From early Morning through to late Evening - DJ Raphael has a mix to relax, uplift and inspire! Jazzy, soulful, funky tracks from known and hard to find artists, each collection takes you on a musical journey.
A music connoisseur, it's no surprise that DJ Raphael has a huge internet following, with listeners eagerly awaiting the next uploaded mix.
How do you find all of the amazing tracks that make your mixes?
A lot of listening! I spend a lot of my free time just listening to a whole bunch of music. It could be from online radio shows, social media, online streaming services and pirate radio. I’ve always found the process of listening to and discovering new music just as joyful as making mixes, it takes some time and patience but it's always worth it in my eyes.
What is it that makes a good song stand out to you?
There are a few things I think, production has always been something I value along with lyrics and the message of the song. Most importantly though I think it's a feeling, I want music to make me feel something when I listen to it. It can be any emotion but if it moves me, I want it to have the same effect when other people listen.
It's hard to pinpoint because everyone’s different, but for me I would say its soulful music that makes me feel something. I value artists with their own voices that aren’t afraid to push boundaries as well, originality and uniqueness are also key in my opinion.
Who is your favourite artist past or present? What inspires you to create?
I don’t think I can narrow it down to one artist, there’s too many to mention! There’s so many that I feel have subconsciously influenced what I listen to and what other artists create. I have to mention J Dilla, Erykah Badu, Roy Ayers, A Tribe Called Quest and probably Robert Glasper as some of the major artists that first paved the way for me when I was younger and then through them, I’ve discovered a whole lot more. There’s so many more I could mention though!
In terms of inspiration to create, I think for me it's just trying to share that feeling of a new discovery or a recent pick up that blew my mind. I’ve always been a creative person and these mixes have been a great way for me to communicate and express myself outside of the everyday.
What is your process to making a mix?
There’s no real set process I don’t think, its often quite spontaneous and again based a lot on what I’m feeling at the time of making a mix. I usually spend a while compiling tracks I want to use and then begin the process. I usually record everything even if I’m messing around because it might capture something in the moment. I have to be in the right mood to make a mix as well. If I’m not feeling it, the mix is usually ends up being bland and empty.
You are a well-known DJ who is rarely seen in person – is this intentional? – What is your philosophy behind it?
It was never really an intentional thing and there wasn’t much of a philosophy behind it either. To begin with I just liked the idea of being fairly anonymous because I wanted the music to do the talking and be the focus. I also didn’t want to have my face everywhere until things got a bit more serious. I sort of liked the idea and the mystery of it.
I also haven’t had the opportunity to play out live as much as I would like, which I’m hoping will change in the near future. Recently though, I want to start giving people a face to put behind the mixes.
What would the world be like without music?
Do you have a favourite mix you have put together and why?
This is another tough question! Each mix is almost like a diary entry of my life and a timestamp of where I was and what I was doing when I made the mix. I always love my first ever chilled hip hop and neo soul mix I released on YouTube, it's so raw and I thought no one would listen to it but it ended up being one of my most listened to mixes. I also really enjoyed making the soulful house mix #10 and people seemed to like that one too. There’s a few others that stand out as well but I love them all in different ways and for different reasons.
If you could pick one song which embodies your spirit what would it be?
Again, so many to mention! I feel like this often changes depending on what mood I’m in and where I am. I always find myself going back to the same tracks though, one of them would definitely be ‘Chill Pill’ by Hawk House, another ‘Little Boy’ by Omar and the other is probably ‘Piece of Mind’ by Idris Muhammad. A fairly varied selection but they’re definitely tunes I could listen to for a while and that generally embody my spirit.