RATED M

How have you been doing? What have you been working on? And what's been inspiring you lately?

I've been well! Thank you for asking!

 

I've been focussing a lot on self care and creative projects as of late. 2020 allowed me to hone in on new and old passions which I've been working to make regular time for. I have been a singer for most of my life so have been brushing up on my vocal chops in my spare time as well working on my production skills.

 

As an artist booking agent by day, I'm always inspired by the incredible musicians, DJ's and creative brains I get to pick through the week. We are blessed with world class artists here in Naarm and I'm constantly in awe.

Rated M shot by Floss Dogg

The fiercely talented Monique Araujo can be found behind the scenes working as an agent for WAT Artists, DJing under Rated M as well as going toe to toe with partner in crime T-N as Call Connect. Rated M joins us today for an ultra-danceable instalment of the Primer Mix Series.

 

When she took the stage with Loure at Hopkins Creek 2018, her presence was something to behold. Her belting vocals and BDE enraptured the festival, and after an epic debut mix for Arvo Girls on Skylab Radio, we simply had to invite the superstar back for more.

You have a few projects on the go, you're a singer, solo DJ, as well as playing alongside T-N as Call Connect, all the while working with WAT as an agent. How are you balancing your creative projects at the moment, and what can we expect to see from Monique Araujo, Rated M and Call Connect in the coming months?

 

I’m super lucky to have a day job that keeps me pretty heavily in the loop - music wise, so juggling projects of the same nature is actually not too difficult when you’re constantly surrounded by inspiration. 

 

In regards to my solo project, I’ve been working on producing sounds that marry my love for r&b vocals and dance music which has been an interesting exercise as those two things have existed separately for me until now. I’m excited to share some new music when the time comes! 

 

While my Rated M DJ alias is still relatively new, I love playing so much and can’t wait to throw myself in to it this year.

 

Call Connect has been such a great project that I’m very grateful for. T-N and I begun our music industry journey as interns together way back when and have been great friends since, so a collaboration between the two of us came pretty naturally. While our styles differ, Call Connect has turned into a bit of hive mind situation, allowing the two of us to create a new sound that challenges both of our usual approaches. I’ve definitely learnt a lot in the process. We’ve been working on our radio show, a few upcoming mixes and fun gigs in the near future so keep an eye out.

Tell us about the mix.

This mix is made up of tracks that have ripped me out of bed on a lazy day or gotten me through a brisk power walk home throughout 2020 & 2021.

 

'30,000 steps' is in commemoration of the most steps I have ever done in a 24 hour period. Hopefully someone else breaks a sweat listening to this as well.

 

I like to keep my DJ sets relatively high energy, particularly after the lock down slumber. I've found DJing to be a really great energy release for me and it's definitely something that has been getting me through the transition back to normality.

 

All Night In Heaven by Bushwacka! is for sure one of my favourites. I'm an absolute sucker for a euphoric breaksy track with an r&b vocal, gets me every time. One of the first records I ever bought was a (very) beat up Bushwacka! 12" so it's close to my heart.

What's your best dance floor memory?

By far every single time I've had the pleasure of seeing someone I love on stage. Nothing beats that. However, Egyptian Lover at Meredith 2019 came very close.

Who are the artists you most want to see play now that dancefloors are opening back up, and at what clubs/festivals? 

I'm really looking forward to festivals returning in the near future, as well seeing new and interesting spaces utilised for events. With lots of our favourite venues closing their doors in the past few years, people have been getting really creative and I love to see it. Shouts to 4D festival for super inventive programming, can't wait to see what else is in the cards.

After such an uncertain period for agencies such as WAT, how are things looking now for you as an agent, and the artists you manage? What is touring and events going to look like for local and international artists in the next 12 months?

 

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can never be sure of what’s around the corner. Having said that, things are definitely on the up, particularly locally. While the lack of international tours is unfortunate, the situation has thrust lots of really incredible home-grown talent to the forefront and created opportunities for them to play on stages they may have not had the chance to previously. It’s really nice to have so many more locals on my radar now that their reach has expanded.

 

Even though gigs were at a stand still for most of last year, the down time has given lots of artists (including the ones on my own roster) time and space to hone in on their craft and emerge with some amazing work. Which means more material to bring to the world stage when we’re allowed to do so digitally AND physically. As an artist rep, this has been really beautiful to watch.

 

We’ve already started sending artists on domestic tour runs which is exciting. Now anticipating the NZ travel bubble that’s hopefully just around the corner. Granted that the world doesn’t end, parties are looking to be here to stay. 

 

While the next 12 months are definitely uncertain, it’s made for really interesting times for the local music community. Many silver linings to be grateful for.

"This mix is dedicated to..."

My mum, an avid deep/lo-fi house fan, who constantly asks "why can't you play chill stuff like this for once?" Sorry mum.

We are blessed with world class artists here in Naarm and I'm constantly in awe.

'30,000 steps' is in commemoration of the most steps I have ever done in a 24 hour period. Hopefully someone else breaks a sweat listening to this as well.

Rindler Coordinates (Original Mix) - T/error

Dance First, Think Later - Customer Service

Escafil - Xminus1

Tachyonic Antitelephone (Original Mix) - T/error

Caller Of The Storms - Sansibar

Alpha Centauri Drive Around [Confidential Recipe tool] - leinaD

Real Can Relate - Nene H

Juicy - Julian Muller

Pleasure Unit (Bloody Mary Drum Workout) - DJ Slip, Tim Taylor

The Joker - Aloka

G6X6 -SPLT

All Night In Heaven (Original Mix) - Bushwacka! 

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