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Issue 1084

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Feature

Rae: Turning Japanese

Rae @bluesandsoul.com
Rae @bluesandsoul.com Rae @bluesandsoul.com Rae @bluesandsoul.com Defected In The House - Tokyo '11 BUY NOW

Rae first exploded, Amazon-like onto the scene back in 2008, striking a white-hot ray of sunshine through the dismally monochrome summer everyone in the UK was experiencing. Since then, sheテ「冱 gone global, with gigs around the globe confirming her status as one of the most engaging live performers on the scene.

With dangerously sharp skills behind the decks and a powerfully sublime voice to accompany her strikingly beautiful looks, she has a stage presence few can match. She has also established herself as the go-to singer and songwriter for some of the industryテ「冱 hottest producers and looks set further cement this position over the coming months, with releases with Sandy Rivera, Studio Apartment, Michael Grey and Danism. So in the wake of this tidal wave of activity, we thought it was about time we caught up with this soldier of house to find out exactly how she rolls. Here she discusses her many passions, conquering pre-match nerves and early テ「話lood-suckingテ「 ambitions!?

TT: Explain to us who you are and what you doテ「ツヲ

RAE: DJ & artist sums it up as a label for me. Iテ「冦 a passionate songwriter and performer so once my songs are nailed Iテ「冦 ready to hit them out live in my DJ sets, It seems like thereテ「冱 a lot going on but I guess it all goes hand in hand for me.

TT: You have some pretty stunning promo shots done, is image important for you as an artist?

RAE: Of course, I always make a big effort, like everyone I have good and bad days but I try to maintain a good image and really enjoy being creative with make-up and fashion.

TT: How did you break into the house scene?

RAE: I guess like many people, chipping away since being a clubber which is where I found my passion for the scene. My break was really when テ「呂anテ「冲 Stopテ「 started to make waves. That was my first release, with legendary house-head Sandy Rivera and on one of the most sought after labels, which was a good start!

TT: Your other passion is chill-out music...how involved are you in that scene and what tracks have you produced in this style?

RAE: I have a very eclectic taste with musicテ「ツヲIテ「冦 so into house but I also love live bands, Zero 7, Portishead, Massive Attack, so I have all these influences buzzing around in my creative space. Whilst working with Sandy on house tracks we came up with all these other vibes, and before we knew it thereテ「冱 this chill out album thatテ「冱 starting to sound really special and feels so organic that we just had to go with it. Weテ「决e in no rush to release it, when the timeテ「冱 right it will happen and hopefully people will appreciate it.

TT: Tell me about some of the people and producers that you have influenced your career. What is special about them?

RAE: As you can tell working with Sandy has lead to many great things and I continue to be inspired by our work together. I am lucky to have worked with some very talented people, I have taken something positive from all of them. I have been influenced a great deal by Motown and the legendary singers, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, and I love those sounds being recreated by people like Mark Ronson with Daniel Merriweather & Amy Winehouse. I also love funk, Jamiroquai is a constant voice on my iPod, also Brand New Heavies and Moloko. Great songs and voices,テつI like working with people in the house scene who appreciate the importance of good songs.

I got hooked into the house scene by songs and infectious beats and grooves, I used to leave clubs with hooks going round and round in my head and get mix tapes from people like Graeme Park & Danny Rampling and play them religiously. Theyテ「决e classics now, but thatテ「冱 where it all began for me and sparked the interest to go deeper into the scene, the US greats, Todd Terry, Sneak, MAW...the amazing voice of India. So many great inspirations.

TT: Is it difficult to compete in a world where most of the headlining DJs are male?

RAE: Itテ「冱 not easy, some people think itテ「冱 easier being a girl but you really have to prove yourself constantly. テつ

TT: What makes your different from other DJs?

RAE: The obvious thing is I sing, which is still not a common combination. I would like to think I do it in a cool way that compliments the vibe of the night and makes me different in my own right.

TT: Tell me what it feels like to DJ and perform in front of big crowds. Do you get nervous?

RAE: I always feel nervous energy but you learn to work with it and enjoy it. If I stopped feeling that, I would be worried. I think it fires you up. I just came back from Ibiza, my first gig at the legendary Pacha, and for the Defected Closing Party! I was nervous but as soon as I got on the stage I just got lost in it all, the Defected parties have such a cool vibe you just enjoy it with the crowd.テつテつ

TT: Do you write all of your own songs? How do you come up with the inspiration?

RAE: I do. I go through different phases, sometimes I want to release some emotions, sometimes I want to tell a story, sometimes I fantasise and get lost in another world. テつI love the diversity and freedom I have as a writerテ「ツヲit really is an amazing experience when it comes together and unfolds into a song. I get a buzz every time.

TT: You have recently worked with the Japanese artists Studio Apartmentテ「ツヲ

RAE: Yeah on テ「郎our Wordsテ「. I loved the track and this song just flowed, loads of soul and good hooks. It worked really well and its getting a lot of love already. Iテ「冦 hoping to be in Japan this month to perform with the guys for the first time.

TT: Your next mix album is based around the vibe of Tokyoテ「ツヲ

RAE: Iテ「冦 really excited about the compilation. The Defected In The House mixes are consistent in quality and really define house music through the times. I have the launch party at Ministry of Sound on the 30th October, where Iテ「冦 playing alongside Studio Apartment so Iテ「冦 sure it will be a wicked vibeテ「ツヲthe line-up is hot!

TT: What have you done with your mix? Explain the vibeテ「ツヲ

RAE: Iテ「冦 a sucker for those anthemic, hands in the air moments and goosebumps taking you somewhere else, so I wanted a few of those in there with some infectious grooves, and Iテ「况e fused some classic elements Iテ「冦 really feeling into the mix too.

TT: Tell me about some of the standout tracks that are on the mixテ「ツヲ

RAE: テ「路ide Uテ「 is up there. Itテ「冱 working so well on the dancefloor and I love the moment it drops, when I sing it live it goes off, so Iテ「冦 really excited to be bringing it back. The Round TableテつKnights mix of Coma Cat is awesome too, as is the revisit of Diamond life. There are so many hot tracks out there right now, itテ「冱 a great time for music for me at the moment.テつ

TT: Hereテ「冱 your chance to tell us something that we don't know about Rae.

I always wanted to be a vampire!

Defected Record's Tokyo In The House 11 is out now
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