The brainchild of Grammy winning producer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter André Allen Anjos, RAC (short for Remixers Artist Collective) was initially known as a prolific remixer before creating uplifting, anthemic electro-pop originals. On his hundreds of remixes of songs by artists spanning Lana Del Rey, U2, ODESZA, and Bob Marley, Anjos takes a distinctive approach: Instead of grafting dance beats on them, he reinvents them with new instrumentation. On RAC's own albums, such as 2014's Strangers, Anjos' collaborators are nearly as varied and include Tegan and Sara, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, and Jamie Lidell. With 2020's BOY, Anjos introduced a more reflective side to RAC as he looked back on his years of making music.
Born in Portugal to an American mother and Portuguese father who worked as missionaries, Anjos frequently felt torn between his nationalities and turned to music to express himself. He studied piano and guitar while growing up near Porto, and played in various metal bands while absorbing the music of Nirvana, Paul Simon, and Fleetwood Mac. He started experimenting with production and recording at age 15 and continued to pursue music in the States.
While studying music business at Illinois' Greenville College, founded RAC in January 2007. Initially, the project also included Seattle's Aaron Jasinski and Netherlands-based remixer Chris "Crookram" Angelovski; later additions to the collective included Andrew Maury, a remixer/producer/engineer out of Brooklyn, and Portland's Karl Kling, with whom Anjos founded the electro-rock band the Pragmatic. Eventually, Anjos became RAC's sole member. The project's first official remix was a reworking of the Shins' "Sleeping Lessons," which the group included as the B-side of the U.K. single "Australia" in April 2007. From there, RAC worked with Surfer Blood, Foster the People, and Bloc Party, among others, and in 2008 the music website Stereogum released a collection of Anjos and company's work to date. That year also saw the release of their first EP, Nintendo vs. Sega.
Anjos began releasing original RAC songs in 2012, starting with the single "Hollywood," which featured Penguin Prison's Chris Glover. After signing to Cherrytree Records, in October 2013 RAC released the Don't Talk To EP, which included "Hollywood" and "Let Go," a collaboration with MNDR and Bloc Party's Kele. Featuring collaborations with Tokyo Police Club and Tegan and Sara, RAC's debut album, Strangers, was initially released as two EPs early in 2014; it arrived as a full-length that April. RAC continued a busy release schedule in 2015, releasing the Master Spy soundtrack as well as a slew of singles that included the Little Boots collaboration "Magic Hour" and "Back of the Car," which featured Nate Henricks and spawned a remix collection that arrived that October. In 2016, RAC was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non Classical for a reworking of ODESZA's "Say My Name." The following year, he won the Grammy in that category for his remix of Bob Moses' "Tearing Me Up."
In July 2017, Anjos released RAC's second full-length, EGO, which featured collaborations with artists including Rivers Cuomo, St. Lucia, Classixx, and MNDR. That year also saw the release of Linkin Park's final album One More Light, on which Anjos contributed production work. In 2018, he composed music for Closer, a production by the Oregon Ballet Theatre. He returned to RAC in 2020, first with a cover of Third Eye Blind's "Never Let You Go" featuring Matthew Koma and Hilary Duff that was released on Valentine's Day, and then in May with his third full-length BOY. Three years in the making, the album reflected on childhood and maturity and featured Phil Good, Louis The Child, and Gothic Tropic.~ Heather Phares