RAE BIOGRAPHY AUGUST 2011 The singer-songwriter and DJ Rae has not only carved out her own niche in the dance music industry – she is in the process of constructing her own throne. First there was Can’t Stop, a collaboration with Kings of Tomorrow and her first signing with Defected, which was an instant hit with the house community; then came Persuasion, deep and melodic with an infectious groove. With Sandy Rivera on beats, the duo’s homemade video soon made its way to the no. 1 spot on MTV dance. Give Me Love and It’s Over, both with ATFC, sealed her reputation as one of the most exciting new artists on the scene. And then came the addictive 2010 re-working of the seminal Kosheen track Hide U, also with Sandy Rivera. Powerful, with a soul of sweet melancholy, singer-songwriter and DJ Rae has the voice of a modern house diva. And Rivera, who she met behind the decks at Ibiza’s Bora Bora beach club, has become something of a mentor to a young woman shaking up the dance music industry. “Working with Sandy has been about zoning in on my direction and where to go with my sound,” says the Kingston-based musician. “He’s really helped me to find focus, and dedicate myself to working on my vocal performance and my singing technique.” The result is a super-slick stage show, which sees Rae singing live, note perfect, over her own tech-fused DJ set with infectious energy and passion “The fact I do both is my USP – it’s still not a common combination. To do it right takes massive focus, persistence and dedication.” Focus, persistence and dedication – three words which could describe Rae’s music career to date. Having been writing songs “for what feels like forever”, “when I discovered electronic music I would sing over the top of instrumental vinyl tracks in my bedroom.” Feeling “a bit lost” after finishing college (“I knew I wanted to do music, but I couldn’t see where I fit”) she travelled to Ibiza for the summer with a friend. “I came back super-focused. I knew I wanted to be part of the scene there, not just a punter rocking up at a club. I really wanted a piece of it.” A firm believer in fate, she returned home to find that her brother had bought some decks. “That was the catalyst. The poor guy never got near them again…” fast forward to 2011and she was back on the White Isle DJing at Pacha for Defected. “It felt like such a huge achievement, to be on the other side of the decks, doing my thing and being appreciated for it. I had to take a little moment. I could have cried at the end of the night.” If the past two years have been about honing her live performance, it’s because “I never want to have to chose between singing and DJing, and I've had to hammer it into people’s brains that I can do both.” And if she had to chose between them? “I feel blessed and thankful that I haven’t had to.” Because for Rae the two go hand-in-hand. “Singing my own songs live in every set has become my trademark. It means I really do play from the heart, and I think people see that and feel my energy.” Describing herself as “a sucker for goods songs,” Rae’s productions come from the heart. She says her father – “a keen music lover with a massive record collection that spans decades – was a major influence on her growing up. “He’s still a sounding board and a constant inspiration. Because of him, I listened to all sorts of music from a very early age and really absorbed his passion.” Like every true songwriter, “I write based on my emotions,” she says. “If I ever have a day when I’m not in touch with what I’m feeling, the music isn’t happening. Not that I won’t try and make it happen!” Currently working on solo singles (“I’ve been in the studio day and night, unable to pull myself out. Not that I want to. When you’re on a creative one it’s best to just go with it…”), she is also focusing on her first solo album. “I have had the pleasure of working with some great producers on the scene, its inspiring and I enjoy collaborating, but I also have the hunger to do my own thing,” she says. “I have my own singles with my own sound, I like to be involved in the whole creative process and this is the next phase for me.” An edited history of everything she’s done so far, as well as featuring exclusive new songs which reflect the evolution of her sound, “it will join the dots of who I am as an artist.” And then there is the unfinished album she has been working on with Rivera. “We probably have enough material for two of three albums, the amount of songs we’ve done together,” she laughs. “But what we’re putting together will be completely different to what people expect. We’ve worked with a live band, lots of it acoustic. It’s going to be really special.” Future ambitions are for large-scale stadium gigs. “I would love to perform in a concert venue with a full live band, and crystal clear sound where you can really feel every note,” says the girl who confesses she would have loved to go to performing arts school. Ever positive, she is philosophical when she says; “that might not have happened for me, but I found my own way onto the stage.” Now she’s found her spot in the limelight, Rae is determined to give it everything she’s got. “My mission is to make music I believe in. I want to write tracks that cross the genre boundaries and reach the masses, songs that really stand the test of time. That’s what motivates me and keeps me challenging myself and working hard.” And nothing will stand in her way. “I’ve cleared the way and chosen my path. Now it’s like, "I’m here, and I’m ready to take it all the way"