you've reached this point, when you've had these mountaintop moments, you've got all the way, know, the valley of having to do those first free gigs, right? And then you get to the point where Lisa's calling you, and now you're working with the John Legends and the Estelles and the Paul Creative Services's, and all these people are, like, bringing you onto their stages.

But I think you said it. You said it the whole what's next? Right? You get into this thing where you don't really realize that this is not the end. It's not just about success.

So I want to ask you two both, what is God saying to you about what's next? What is the next thing for Ryan Whitney? Is it the business you're building? Is it something else that God is kind of calling you to? Again, I don't want to answer it for you.

I feel like you mentioned it at the beginning and I just wanted to call that back. So what is it that you see coming next for you as far as what God is kind of birthing in you guys in this next season, what's next? There's a lot that's next. Some of it is like immediately next. Some of it is down the line next.

I think the most important thing of all of that is for me and my wife to continue to communicate and to be a team and to allow that teamwork and that covenant to fuel all the other next that there are okay. There's so many. It's so layered. So I think that what's next is hard conversations, honesty, trust, transparency and then planning. So we just put out a single, Stand by Me.

We're getting ready to do some performances in promotion of that. We're producing a lot of music. We have so much music that we're excited to share. And then that is just one component of what's part of our next because we're still doing gigs where we sing background, where we're supporting vocalists, we have new clients that we're vocal directing and vocal coaching. Our Gitmore gigs academy is in full effect at the very moment and we're going to probably have a lot more mentees that we're going to be guiding in the upcoming weeks and months.

In addition to that, we have a very strong passion and desire to help married couples understand what it's like and how to work with your spouse and do it in a way that is healthy. Again, we're learning a lot, still learning. But there are some things that we have learned that we know we can share and so thinking about different ways to get that out and to share that with our community, like retreats. Retreats like all conferences. It's a lot.

Retreats and conferences and married people as well as creatives and singers, retreats and safe places for creatives to grow and build community with each other and learn. It's layered. And then not to mention we're always aware that we're being prepared to be parents. So all the different layers of what entails with that because that goes back. To the first thing.

You said. It definitely goes back to the first thing. But I think our capacity to do that well in the midst of everything else that we're doing, we're learning what that? We're counting the cost.

We are counting the cost of what does this if I had an infant right now in the middle of recording this song or teaching or doing a zoom or in person, it's like we are taking the time to really count the cost. A lot of people are like, I can't wait till you guys have kids. These kids are going to come out singing. Their hair is going to be amazing. And I'm like that's all surface.

We need to work on our inner selves. And so that's why I said it goes back to the first thing my husband said was the hard conversations, the healing, the trust, the transparency, all of that, because the children will literally be housed inside of me and I need to deal with the house that they're going to be developed in before they are in. The house that they're going to be developed in. So it's like that is what's important for us. Like, yeah, we believe they're going to be beautiful brown kids.

They're going to have a lot of hair, they can't help but to sing. They're most likely going to sing whether they want to pursue music or in music some kind of way. I don't know if they want to pursue it, but they're going to have the talent, obviously, but still the character, the personality. We understand that God will be given us the opportunity to steward a story because they're not us. God has their own story, their own journey, their future is secured because he has chosen to open my womb, to bring them in at this appointed time for us, at this space, to be who we need to be, to steward that life.

So it's way deeper than having brown skinned kids with a lot of hair that can say we are just taking our time, counting the cost and just preparing with the inner work. Well, I'll just tell you transparently because it's just easier to say it and try to figure out the right words. Right. If I had known as my three kids, I'm on the opposite side. My last one is about to leave this house next door.

Two kids already out of the house and one about to go and 26 years with my wife. Look, thank God you're doing this part, because those of us that didn't do it, even though god had grace for the entire season that we went through as a married couple, literally falling in the same holes that you're talking about those traps, it is just a beautiful thing to know that you have that. And god, honestly, is tilling the soil of your lives, in a sense. And I love what you said about the house. I mean, you're preaching now, my sister, like, the house that these children will be in will be you.

Before that was a word. So I'm trying not to just get stuck on that part. But it's such a beautiful thing that you are doing the hard work internally before, again, the blessing of children, obviously being light years above. I was about to ask you about mountaintop moments that you're looking for, but this one that you see God is already getting you ready for has got to be infinitely beyond any stage, any career thing. So just to know that your heart is for a family is again, I think I don't need to say anything else.

Everyone that's listening knows what you're all about because you didn't close off with, I want to sing with this person. I want to have my own career. You didn't finish with that. You finished with wanting to have a legacy. To me, it just drops the mic right there that your heart is just no wonder God is favoring you.

So with that, we could talk for hours. I could just sit and soak this in, but I'm not going to do that to you. And I want to give all the people that are listening a desire for a part two so that maybe next year, this time, 18 months, this time, I don't know. The little one, I don't know. Like, all right, but we'll put it in the air so that we can speak in faith.

I want to ask this last question. I did not prepare you for this. So I hope this is not a left turn, but if you could talk to that young couple back in Illinois that had just met, had barely talked to you, or one was ready, one was not. And if you could tell that couple someone else is where you're at right right now? That's listening someone else is just now getting ready to start this marriage and music journey.

What would you tell that young couple now? Now that you know what you know that somebody else is listening to and. They could get some wisdom from? First thing I would say is take a deep breath and find yourself a therapist, a counselor, so that you can understand why you are the way you are. Your partner can understand why they are the way they are.

And you guys can have a better running start at building something very impactful in your relationship and not have to combat the baggage on your own. Hopefully they'll give you some tools of how to communicate, how to get through conflict in a healthy way, how to address concerns, because those are the little things that are big things, in my opinion. Absolutely. And they're going to set you up to thrive even greater. Yeah, because God's grace is definitely sufficient.

So he covered us through all that. We never had premarital counseling. Didn't, but I don't recommend it. Use his grace for something else. Yes, his grace is sufficient inside also these offices where he gives you grace to call people man right.

Do it, do it. Do it and make it a priority. And then also give yourself grace with the best intentions. You started this relationship and you agreed to be married, even though none of you all, neither one of you knew what that would really take or had real examples of it. That was very close.

Even the ones that do have examples, I think with us, because we didn't have example. We leaned on God more to find out his version of our lives, which I think is extremely important for those that also have an example because you can begin to idolize and start I'm just standing on the shoulder. I'm filling the shoes of no, you don't need to fill anybody's shoes because God didn't bring you with this particular this unique person to create this covenant on this earth, to do these specific things for you to just mimic something that you already felt was success in your eyes. Like it's very important to be inspired by and to honor, and it's good to have great examples so that you are not starting from scratch, but not to totally be that. And so I think it's still important whether you have the example or not have the example, is to get the therapy, is to counsel while you're dating any major decision that you need to make in life before you one.

When you're dating, before you get married, before you have children, it is very important to count the cost and to get therapy and have those hard conversations so that you can unpack in a healthy way. And like my husband said, use God's grace something else, because we really were just kind of like counseling each other through this relationship. We were just kind of like being each other's therapists and we realized the beauty of doing that. But then also if we felt like it took away certain times that we could have been enjoying just being friends and having fun with each other, but there was just so much that we were unpacking throughout the marriage that could have been done before we got married so good. And the fact that you were doing this again in the midst of a blowing up musical career is just again a sign of God's grace, right?

That God clearly gave you this amazing because of your hearts. That's the only way I can attribute it to your hearts were for Him. Right? God gives the desires of a heart. We all love that scripture, but I believe there's something else about that in that scripture right around there.

It says something about obedience and following Him. So you were following Him and then he gave you grace for all the information you didn't have. Because we're looking at the results like the harvest is here. I mean, if it wasn't a harvest, we wouldn't be able to say that. But you guys are a harvest that we can look like, okay?

No matter what was missing, god filled in the gaps, and now we do have you guys again, not to idolize you, but as example of what can happen when you do it right. I love this conversation so much. I so appreciate you two coming on giving way beyond anyone could really expect when they see just two amazing singers. Way beyond that. No, you all are way deeper than anything that comes out of your throats, which, again, is astounding when we hear you all sing.

So for those who want vocal coaching advice on marriage, how to make it in this industry, like, you just gave a wealth of knowledge. So we didn't even touch barely the surface. They got to get more. So tell them how they can find you online, how they can keep in touch with you, how can they learn more from you. Yes.

So you can find us. I would say the safest bet is to go to our website, which is www. Dot Ryandwhitney, which is So on that website, you'll see different opportunities for you to connect with us. If you want vocal training, if you want us to perform, if you just want to add yourself to our emailing list, that would be the safest bet.

I would say Instagram under the same name, but social media is doing its own thing. Go to the website. Go to the website and all the services and things are there. Definitely become a part of the email list. Like, that's one of the best ways, because as things shift and change, whether we're on Instagram one day, and we may not be on Instagram or YouTube or not on YouTube, get that email in there so you can stay abreast on what's going on as we pivot and grow in our lives.

And you'll stay abreast on everything that we're doing. Absolutely. Now, feel free to follow us on social media. Feel free to follow us on Spotify and the different music platforms, because we do release music we have and we do and we do share what we can when we can on those platforms. But if you want to stay connected beyond that, the website is the best place.

Yeah. And it's the same name everywhere. It's rye and Whitney. Raii Two Eyes and Whitney. Well, I'll tell you what, they should be rushing to touch that button right now, to press the button, the subscribe button, the follow button, all the buttons they should be hitting right now, because I know that's what I did when I first ran across you guys way back.

I'll do one quick name drop only because I remember with Isa, I interviewed her in one of our first I think it was 14th or 15th episode, and she's like, you got to find this group Riot Whitney. I was like, who is Ryan? Whitney? And for the last six years, I've been tracking y'all down. So finally, it made it happen.

I said, thank you so much for that recommendation so long ago, but this has been amazing. Thank you so much, YouTube, for being who God has made you to be in front of people publicly. And I just want to thank you for, again, literally, what I'm wearing on my shirt is what y'all have incorporated. So if they want to get more gigs, they got to start with guiding gigs, and they want. To go to Ryan Whitney to find out how to do that.

So thank you so much for being on the Guiding Gigs show. God bless you both. Bless you, man. Love y'all.

My friend, if that was not the most incredible master class we've ever had on the God and Gig Show. When it comes to marriage, music, everything regarding the creative career and how to keep faith in God as you pursue those creative dreams, I don't know what is. It's easily one of my favorite episodes of all time because what you just heard from Rye Whitney, you finally know what it takes to be trusted by these major artists, no matter who they are. These people who are incredibly gifted and incredibly successful, but trust you because you've done the hard work. They have taught you how to survive the difficulties and the challenges, those low points when it seems like nobody's paying attention and how that can impact your entire creative career because you stick with it, with that consistency.

And they taught you how these real life, huge decisions when it comes to marriage, when it comes to parenting, how knowing each other, knowing yourself, being self aware, doing once again, that hard work actually pays off, because you get to have a beautiful life with the people that you love and to be able to work with them in these amazing experiences. My friend, if you have not already. Saved and downloaded this episode, I suggest you do that right away so that this becomes a part of your permanent library on how to become a completely confident, god loving and consistent creative. Because Ryan Whitney have given you the keys to that and I know you want to stay connected with them. So just like they said, make sure you follow them on their socials.

The links are all in the description, but the best way is to join their email list so you can find out when their next workshop, when their next project is coming out. Of course to listen to their incredible music, but most of all to make sure that you are keeping your ears open to everything they're sharing because they are definitely gifted and anointed to help you to transform your creative life. And you're also going to want to stay connected with God and Gigs because I believe there's going to be another collaboration sometime when we get to link up with Ryan Whitney and you will want to be first in line. So the easiest way to do that is simply go to our website, slash Info, that's our home for our creative checkup newsletter and not only will you get first dibs on anything we share in the newsletter, you'll also be connected to our creative community. You'll be able to become that encouraged, that fulfilled person that always has the answers about a click away from the next thing that you are trying to pursue in your God given creative dream.

That's what happens when you connect with people like Ryan Whitney and like, God and gigs and our amazing creatives. So make sure that you sign up for the newsletter. slash Info will send you some incredible resources right off the bat to help you get started and to really see what's available for you and what's possible for you in your God given creative career. Well, my friend, that's all we could absolutely share today. It was incredible.

I hope you will make sure to be here for future episodes. Subscribe on whichever app you're using right now so that you will be notified right away when our next episode is released. Until next time, continue to become the creative that you were created to be. God bless and I'll see you next episode.

Thanks for joining us here at the God and Gigs Show. Please leave us a review on itunes, like our Facebook page, or visit and tell us what you thought of this show. We'll be back soon. In the meantime, go create something amazing.

RAII & Whitney Profile Photo

RAII & Whitney

RAII & Whitney are a husband and wife, songwriting and performing duo based out of Chicago, Illinois. For over 15 years, the couple has performed as supporting vocalists for some of today’s biggest stars like Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran & Common. They have performed on many award shows and televisions shows and in many iconic venues and countries around the world. The pair were contestants on America’s Got Talent and received rave reviews from all of the judges on the show.

Through their company His & Her Entertainment, RAII & Whitney have prepped and provided vocalists for various performances including Saturday Night Live, The Grammys and residencies at Lincoln Center in New York. They are highly sought after workshop facilitators specializing in vocal and artist development and have shared their expertise and experience with creatives both nationally and internationally. The duo are also the vocal directors and vocal coaches for Alicia Keys and her new singers.

In addition to writing, performing and cultivating other creatives, the couple is also very passionate about their journey as a married couple that works together and they hope to amplify the notion that you can work with your spouse and have a healthy marriage and a fulfilling career simultaneously. Their latest release "Stand By Me" is a beautiful declaration of unity and covenant and they hope their journey of Marriage and Music will continue to inspire and uplift the world.