dig dis!cover: Rachel Raw

How are you doing? Are you currently in Cologne or on the road?
I’m good thank you. I’m currently in my hometown cologne. I play here tonight at my residence club Reineke Fuchs. 
But next week I’m in Croatia on vacation with my beste friends to recharge my battery for the summer season. 


Speaking of Jaw Dropping, can you describe your everyday life as a label manager?
Certainly, I’m in daily communication with the artists. Last month, we planned a new release for June. We already had the original track and I arranged meetings with some remixers. I have been negotiating with them, discussing their interest in participating, and setting deadlines. Furthermore, I have been taking care of the graphics, preparing contracts with each artist, planning premieres, and handling all the other aspects of label work. Additionally, I have a new label partner, Nacho, also known as Rad.Lez, who is a DJ and promoter based in Munich. Together, we are working on restructuring the label by commissioning a new logo, creating new covers, and revamping the overall appearance with Nacho's assistance.


What are your goals for the label?
My goal is to reduce the artist pool a bit and focus on a few artists who are really involved in building up the label. We want to support smaller artists by partnering them with bigger artists. We want our artists to be focused on Jaw Dropping, and we want to build a personal bond with them. In the first half of 2021, I traveled a lot and met my artists in Costa Rica and Guatemala, and it was so nice to see the people I've been working with for two or three years. I think it's important to build connections and bonds in the music industry.


What is important to you when it comes to music distribution, and how have we at dig dis! helped you set up your label or supported you as an artist in general?
I started from scratch with Jaw Dropping, and the label has been around for about four years now. I've always had direct contact and support from dig dis!. They have helped me with contractual questions, and my label manager, Luca, has always been there to help. As a label, it's important to have a music distributor as the perfect connection between the label, the artists, and all the shops and streaming platforms. Sales are simply the intermediary between the label and the shops. I had a few talks with you during the Corona period, and it was really cool to have a look behind the scenes. There are a lot of shops, but Beatport and Spotify are the most relevant for us. It's good to understand the whole background, like how to get on Spotify playlists or how to get a feature on Beatport, all thanks to dig dis!. They have been a great help to me.


Thank you for sharing your experience with us! Can you tell us more about how you became a part of the Symbiotikka Family at KitKat Club in Berlin?
Absolutely! My friend Grace Thompson had been a resident at Symbiotikka for some time, playing there once a month. In the beginning of 2019, she invited me to one of her gigs at the Kit Kat Club and introduced me to the team. Over time, my friendship with Grace grew deeper and we were eventually offered the opportunity to do a B2B set together at Symbiotikka. The set was very well received and we received great feedback from Chris and Charlotte, the founders of Symbiotikka. Shortly after, they offered me a residency and I have been an integral part of the family ever since. It's been a fantastic opportunity to see Grace, hang out with other DJs, and play at one of the best venues in Berlin.


What other gigs and festivals do you have lined up for this year? Anything you're particularly excited about?
I'm excited to share that I'll be DJing at Hive Festival and making my debut at Odonien in Cologne this year. What's more, I have a new booking agency in Cologne called Petrified Phoenix since January 2023, and they're working hard to secure more bookings for me. I can't share more details yet, but I'm already thrilled about what's in store for this year. The agency is run by Stefan and Lukas, both of whom are DJs themselves. Stefan also goes by Avocado, while Lukas collaborates with another buddy under the name Bergstock. It's great to have them on board and I'm eager to collaborate with them this year.


As an experienced artist, what advice do you have for aspiring DJs and producers?
My top advice for new artists is to network and jump at every opportunity that comes your way, even if it's not the most glamorous gig. You have to work your way up, step by step, and sometimes it takes longer than expected. But you have to be grateful for every opportunity and make the most of it. Remember, every performance teaches you something new. While practicing at home is important, it's different in the club. To be successful, be adaptable and pay attention to what your audience wants. Listen and respond to them, don't just do your own thing. Make eye contact and be persuasive. If you can do this well, you'll really get the party going!


Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your insights on your work as an artist and as a label manager. We’re happy to continue working closely with you and your label Jaw Dropping Records and we already can’t wait what the future holds for you.