Rai is a one of Australia’s most respected musical talents: a highly accomplished pianist, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. As a songwriter he has been nominated for APRA Song of The Year. As frontman of multi-platinum Aussie rock band Thirsty Merc, he has had several ARIA nominations, toured extensively and released a string of hits in the Australian Music Charts including ‘Someday, Someday,’ ‘In The Summertime,’ ’20 Good Reasons,’ ‘The Hard Way,’ ‘Mousetrap Heart’, ‘Emancipate Myself,’ and ‘My Completeness’.
Rai grew up in a musical family and started learning piano before his fifth birthday from his mother, a classical piano teacher. He started writing songs around the age of 15. After finishing high school he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he commenced a Bachelor of Music in jazz piano.
Enjoying heavy airplay and multi-platinum sales over the course of three studio albums, Rai and his band Thirsty Merc have toured with artists like Maroon 5 and Matchbox Twenty whose lead singer Rob Thomas said that Rai’s song ‘Homesick’ made him, “jealous as a songwriter.’”
In addition to his work in rock and pop, Rai has also performed in a number of jazz combos with acclaimed musicians like ARIA award winning guitarist James Muller, U.S. jazz bassist Christian McBride (Sting, Wynton Marsalis band), Tenor Saxophonist Dale Barlow (Art Blakey’s jazz messengers) and multi-award winning Phil Stack who also plays bass in Thirsty Merc. More recently, Rai’s songwriting talents have been tapped by accomplished recording artists and songwriters overseas. Watch this space!
Rai is an APRA ambassador and enthusiastic contributor to the APRA community.