From Porto to Portland, RAC came up in the post-Napster era of the internet. The late aughts were the days of promotional MP3s, a time when the free remix download reigned supreme—especially when established acts didn’t want to give away their album tracks. Early remixes for Tokyo Police Club, Bloc Party and Ra Ra Riot put RAC on the map, leading to work for Lana Del Rey, Edward Sharpe, Phoenix, U2, New Order and Lady Gaga. The interwebs took notice of Anjos’ knack for reenvisioning songs through reconstruction and expansion, adding to a song’s original structure by modifying the arrangements—whether that be incorporating danceable, hip-hop drum samples, new synth sequences, catchy melodic hooks, or fresh instrumentation.
From dorm room-made remixes to DJ tours to releasing his debut record in 2014, RAC’s consistent guest spots—both as a remixer and in his original music—have served to grow his network exponentially. Between playing Coachella, Bumbershoot and Lollapalooza, his circle continues to balloon, filled with more remixes—for which he landed a Grammy for Best Remixed Recording in 2017 (becoming the first Portuguese artist to win a golden gramophone)—and more original collaborations: The likes of Vampire Weekend’s Rostam, St. Lucia, K.Flay and Joywave are featured on his second LP, EGO. Read on to learn about the past, present and future of RAC—plus listen to his playlist at the bottom of this article.
Cornelius Remix of “Tender” by Blur
"I have to single-handedly credit Cornelius for his alternative approach to remixing. I was obsessed with his acoustic remix albums called CM to CM4. His non-dance music approach really appealed to me."
“Sleeping Lessons” by The Shins
"James Mercer told me he liked it better than his version. He was probably just being nice but it really motivated me to work hard and continue pursuing this. It blew up and set me on the course I'm on today. I made this in my dorm room."
“Hollywood” feat. Penguin Prison
"I had worked on a few remixes for Chris [Glover], aka Penguin Prison, and we were pretty friendly so we decided to work on a song together. It ended up being the first original track I put out."
“Let Go” feat. Kele and MNDR + “I Still Wanna Know” feat. Rivers Cuomo
"On the first album, Kele [Okereke from Bloc Party] was the first artist to sign on. On the second album, it's definitely Rivers. I practically grew up listening to Weezer and playing all their songs so it was really special to me."
2016 Grammy Nomination
“Say My Name” by ODESZA
"It felt like all the hard work I had put in was finally starting to pay off. I felt very appreciated and it was a great moment for me. It's a life-changing thing. My manager told me it was something for the obituary."
2017 Grammy Win
“Tearing Me Up” by Bob Moses
"I had already felt validated with the first one, but getting a second nomination felt like my position in the world had solidified. It doesn't necessarily mean I'm the best in the world, but it means that this year the award belongs to me and it's gonna go down in history. I was not aware that I was the first Portuguese person to win a Grammy until the next morning when my phone had 30-plus missed calls from reporters in Portugal. Some people even tracked down my cousins and got my number. It was crazy."
“Heavy” feat. Karl Kling
"Karl has been touring and DJing with me for seven years now. There's a song on the new album that is probably my favorite."
Station 3 Station with Karl Kling and Jeffrey Brodsky
"The idea was to load up all of our synths on stage and play a completely improvised show as a one-off [which was recorded live at Holocene]. It was about as far from 'pushing play' as you can get."
Dreaming of Collaboration
“Cobrastyle” by Robyn
"I've already done a remix for her but I'd love to work with Robyn [on an original song]. I'm such a big fan and I think our styles could be complementary."
Partners in Crime
“Dreams” feat. Pink Feathers
"Touring with my wife makes everything easier. It's great. The 'boy and girl are struggling because of touring' cliché doesn't really apply. We used to play our Cranberries cover as part of our encore. It was so much fun when the lyrics kick in and everybody realizes what song it is. No matter what city we played everybody would always sing along to this."
Current Ear Worm
“Kick Jump Twist” by Sylvan Esso
"I love how they combine strong songwriting with electronics."