I’ve worked as a Detroit vocalist/songwriter since 2001. People often ask me if Rai is pronounced “Ray” or “Rye” – it’s both really – I got the spelling from a Japanese cartoon so it’s “Rye”, but my name is Rachel so… friends have always called me “Ray”.
I began writing acoustic pop in my last year of high school and work on recording demo my first year or so of college, sent it off to 311’s manager Adam Raspler. He became my friend and mentor for many years. In 2004 he brought me to record in LA and eventually we landed a demo deal with Capitol Records. I didn’t get signed, but continued to pursue my acoustic music, evolving my style along the way. In 2010 I signed to a small label in Fenton, MI and gained success with some pop songs, namely a track called “New New”. Around this time I donned the surname “Knight”.
By 2013 I began lending vocals to collaborations with international DJ’s/producers such as HNQO, Leigh D. Oliver, Cosmonaut Grechko and Persian Empire as well as Stateside collaborations with The GTW, The Soundmen and We Are The Tay. I have been released on Defected Records, Large Recordings, OFF Recordings, Hot Waves, HookBellboy Records and most recently, MadTech. I’ve also contributed vocals to commercial music and or licensed songs to Coach Perfume, The new 90210, Pepsi, and Cosmo Magazine.
Throughout the years I’ve performed live acoustic shows all over Detroit and in the past few years have experienced much success as a DJ. In 2014 I was invited to perform my live vocal/DJing at Detroit’s Movement Festival. You can listen to that performance below.
(Artist profile for Rai Knight can be found at raiknightmusic.com)
In 2017, I’m still working on music, but my priorities have changed. There’s less emphasis on getting ahead. I work on what moves me, what feels true, and fun. I’ve collabed with Mad Villians, Das One, HNQO, and have plenty of projects in the works with a lot of great people. I continue to post new acoustic music from time to time.
“There is just something organic about Rai that I haven’t seen in a new artist in a minute.” – The couch sessions
“There’s a sadness about her songs that makes me feel like I’m waking up to a autumn morning.” – Forest Love
“Unpolished and intimate, Skotarczyk’s guitar was accompanied by Wohlfiel’s bass. Her high-crisp country voice was genuine. Her lyrics: personal. Sets like this made the weekend special. Skotarczyk’s talent plus the intimacy of the set made the duo stand out.” – The Hamtramck Review
“Rai doesn’t need much more than a microphone and a hand clap to seduce your ears “ – Kick Kick Snare