5 Facts / 5 Tracks: DJ Rae
Singer, Songwriter, DJ and Producer DJ Rae has carved herself a successful career on the house scene since she made her debut with Sandy Rivera in 2008. Since then, Rae has gone on to work with names such as ATFC, DJ SKT, David Penn, Maxinne, Doorly, Danism + Train, Monki, The Deepshakerz, Gene Farris, and more, as well as releasing her own solo productions, most recently, ’The Journey’ on Quantize Recordings. This month Rae returns to Quantize with a stunning new collaboration with fellow London house producer Neil Pierce, titled, ‘Paradise’.
Today we welcome DJ Rae to our 5 Facts, 5 Tracks feature where we find out a bit more about her and what tracks have influenced her career so far.
DJ Rae started out her career as RAE when signing to Defected with her first release ‘Can’t Stop’ with Kings of Tomorrow. There were very few, if any female artists doing what Rae did in her lane of house music, singing, writing, performing and DJing, and there was no one else on the scene with the name RAE. This soon changed and several Rae’s popped up in the scene, with different spellings but it still caused enough confusion to lead to Rae changing her artist name to DJ Rae, a small tweak of definition.
Rae is half Polish half British with a strong family foundation, she started to explore her voice really early on, alone in her bedroom with the classic hair brush singing along to The Supremes 12 inch album, learning every word and harmony. She would also master Randy Crawford, and shamelessly admits her determination to nail Starships Nothings gonna stop us now, with a huge note in the middle eight that took years to hit. Naturally drawn to performance, Rae took the lead role of-wait for it- Scrooge In the local play, and soon became the first musician in the family, playing piano, flute and violin, and moving on to the real game changers, the karaoke box and a set of decks she would later steal from her big brother.
Rae was the first female DJ to combine live performance in a DJ set at Ushuaia Ibiza with Defected in its opening year. She made a big impact, headlining many nights that season, with the crowd often looking up at the DJ booth in dismay at the girl who was rocking the decks and belting out powerhouse vocals over her mixes.
Some are surprised that Rae is a producer In her own right, actually, she started producing around 2010, as a natural progression as she was already recording and producing her own vocals. The first remix was of her own record ‘Another Day’ on Defected. She’s since remixed and produced on labels such as Nothing Else Matters, Sony, Audio Rehab and Get Twisted and has also produced under the alias Kamereon, exploring her sound, delving into a deeper vibe whenever the mood takes her there.
One of the first house records that made a big impact on Rae was ‘Pennies From Heaven’ by Inner City, evoking real emotion whist making you want to dance and lose yourself, this record sparked a big inspiration for Rae as a singer-songwriter, little did she know years later she would be asked to join The Hacienda Classical shows performing that very song on stages like the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury with full orchestra.
DJ Rae & Neil Pierce ‘Paradise’
When DJ Spen told me about this demo from Neil Pierce, he caught me in a really good space in time, and I believe this is key with all the best records I’ve worked on. I listened, I got on the mic and sang and recorded and the song was done. I ran all the BV’s, mixed the vocals and sat back completely happy, in just a few hours, It was all there and I love it and I didn’t change a thing. Sometimes the story just tells itself, and here it is, my story right now, full of new inspiration and love.
George Morel ‘Let’s Groove’
From dancing to this as a fresh clubber, to playing it in so many of my sets over the years, this tune never grows old, no vocals just a pure groove in a league of its own. If you only ever produced this one record you’d be pretty happy. It was a real moment for me when I signed my music to Strictly Rhythm, the home of this gem and so many of my clubland memories in those formative years. Definitely one of my all time favourite labels.
Barbara Tucker ‘Beautiful People’ (The Underground Network Mix)
This is a really special song with a really special message that still needs to be heard. Barbara needs no intro, she’s just always had it, the true house diva. Barbara’s delivery is just unique and sublime, the hooks, the BVs, every element all coming together to make a masterpiece celebration of house music at its very best. They don’t make them like this anymore that is for sure.
Ultra Naté ‘New Kind Of Medicine’
This record is beautifully crafted and still sounds fresh to the day, I love the musicianship, I see this as a quality benchmark for house music that stands the test of time. Ultra has been an inspiration to me from the early days, her effortless vibe, the songs, her look and attitude, how she carries herself, and she’s one of the few other credible female house artists who plays a mean DJ set too.
Brand New Heavies ‘Get Back To Love’ (Graeme Park Remix)
I got into this band through my big brother, he had good taste, so a lot of my teenage influences in music came from him. I stole his albums, then heard the remixes dropping out there as a clubber, I felt privileged to be hearing this stuff, I knew these records, heard them on the radio, but some of these versions were like gold dust, that only us house heads knew about. That’s how it felt back then, like we were a part of something really special and these records were made for us. It was a beautiful thing for my journey to bring me to tour with Graeme Park and The Hacienda classical, singing together on stage with a full orchestra to thousands of people, its what dreams are made of.
DJ Rae & Neil Pierce ‘Paradise’ is out now on Quantize Recordings, make sure you grab a copy using the button below!