Inspiration: DJ Rae

DJ Rae

Rae Hall (a.k.a. DJ Rae) is a London-based multi-hyphenate. She DJs, produces and is blessed with the voice of a diva. Her discography including appearing on tracks with like-minded artists such as Sandy Rivera, DJ S.K.T, and Lupe Fuentes for releases on Defected, Hacienda, Azuli, Atlantic, Toolroom, Sony, Ultra, Spinnin and Armada.

In addition to her work making dance floors sweat (fun fact: Rae was the first DJ and singer to perform at Ushuaia Ibiza for Defected), she is currently performing as guest vocalist for the Hacienda Classical tour and has rocked The Royal Albert Hall and on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival.

Always looking for ways to up her musical ante, Hall recently launched her own label, Rated, and dropped two red-hot jams, “My Soul” and “Surrender.”

We checked in with the sensation about five artists — listed below in no particular order — who’ve influenced her music.

Inner City
I’m so thankful Kevin Saunderson crossed that sound of Detroit overground to us. I feel so lucky growing up with such anthems. This was the feeling that made me want to go out, feel the music in a club, on a big system where you could dance and go crazy. That’s what real house music is for me. That sound stands the test of time, as relevant today as it was then.

Jocelyn Brown
One of the house voices I was first bowled over by. She made me want to sing from the top of my lungs. I guess she inspired my power vocals, getting the depths of the soul out there. I can feel every word she sings — there’s nothing throw away, every ad lib is a hook. Her voice resonates massively and since the ‘80s, her songs have been underground and over ground. Those great songs will keep coming back to remind everyone of her undeniable artistry.

MK is part of my house journey, right from where it began to today, with “Push The Feeling On,” “4 U”  and his remix of Chez Damier’s “Can U Feel It” are always in my bag. His unique use of vocals, turning a phrase into a hook, is something totally original. His spin on vocals has stuck with me from the off. I love chopping for hours, and finding those infectious hooks. I love his timeless sound — those drums, the classic organ and pure house piano riffs, always familiar but fresh. I had the pleasure of being with Defected throughout his phenomenal resurgence. It shook things up and set a benchmark where things were getting diluted and he maintains that benchmark.

Zero 7
This was my soundtrack at home for many years. I used to get lost in those albums, trying to figure life out. Sia’s lyrics and raw delivery really got under my skin. I started out with poetry so I always had this deep emotive side to me; I like going there with my song-writing, not so often, but when I have I believe some of those songs are my best works.

One of the few females of her time who had the balls to break through the dance scene and make herself heard, and seen. She went in the organic route which I can relate to, giving her songs to DJs in clubs, getting savvy quick to prove herself. Some of those songs from the early ‘80s are dance tracks, made for the club, and they made it to radio and she became a superstar. Pioneering times, Madonna’s been daring, risky, fierce, breaking boundaries, she took on a man’s world and nailed it. That’s inspirational.

Darren Ressler

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