by Matt Kalkhoff

Been losing sleep lately wondering who will be next season’s hottest DJs? If so, here’s a little inside scoop you can share with your dance floor buddies that should help put your worries to rest. A rising star on the Circuit is Miami’s DJ Ra, and under the guidance of veteran-DJ and manager David Knapp of Madtizzy Productions, you’re going to be seeing and hearing a lot more from this talented young spinster in the coming years.

Ancient history doesn’t often find its way into clubland, but DJ Ra has tapped a popular Egyptian myth to create his curious professional persona. Citing a “strange affinity for Egyptian things” and the belief that he was reincarnated from a past life in Egypt, Ra chose the name of the fabled sun god as a moniker after years of soul-searching and spiritual enlightenment. But that’s where the history lesson ends because Ra is clearly focused on the future and ready to follow in the footsteps of his Madtizzy brethren, like Manny Lehman, Billy Carroll and Barry Harris.

“Ra is one of those guys who I see exploding,” says Madtizzy’s George Dellinger. “He’s got the whole package deal – the talent, the personality, the looks. He’s kind of like a celebrity DJ in the making.” The Billboard-reporting DJ has already landed prime gigs in Miami Beach at Crobar, Level and Salvation, and he’s gaining notoriety spinning at events around the country like the White Parties in Miami and Palm Springs, the Red Party in Columbus, Ohio and Ric Sena’s Alegria party at Sound Factory here in New York. He also spins regularly at Axis in Columbus and is exploring opportunities in Los Angeles. New Year’s Eve will find Ra performing with Knapp and Frank Abraham at Gus Bean’s Superball party in San Francisco.

Knapp is planning to initially focus on bookings for Ra in the key markets of New York, D.C., Texas and Atlanta. Behind the scenes, Ra is honing his skills as a remixer and producing his first original track. He also mixed the latest Circuit Sessions compilation (Volume 10), and he’s slated to do three more CDs in the series for 4Play Records. But it’s in the DJ booth where Ra has the most fun. “I just love getting the crowd to go wild and crazy,” he says, “and I love seeing their hands in the air when everyone’s enjoying themselves and having a great time.”

© 2001 Matt Kalkhoff
This profile was featured in the Nov. 30, 2001 issue of NEXT Magazine.