Wednesday, March 7th at 11:15AM Pacific on VuHaus
Experimental singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jordan Rakei brings his smooth and soulful sound to KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic radio show this Wednesday, and VuHaus will have the stream live from Los Angeles. At just 25 years old, Rakei’s career has already spanned continents, genres, and music scenes. Here’s a primer on where he’s come from and what’s going on in his world now:
Australian Roots – Born in New Zealand and raised mainly in Australia, Rakei launched his musical career from his home studio in Brisbane. Citing influences as diverse as Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, and Jeff Buckley, Rakei’s early discography featured plenty of genre-hopping, with forays into hip-hop, jazz, and reggae playing back-to-back-to-back. Between 2013’s Franklin’s Room and 2014’s more approachable Groove Curse, his self-released and self-produced EPs formed the foundations of what was to come moving forward. Get a taste of his early sound below.
Big Breaks – Later in 2014, Rakei left the reggae rhythms and one drop drum beats in Australia and brought his impeccable production quality and pristine vocal chops to London, where he hoped to take his music to the next level in a first-rate cultural hub. One collaboration with popular singer/songwriter/DJ Tom Misch and a guest vocal appearance on a Discolsure album later, and Rakei had clearly made the move worth his while. What he had planned as a four-month trip became an apparently indefinite move, and London became his HQ as he recorded his first full-length record, Cloak. Hear the Misch re-mix of Cloak’s opening track, “Midnight Mischief,” below.
Wallflower – More than collaborations and re-mixes, though, greater testament to Rakei’s own work is the attention it earned him from acclaimed independent hip-hop/electro label Ninja Tune. At the prospect of joining their highly-influential roster (Bonobo, Fink, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, etc.), Rakei wasted no time in putting together what would become Wallflower, his second-full length album. With this record -which dropped barely a year after Cloak – Rakei solidifies himself, even at 25, as a truly prolific musical artist. The record, which he describes as “groove-based moodiness,” is introspective and innovative (see “making of” video below) – an outgrowth of his ever-experimental music journey. Appropriately, Rakei has assembled a six-piece live band and is taking this new batch of songs around the globe, from the U.S. to Europe to South Africa. Expect big things from him as the world catches up to what they’ve been missing so far.
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