Rahj is like a breath of fresh air. There’s a way about him that is simply contagious and that just puts your spirit at ease. It’s his world and his world is groovy.
His music, at least the part that I’m familiar with, is exhilarating. I adore Top 40’s music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and Rahj and his band ‘The Mash’ have a magical way of blending the best of the best into absolute perfection; the results often sounding as if that’s how they were originally intended. It’s a high-energy tantalizing experience that’s delivered weekly at the Village Underground.
On October 30th however, I was introduced to a different side of Rahj. Performing for the very first time on the stage of the legendary Blue Note, he revealed a side of him that was raw and personal. Exposed in front of an audience that consisted of regulars, friends and family, he began to share with us the journey of his personal music and the situations in life that led to the lyrics. This was all brand new to me and I was so excited – I took it all in like a sponge. The Blue Note’s program book reads “His original music is currently maintaining heavy rotation on Sirius Radio XM, BBC as well as other stations around the world and has been featured on major motion picture soundtracks including Love the Hard Way staring Adrain Broody & Pam Grier”.
I was curious to get his thoughts on what the experience of the night meant for him and so I shot him a quick note with my questions. His answers were so honest that I couldn’t bare to edit.
ChatGem: I understand it took some time and convincing to get you on to the Blue Note stage, what did it mean for you to finally be there?
Rahj: Rolling by that line of people waiting to get into that place on the way to my other gig every weekend after all these years, felt like a window shoppers dream. I knocked on the door enough to know I better stop trying to push before I “really” annoy them. I think we got noticed when we started Tuesday nights at the V.U. One of their managers came across the street and caught a bit of our show and soon after I got an invitation from the owner, which is now being framed along with the pictures I took with my peeps that night.
To me this night IS SUCCESS! I’m still high from it (without smoking). My Dad and friends filled the room for an hour of original songs. The general manager of the Blue Note pulls me aside to say “we’ll be doing it again”. The short answer to your question is, I feel like the real life version of Will Smith puttin my hands up in “Pursuit of Happiness.”
ChatGem: If this was dream of yours, how high in the bar of dreams does it fall and where is the top?
Rahj: Feels like a living dream now. I got a chinese fortune cookie when I was broke and jobless that said, in a season I’d be better off than I ever have before. I laughed at it (but i kept it). These days prove it right. I’m better of now then I’ve ever been before. I’m not saying that there isn’t more but I’m cherishing these days because I’m surrounded by incredible artist and a community I love. I get to play music almost every night; I’m learning to present songs better. There’s nothing better than growing to be less afraid and moving on it with my click to see if it can travel the world a bit… while we have our place at home.
It’s simple you see… like with most New York City artist, Rahj oozes talent and has struggled to get his music noticed. He is ambitious and a big dreamer but he’s also realistic. He knows and understands his blessings and doesn’t take any of it for granted. He is that breath of fresh air as I mentioned earlier.
You can catch up to Rahj and The Mash Tuesday nights at the Village Underground. Click here for more on Rahj and also be sure to visit his youtube page. And finally, here is a little bit a video I took the night of the Blue Note. Here he is accompanied by good friends, Brockett Parsons of Diddy’s Making His Band on keys and Taylor McFerrin, beatboxer extraordinaire. Enjoy!