A New York native, Raize decided to become an actor when he was still in middle school. He studied drama at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York City and the Perry-Mansfield School for Performance Art in Colorado. He performed in numerous stage productions, including “La Cage aux Folles,” “Oklahoma!,” “The King and I,” “West Side Story” and “Twelfth Night” before landing roles in the national tours of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Miss Saigon.” Then in 1997, he took on the part of the adult Simba, a role he played on Broadway for almost three years.
Raize signed a contract with Universal Records and recorded his debut album, “NYC,” with writer/producer Desmond Childs for Deston Records, but it was never released. His cover of the song, “The Sounds of Silence,” was included on the 1998 compilation, “The Paul Simon Album: Broadway Sings the Best of Paul Simon.”
In 2003, Raize provided the voice of Denahi, an Ice Age boy who does battle with a bear in the Disney movie, “Brother Bear.” It was recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. When he wasn’t singing or acting, Raize worked as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program.