New – but not that new – musical collective on the block Racka Chachi, have spent the last year creating a collection of funky, hip hop beats which they’ve been spreading across the local scene. Now they’re back with their latest track No Island, set to launch at The Sewing Room this Friday, August 28. ANYA HARRIS caught up with James Moretta (MC/Producer), Daniel D’Rozario (MC/keys) and Jamie Laval (drums) to chat about the new track, get to know the crew a little better and see what’s in store for the future.
Let’s start with your new music. You’re playing The Sewing Room this Friday night to launch your new single No Island along with some killer supports including Otiuh, Cruz Patterson, Freehand and Ornette Coolman x Cooper Cooper. What can we expect from the night?
The night will open with Ornette Coolman & Cooper Cooper to get everyone into the groove with their upbeat dance vibes followed by the super soulful up and comers Freehand. Cruz Patterson will be doing a first-time solo set which we’re really excited to be part of, and before yours truly you’ll be able to catch our good friends Otiuh who have been absolutely killing it recently.
Any chance of getting a sneak-peak into the new track? Describe No Island in three words.
Smooth, tasty, funky.
Since you’re fairly new on the block and we’d like to get to know you a little better, can you tell us a bit about what you stand for as a band?
Our ethos is ‘Do it yourself, do it now, do it with your friends’. We are all creative individuals, but Racka Chachi gives us the vehicle to express and connect with like minds. These are the moments that we feel truly matter, so we try to create these moments with each other and share them with others through our live shows.
How did you guys get together? Has it always been seven of you?
A lot of us were creative individuals who were not necessarily doing a whole lot with our talents. We created Racka Chachi as the opportunity to create something where the output is greater than the sum of its parts. We provide the canvas and define its edges; in order for our artists to really have a tangible creative output that can foster connection with listeners. A few of us actually went to school together. In a lot of cases it is reconnecting with old mates, sometimes it is connecting with like-minded individuals too. Racka Chachi is a fluid collective and we are big on collaboration. If people want to join us and create, we leave the door open for those opportunities. From a live perspective, our lineup has really solidified since Jamie (drums) and Dennis Kooij (temporary bass) joined us, who really help to hold down our rhythm section. We are so stoked with how we are sounding as a live band!
And how does your songwriting and producing process work with so many of you in the band?
It starts with the beats. Typically, one of us will have anything from an idea for a beat to a fully produced song. We then share files around and schedule sessions to really “throw paint around,” so to speak. All vocalists write for all songs then we use a pretty democratic process in carving our ideas into a song that best translates the message we aim to convey.
I’d describe your style as hip hop with a hint of RnB and funk. How would you?
We all share a mutual passion for a range of music in those styles but seem to sit well together with many funk and RnB influences. We definitely love to bring the keys and guitar to the forefront accompanied by a strong backbeat to fit in.
What’s the plan for the year ahead? Is there an album in the works?
We have dedicated the last 12 months to singles. This has been in order to hone our skills both as songwriters but also on the mixing and mastering side of things. We are now at a point where we would love to explore longer forms of release. We have begun work on a mixtape which we would love to use to better establish our style and direction. With so many members and diverse musical backgrounds, we feel this will be the best way to communicate our unique strengths.
And I think that I have to finish on this next question. Where did the groovy name Racka Chachi come from?
Racka Chachi is derived from a Sanskrit parable which speaks of the duality of consciousness, the one side of the brain which says to indicate when turning; the other which says to not.