RaeCola – the duo of twin sisters Rae and Nicole – look to the source of house music for inspiration. That said, their sound – heard on recent release “Bounce” – isn’t just a throwback to a bygone decade. Instead, it’s more of a forward-looking homage.
Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, the two were exposed to house music from an early age.
As producers inspired by DJ Slugo, Ghettoblaster, and DJ Godfather, they combine the dirty, emphatic beats with an eclectic array of other elements to differentiate themselves.
They’ve dubbed this “Ghetto Tech House,” fusing together a mix of dance floor-beckoning drumbeats and basslines with select vocals and a timeless PLUR attitude of positive vibes, love, and fun.
As their career gathers steam, they released an EP titled Berzerk back in July and made DJing appearances at Day Trip and Dirtybird Camp.
How did you start working together?
We’ve always shared a love of music since we were kids. After learning how to DJ, it was a no-brainer for us to do it together as twins. We each bring our own styles into our production and DJ sets.
You describe your style as “Ghetto Tech House” – what makes your sound distinct?
Our usual sound of ghetto tech house is derived from our love for Chicago Ghetto House combined with Tech House.
This release has a different take on our Chicago influences combining more classic house and R&B.
How did Chicago’s legacy in house music influence your sound?
Growing up in Chicago, we were very inspired by classic artist like Jessie Saunders, Frankie Knuckles, and Marshall Jefferson.
The feeling we got while listening to these artist growing up has a big influence in developing our track “Bounce.” From the melody to the lyrics, we wanted to embody the groove of these classic artist.
Today, what’s your approach for creating a track?
Each track we’ve created has had a slightly different approach.
We both naturally gravitate towards drums and synths, so we typically jam and experiment together with those first.
We often try to include elements of ghetto house whether that’s within the drums or vocal.
Tell us about “Bounce” – what were your inspirations and vision for this track?
“Bounce” actually started off as a bass house track. We really wanted a track to spin in the club with a vocal that felt effortless and easy to sing along to.
After re-recording the vocal in a softer tone and adding in the melodies you hear today, we instantly fell in love.
This song really shows our journey through house and inspirations really well, from the classics to music we listened to a lot around 2010 to our own style today.
Along with this track, how did your debut EP take shape?
Our debut EP came together quite naturally. As the title track, “Bezerk” started with a vocal that Rae came up with one night while traveling for a gig. After returning home, we got in the studio, and it was one of the most free-flowing sessions.
Every idea we laid down just fit perfect together. After finishing the track, we wanted to accompany “Bezerk” alongside a track that showcased our love for ghetto house and juke in a fresh way.
The three tracks we now have released along with our other unreleased tracks you may hear in our sets truly embody our style and taste.
In terms of software and other gear, what’s your preference?
We produce all of our tracks on Ableton. We love the flexibility and depth of possibilities within the software.
We use Serum for nearly all our synths. It has become our go to for creating unique leads and FXs. We hope to expand into more hardware as we continue to build our home studio!
Beyond production, how do you approach putting together a DJing set?
We both started off as more open format DJs before narrowing into mostly house music and production.
Since we started DJing six years ago, we have always included ghetto house, Afro beat, Brazilian funk, hip-hop, and many other styles.
We take the same approach with our DJ sets today. Taking you on a journey through styles with unexpected twist and turns.
With your career rising relatively quickly, what plans do you have for the near future?
We have some amazing tracks and collaborations in store for the new year along with some other projects close to our hearts, including a mental health journal.
It’s been really exciting seeing our hard work from all these years really paying off. One of our next exciting shows coming up is Minimal Effort, December 9th in LA playing alongside Louie Vega, Mark Farina, and DJ Dan.