We get to know Rafa, a fresh new Canberran performer who’s just dropped his first ever single ‘Fight No More’.
You know when a new artist mentions the name Max Martin as a pop inspiration, their musical output is going to be something pretty special. And, with vocals from UK singer Sam Welch, he’s more than delivered here.
We were instantly taken with Rafa’s track when it landed in our inbox just over a week ago.
But we’ve decided to get to know him and his music a little more with a new feature, so say hello to Rafa!
01. Name : Rafa.
02. Where are you based? Canberra based.
03. How did you get your start in music? I bought FL studio, started playing around with the piano roll, experimenting with melodies.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Fun, Passionate, Technical, Perfectionist, Inspired.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. I’m influenced by music that gives me energy and creates emotion, so I’ve always strived for that. I want my music to have no boring bits – so I guess that’s why Ive gravitated towards pop.
Also I love clean, clear production, punchy percussion and giving a lot of tonal qualities to each element adding to the ‘picture’. Certain artists that have influenced me have led me to create something that perhaps bridges a gap between dance pop and the typical drops you’re familiar with in trap pop while maintaining a fun energy.
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? I have a lot of memories growing up listening to Latin music thinking, ‘wow this makes me feel really good’. But I think the most memorable was listening to ‘Zombie Nation’ by Kernkraft 400 and really starting to question how the notes/melody or chord progression or whatever it was made me feel that way, like almost euphoric.
07. Who have been your musical influences? Calvin Harris (amazing songwriter, meshing together the dance and pop worlds), Avicii (chord progressions/melodies), Max Martin (effortless song structures and unique sounds and hooks), Chainsmokers (mixing trap and pop), 21 Pilots (quirky unique melodies).
08. What are your favourite songs of all time? ‘Hey Ya’ by OutKast (has an addictive happy melody that never gets old to me).
09. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music? Just going for a walk in nature with the headphones on.
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling : Happy? Sad? Introspective? Exhausted? I don’t really have go tos… I just listen to my own music lol and I never listen to music for anything other than to be happy, or feel inspired.
11. What was the first album you ever bought? No album – maybe some pop top 40 hits things, I dunno.
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I have three brothers and two sisters.
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? Chiropractic. I’m a concreter so I know what it is to have a sore back and also what helps.
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? I wouldn’t say it was advice from someone in particular… but having belief in what you’re doing, not forcing the outcome and feeling inspired and having fun.
15. What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far? This debut has been the highlight. Just enjoying the process and feedback.
16. What’s been the strangest experience you’ve had in the business? I can’t say that I’ve had any strange experiences. But I’ve had some funny demos presented to me over my instrumentals.
17. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? I wouldn’t trade. I’m very happy in my position regardless of the outcome. But if I have to answer it would be someone like Calvin Harris – creating amazing music with other amazing artists and vocalists.
18. Tell us about your debut release. ‘Fight No More’ I feel is my hybrid of club sonics/hard hitting hip hop percussion and plenty of energy in a pop environment and structure. Not relying entirely on vocal to fill the chorus. So it’s almost like an anti-drop hook in the chorus with a hip hop foundation – in swing.
You could say trap has some of these characteristics but it doesn’t sound like trap. So I think its quite unique in that aspect. The sound and melody of the lead trumpet are also very memorable I feel. Sam’s vocals are amazing too. He is a super talented singer songwriter. He effortlessly pieces together catchy lyrics
19. What do your future plans involve? I’m working on new stuff with a similar vibe/rhythm but different emotion. Very excited about that. And then I have some other very experimental pieces of music that I love but are very random. So we’ll what happens with them haha. I’m just going with the flow.
20. Where can our audiences catch you live? At this point I am nowhere to be seen live.