Rahaan Talks Campo Sancho, Career Moves, Chicago, Ron Hardy and DJing


An interview with The Insider

Chicago’s Rahaan has quite rightfully become one of the best known names in the Disco/ House scene over the last decade. He’s an artist who encapsulates everything that is great about the genesis and continued strength of the scene joining the dots between the originators such as Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles and what the scene is right now in 2024.

A renowned technician behind the decks he weaves together original disco and house with Techno during his sets. Rahaan is also lauded for his own productions and remixes which have graced BBE, West End, Lumberjacks In Hell, Classic Music, Z Records, Midnight Riot, Glitterbox, Compost and host of other incredible labels.

Rahaan is a DJ who we always recommend catching live and this summer he has just been announced for the brilliant Campo Sancho which runs from 25th to 29th July 2024, Walkern Hall, East Herts, just an hour north of London.

As always with Campo Sancho the line-up is outstanding featuring Laurent Garnier, Norman Jay, Terry Farley & Stuart Patterson, Crazy P’s Danielle Moore, Dicky Trisco and host of other brilliant selectors.

You can check the line-up below and grab tickets HERE

We spoke to Rahaan about his storied career, Campo Sancho, Chicago and lots more. Check it out below.

Campo Sancho Line-up

Hi Rahaan,

Thank you for taking the time to talk. Where are you today?

Well, I’m home washing some clothes, working on some music and at the same time trying to figure out what I’m cooking tonight.

Where exactly were you born in Chicago?

I was Born in Maywood Illinois right outside of Chicago.

Chicago gave birth to House Music, no doubt about it. When were you first aware of the House movement, what are your early memories of it?

I have to say maybe 83’ or 84’. I was into hip hop like in 1980 & 81’ but that all changed in the summer of ‘83 I think. I lived on the South side of Chicago and I use to go to this dance they would have at this high school named Mendel. At first, they was playing hip hop and by the summer of 83’ it all changed. So, I traded in my Puma’s with the fat laces to some Zodiac shoes.

What were your folks listening to when you were a kid?

House music was like gumbo all different genres of music with a similar sound.

Who were the artists when you were growing up that inspired you?

At that time, I didn’t really know the name of the artists of all these songs or house tracks, but I just loved most of it.

When did you start to head out on the club scene?

I was 14 years old.

Who were the DJs playing at that time?

Ron Hardy & Frankie Knuckles were than main two.

When did you start to mess around with music?

I started doing edits when I was 15, then started DJ’ing about 17.

How and when did you know you wanted to play music to others?

When I was 17 I know I wanted to play music to people.

What was one of the first records you owned?

The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight by Dominatrix.

Where were your first gigs?

I think it was a place called the Spot across the street from the second Warehouse in Chicago.

What kind of stuff were you playing?

I was playing C.J. & Co – Sure Can’t go to the Moon and like lots of unreleased house tracks.

When did being a DJ really take off for you?

There was a video that was posted on Youtube I think kicked it all off.

When did you first step into production? What was your first release?

I guess I would say around 2000 I started playing around with music programs and my first production record sucked so I’m not sayin’ .

You did a lot of self-releasing along the way, why did you decide to do that?

A lot of record labels sucked. I would name names, but they know who they are.

Who were the other DJs coming along at the same time as you?

Lee Collins and my big brother Sadar Bahar. They truly took it to another level.

Tell us about your time as ‘Chuck Brothers’ and where did it fit along your journey?

Chuck Brothers was a dance group of my childhood friends that go to all the parties in Chicago. It was a few years after we started DJing together, but I wasn’t as good as them.

You had a residency at Chicago’s Budda Lounge I guess a lot of happy memories of that time?

Yes they were good times.

Over the years we know you as someone who is particularly skilled on the decks. Is from the sheer amount of time you’ve spent honing this, or do you think there is a part of this that came naturally?

Practice, practice and practice. I would mix for hours on the weekends, and I would learn my records well.

Do you feel that what it takes to be successful today as a DJ and artist has changed or do you feel the fundamentals remain the same?

YES!!! It’s more about the Gimmick than the muzik from what I see.

Why is the DJ dancin’ harder than the people in the club? Why is everyone lookin’ at the DJ? The DJ is there to provide some music that the party people can enjoy with their friends.

When I was young, I would have my party favors, dance, and maybe get a phone number. Sometimes I didn’t even see the DJ. I was focused on other things.

Have you got any thoughts on the skills of DJs today, or do you think it’s just a different time?

It’s a different time, however, there are a lot of good DJs out here.

You are one of those DJs who can switch the mood from disco to techno and it just works. Jumping from genres … I am guessing you enjoy this challenge.

That is House Muzik to me, a load of different genre’s. Some music sounds the same you would think it’s a four-hour song!

Do you remember playing at Plastic People in London?

How could I forget! I loved that place…

We are thrilled to hear you’ll be playing in the UK in July at Campa Sancho. Is this your first time at the event?

Yes, it is.

You’ll be playing alongside Laurent Garnier, Norman Jay, and the Faith crew too. What can you tell us about the event?

Umm, I’ll be playing some muzik, and hope people will dance harder than me 😊

How is your festival staying power. Are you down for a few days in a field?

Depends on the party favors.

What other projects are you working on?

Currently I have single out with The amazing Khimy “I Need You” and we will have an album out next year.

I also have album coming the with some amazing local artist from Chicago coming out on BBE called “The Ones”.

Brilliant to talk to you. Thank you for your valuable time.

Thank You!

For more info on Rahaan & Campo Sancho please check:

Rahaan Facebook
Rahaan Instagram
Rahaan Soundcloud
Campo Sancho Facebook
Campo Sancho Instagram
Campo Sancho Website
Campo Sancho Tickets

Love this? Check out more from Rahaan HERE

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