Q and A With DJ Rae Chardonnay: Young, Fresh and Inspired

DJ Rae Chardonnay
DJ Rae Chardonnay

DJ Rae Chardonnay

Hometown: Chicago
High School: Middleton High School (Tampa, FL)
College: Columbia College Chicago
Current Chicago neighborhood: Bronzeville
CD: What was the concept of Party Noire? Are there other principals of the group? 
RC: Lauren, Nick and myself developed Party Noire out of pure necessity. We wanted a space that celebrated young, creative Black women and millennials and that was centered with the energy of love. Our principals are based on being present for #BlackJoy in all ways. Always.
CD: Party Noire has developed a solid following among Black, hip millennials with the base at The Promontory. What sets your party a part from the typical party? 
RC: I think what sets us apart is the intentionality of our party. It is most important that we are experiencing and creating a space a joy and intersectional happy Black folks. We celebrate the vibrancy of our community and the many unique ways that we all choose to express ourselves without question.
CD: Is there a song or album that changed the game for you in becoming a DJ? 
RC: Not particularly. There are some mixes and blends that really set the tone for me. There were also a few videos of turntablists that I would watch over and over again.
CD: As a DJ, what is in your personal playlist? Morning inspiration, afternoon drive and evening wind down? 
rae (1)RC: I actually like to start my mornings quietly so if there is music it’s usually something like Minnie Riperton, Stevie Wonder, Corinne Bailey Rae, etc. Afternoons are normally when I’m on the go and right now Anderson Paak, Kaytranada and a lot of house, dance and electronic music get me through the day. If I’m not DJing, my evenings are generally spent digging for new and/or old music or practicing with the music I have in my library.
CD: Who were your influences as a DJ coming up and why? 
RC: I’ve always been a fan of Kid Capri because of his ability to rock a party. He is mixing rhythmically and engaging the crowd on the mic at the same time. That’s awesome to me. I’ve also always appreciated J Rocc (Beat Junkies). His flips and what he does with music is just always very exciting and elaborate to me.
CD: Are there plans to move Party Noire around to other markets with the same concept and branding? 
RC: There are definitely plans for Party Noire to travel. Just last month we co-hosted a pop-up event in Detroit during the Allied Media Conference and a facilitated a panel discussion on Cultivating Black Joy. Both were very well received and we anticipate going back for a larger scale event. We’re excited to get to other cities in the very near future.
CD: What can we expect from your set at the 13th Annual Silver Room’s Block Party? 
RC: You can expect for me to do my best to make sure everyone is having a dancing good time to close out the night.
DJ Rae Chardonnay on Twitter @RAECHARDONNAY
Check out DJ Rae Chardonnay at the 13th Annual Silver Room Sound System Block Party
Saturday, July 16 @ 53rd St. & Lake Park in Downtown Hyde Park.
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