As he announces his second album, we speak exclusively to Grammy award-winning remix artist turned producer, RAC.

Remixes occupy a weird place in pop music. Blessed with the power to lift a track from obscurity or reveal something new in a song, they can both eclipse original works and be unnecessary reworks of them. Most closely associated with the world of dance music, over the last decade they’ve begun to find their way into indie, rock, hip hop and beyond, almost becoming a genre in their own right.


For RAC, remixes became an entire career. The founding member of the Remix Artists Collective, Andre Anjos’ first release was a remix of the Shins’ ‘Sleeping Lessons’. A burbling, tender rework that kept all the delicacy of the original while revealing something new, it was a hit. From there a journey began that would see Anjos rework everyone from Lana Del Rey to Bob Marley, making a name as one of the finest remixers in the industry.


Yet Anjos felt the need to make something of his own and in 2014 released his first album as RAC, Strangers. Warmly received by critics and fans alike, the album saw Anjos collaborate with the indie crowd he’d made his name reworking, enlisting the likes of Tegan and Sara and Bloc Party’s Kele to vocal tracks for the project. The resulting success saw him tour the album with a full live band playing across the US and performing at Coachella, Lollapalooza and a host of other festivals.


Today, RAC announces his second album EGO. Broader in scope than his debut and even more ambitious, it sees Anjos working with the likes of Rostam, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, MNDR and a host of collaborators, creating an uninterrupted hour Summery, alternative-leaning electronic pop. He’s already released the album’s first single ‘This Song (Ft Rostam)’ and this morning he unveiled it’s second, the Rivers Cuomo featuring ‘I Still Wanna Know’. We spoke to him exclusively about the new project, his recent Grammy win and how he balances his own work with his remixes.

What’s the difference between creating remixes and your own music?

Quite honestly, there isn’t much of a difference. It’s perceived very differently but at the end of the day it’s all music. Different starting points, but it’s just music. I find creative fulfilment in both.

What inspired the change?

It wasn’t really a change, it was more of a continuation of what I was already doing. I used remixing to get my foot in the door, and now that I’m in I just wanna keep evolving as a musician. That’s my ultimate goal, to become the best musician I can be. The day I stop learning is the day I stop making music.

Tell us about the new album, what can people expect?

On the last album, I wasn’t expecting it to do as well as it did. I surely hoped for it, but I was taken aback by the reaction. It was a very rewarding surprise. I spent years of my life developing it and that hard work paid off. With all of that said, I felt very misunderstood by the media and by my own fans. I think it was perceived very lightheartedly and that’s not how I felt about it at all. Part of that was because one of the main singles was never supposed to be a part of that album, so it felt very disjointed to me. This new album is the next step in defining my career and who I am as an artist. It feels like I’ve broken away from how I was perceived before. It’s titled EGO because it was a true exploration of my own personal interests and influences. It was my own way of processing everything that happened after the last record. I closed myself off from most of the world and just did my own thing. It feels honest and it’s my favourite thing I’ve ever done.


One of the more unique things about it is that it’s one long piece of music. It’s still divided up into more traditional songs, but it’s meant to be listened to as an album. It’s exactly 60:00min long with no breaks. This probably seems like a bad idea in the age of streaming, but I’ve never been interested in catering to the norm.

Do you have a favourite track on it?

Given the free-flowing nature of it, I have favourite moments. It’s not so clear cut as a single song.

Do you have a favourite artist to collaborate with?

I certainly have my go-to people that I love working with, but when it comes down to it, I really enjoy working with a variety of people instead of a single artist. It keeps things challenging and very interesting. Not just for the listener, but for me.

Which track was the most fun or challenging to create?

The whole thing was incredibly difficult and time consuming. I’ve been working on this in one way or another since 2013. I’m not a masochist but the challenge is what makes it fun.

You’ve released a track with Rostam and now Rivers from Weezer – are you still working mainly with indie artists?

Funny enough, both those artists are on major labels. I understand what you mean though, and I don’t really try to go for any specific genre. It just happens to be that some of the best artists and vocalists are in the “indie” space. It also happens to be the world that I came up in, so it just happened naturally.

Do you reach out to you collaborators or do they contact you now?

Most of the tracks on this album are with people that I’ve known for a long time, whether that’s through remixing or touring. Most of these things happen naturally. It’s like “hey we have a day off in Portland, let’s work on something”. A couple years go by and then you have a song.

What’s your favourite RAC remix?

I couldn’t possibly pick.

What’s your favourite non-RAC remix?

Blur – ‘Tender (Cornelius Remix)’

Is it odd hearing other people’s remixes of your work?

I think it’s really cool to hear someone else’s perspective on your own song. I’m always pleasantly surprised. In some way or another, that’s what I’m trying to do with my own remixes.

Is everything different now you’ve won a Grammy?

I had already been nominated so I figured that it would be just slightly better than that, but winning the award is life changing. I dunno that my daily life is any different but it’s definitely changed how I’m perceived. My manager Matt described it as something for the obituary. It sounds morbid, but it’ll follow me for the rest of my life.

Will you be touring the new album?

Yes, we’re planning a full world tour. Asia, Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. I’m hoping for Africa as well, but that’s a bit harder.


EGO is out on July 14th via Counter Records, pre-order it now.


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