Lives In Music: Raj Chaudhuri

We chat to the people that make the wheels turn behind the scenes in London’s music underground.

Lives In Music: Raj Chaudhuri

We chat to the people that make the wheels turn behind the scenes in London’s music underground.

In this series we shine a light on the people that make the wheels turn behind the scenes in London’s music underground. From venue owners and agents, to record label managers and bouncers, we chat to these individuals about their tastes and motivations.

Raj Chaudhuri is co-founder and resident at one of London’s most reputable parties Livin’ Proof, as well as making up part of the Bubble Chamber crew. With the latter he hosts a monthly radio show on Balamii Radio, and as Raji Rags holds down a residency on NTS Radio that’s now more than 40 episodes strong. On top of that he’s a freelance music guy for Bleep, Boiler Room, Apple Music, Warner, and whoever else decides they need his services.

It’s an overcast November evening when we sit down with Raj in Dalston. We are at the Bleep X record store, bleep.com’s new physical home, where Raj is working with the team to sort the finishing touches to an event that evening. However, amidst the bustle he finds a few minutes to chat with us. 

Most Iconic London Venue?

Plastic People. 

Last time you got the night bus?

Genuinely can't remember it's been so long. 

Last gig you went to?

Fatima (Eglo Records) doing a stripped back performance with her band in the Bleep shop on the closing weekend, but that was something I organised.

Outside of my own work, Black Midi at Bloc was the last gig I went to.

Last DJ set that really impressed you?

IRL - Peder Mannerfelt b2b Pär Grindvik at the Bleep shop.
URL - Sherelle on Boiler Room. 

I’ve also become mildly obsessed with watching videos of DJ Koco aka Shimokita Funk from Japan cut up doubles of 7” records on his Instagram page.

Photo credit: adam__adam__adam


Last meal you really enjoyed?

On The Bab. 

Last record you bought?

Budgie - Holy Ghost Zone.
Nkisi - 7 Directions.

Best bit about working in music?

Guestlist. 

Toughest challenge about working in music?

Not being able to switch off. 

What was the first break in your career?

My first job working at Deal Real record store in Carnaby Street. 

Best headline act you have seen?

Prince. 

Last time you stayed in a club until the lights came on?

Friday. 

Best place to eat before you go out with friends?

At one of those friend’s houses. 

Photo credit: adam__adam__adam


Person that you have worked with that you found most inspiring?

As a curator and for his knowledge of music, Chris Sharp who programs Barbican Centre’s contemporary music program is someone I look up to a lot. I aspire to reach that sort of level one day but I have a long way to go.

In general, I admire anyone that attains success but doesn’t forget where they came from. Femi from NTS is someone who I've watched grow the radio station commercially whilst still maintaining the integrity that it originally started with.

I haven't worked with them but I have a lot of respect for the people doing Bandcamp. It’s becoming the most important tool for discovering and supporting independent artists. “Supporting”, as in actually putting money into independent artists pockets, which is the best thing we can do in this day and age.

Best thing about the music scene in London?

The diversity. 

Any labels that you are enjoying at the moment?

More Time, CPU, Whities, Arcola.

Last thing you shazamed? 

Bauri – ‘Warm Fuzzy Feeling’.

Photo credit: adam__adam__adam


Anything exciting going on professionally at the moment?

I’ve been pretty full on with my work for Bleep. We opened a pop-up record store in Dalston that just ended. I programmed and managed 45 events and partnerships in three months with everyone from Aphex Twin, NTS Radio, RA, The Wire, Warp, Eglo, Modeselektor, Hessle Audio, Tirzah, Leon Vynehall, Jayda G and loads more. It was a hell of a lot of work but also amazing. 

The Bleep shop just ended and I’m actually now going on a two and a half month honeymoon around Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico. Other than that some DJ gigs whilst I am out there. I’m putting the professional work on the back burner until I’m back.

Any advice for anyone who is looking to start working in music?

Start doing stuff rather than waiting for a break. Whether it's a night, label, making music, writing about it. Just start doing it rather than waiting for a "break". If you're good, opportunities will arise. 


Follow Livin' Proof.

Photo credit – adam__adam__adam

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