This week we catch up with DJ Rap direct from her LA residence as her latest single 'Detonate' surfs our chart here at TID! Currently preparing for her next UK visit and an appearance at the mega-rave Moondance this August, we thought it would be the perfect time to grab a few words from the queen of D&B!
Hey Charissa, how are you? What has been happening for you over the last few days?
Well, it's been a bit hectic as I've been designing an Ableton course that will be available on MTC'S website soon (MusicTechCollective.com) which is my music school. I'm also working on the next single already in the evenings so all my time is swallowed up this month focusing on those two things.
I've been editing since May 23rd and it's a monster mission to create but I'm nearly there now! I could literally edit a movie in my sleep as I've completed 400 hours!
Your label Propa Talent is always dominating the D&B charts here at TID, anything exciting coming up?
Yes, thank you, Detonate is doing very well! The next single is called 'Good Life' and is in the works.....you'll have to wait and see.
You are currently based in LA and have been for a number of years, what made you decide to move away from the UK? and is there much of a D&B scene out there in California?
I am very grateful for all England has done for me and I miss it terribly, however the opportunities I was presented with at the time with Sony meant I had to move...If I was to grow and reach my potential as an artiste. I just felt I needed to expand my horizons as a musician, I'm not only a drum and bass producer, more than a DJ...much like actors feel pigeon-holed in certain roles, I feel the same. I wanted to cross genres in dance, I was the first to do that, I wanted to work with house producers, rock producers and film composers and focus on songwriting as well as act. I wanted to explore all music period. So that is what I did and continue to do. I grabbed that chance and rode the wave.
You have been DJ’ing the circuit since the early 90’s rave era and voted No 1 female DJ 10 years in succession which is some accolade. Was it harder back then with less female DJ’s on the circuit?
I honestly believe it is harder now. I feel the game is very different now and sexism is alive and well. It was not like that for me breaking through the glass ceiling at the time, sure it was tough, but promoters wanted to give me a shot.
You hit the UK very soon and are appearing at the mighty Moondance festival here in London. You must be excited to be amongst such a jaw-dropping line-up of rave heroes?
It's always a good time to perform with my friends who happen to also be my heroes. Plus I get to rave with all my gal pals so lock up your sons!
Talking oldskool, how did you first break in to world of DJ’ing and what was in your opinion your first big break?
I went to a rave saw 'DEM2' they dropped '10 pounds to get in' and I was hooked. Knew in that instant this is what I wanted to do. First break was pirate radio, Rave FM then Fantasy FM is where people started to sit up and take notice. Thank you Foxy for giving me the chance! As the first girl on there it was a big deal, then Astoria is where I became really well known becoming the first female to play the main room. Incidentally, I also got fired some time later for asking for the same money as the guys lol.
Outside of the D&B arena, please tell us about your other projects that are cooking, you never seem to stop?
I'm looking forward to Burning man this year, so I'm developing a new sound especially for that....I'm in acting classes working that muscle as I'm lead actress in 'Seeker Friendly' in production currently so it's a lot of work but I love it! Focusing on the school and another huge project that Im not allowed to discuss that starts in July....you'll have to interview me again to find out ha ha.
Who are your own personal 3 most inspirational female DJs of all time and why?
Mistress Barbera, for her technical skills on the decks
DJ irene for her passion, heart and connection to the crowd
Nina Kraviz, for her Techno productions
Are there any exciting global tour dates on the horizon for you?
Yes I will be in England for around 6 weeks starting in October to tour and Australia, we are putting it together now People can connect with my agent if that interests them. Lee Boyaka <firstname.lastname@example.org> I'm only doing 1/2 tours a year now as I can't be on planes all the time, I don't want my life to be like that anymore. Quality over quantity.
Finally, your latest single detonate is out now, you always go the extra mile with an accompanying video. How long does it take to put something like that together? and do you feel that music videos are as important today as they always have been?
If only you knew how much work it was! I sometimes wonder why I do this, it's so much work to make music. I'm on my own and I don't work with a team in the studio, so it takes me forever. Then you hear the result and you say, “ok that's why I do this”. I just love it. Detonate took me two years before I was happy with it. The video is part of the movie and I think it's great to have video but it does not really impact the sales. The thing that sells the record is the record. It all starts with a great song.
Check out DJ Rap's biggest tracks this month!
Catch DJ Rap at Moondance Festival, Sunday 6th August, Trent Country Park, Barnet, EN4 0PS
For tickets: CLICK HERE