Style & Sound with Rae Sada

Rae Sada straddles fashion and music, making her mark on both industries in NYC since her very beginning as a DJ and model. Now, she works in artist partnerships at Roc Nation and uses her platform to pave the way for others in the industry—standing as a pioneer and role model for historically underrepresented people. On March 8, International Women's Day, she hosted a dinner party in The Standard Grill with a guest-list of powerhouse women including Claire PrinceJordan Emanuel, Ocean Van Exel and many more. 

We chatted with Rae following her dinner to discuss New York City's influence on her life and work, her travel essentials and where to go to listen to moody soulful R&B. 

Read our conversation and check out the party pics. 

Wherever I go, my headphones are a non-negotiable, ensuring that I'm always on the move to my own personal soundtrack.
How has NYC’s dynamic culture influenced your creative process and career trajectory?

Every day, New York City sparks my inspiration. It's my hometown, so I might be a bit biased, but I truly believe it's the greatest city on earth. The city's diverse culture radiates individuality and authenticity, which gives me the confidence to blaze my own trail in my field. Being surrounded by people who share my passions helps me stay true to myself. Plus, there's this nostalgic vibe to New York for me. I started out in the industry at 19, A&R-ing in underground music spots, and seeing how far I've come while still being part of the music scene I love—it's motivating. It's like watching the city's music scene evolve and being part of that journey.

Can you share your experiences in building community and networks within the music scene in NYC?

I surrounded myself with creatives in the industry for as long as I can remember. As a teenager, I spent countless hours in studios with producer and artist friends, immersing myself in the music scene. My network in the city grew organically as I shared my passion for music with like-minded individuals. These authentic relationships became the foundation for my career opportunities, and I've continued to prioritize building connections with creatives in the industry, always valuing friendships first.
As someone deeply involved in both music and community-building, what advice would you give to aspiring artists, particularly women, looking to make their mark in the industry while also fostering meaningful connections within their communities?

Remain true to yourself and your artistic vision, prioritizing authenticity in your sound and personal identity. Seek out fellow creatives who resonate with your vision and keep them nearby. Quality connections with individuals who truly understand you as an artist are more valuable than a large network. Nurture these relationships, as they are the foundation of your journey in the music industry.

How does the intersection of your identities affect how you work and what you prioritize?

My dual identities in both the fashion and music realms serve as catalysts for seamlessly merging two worlds that inherently compliment each other. With a foot firmly planted in each industry, I leverage my understanding of both spaces to create synergistic collaborations that effortlessly blend fashion and music. Whether it's involving artists in fashion partnerships or infusing music influences into the fashion world, my unique perspective facilitates the creation of innovative projects that resonate with audiences across both domains. This intersection of fashion and music allows me to prioritize both simultaneously forging connections and opportunities that celebrate the harmonious relationship between the two.

As a woman constantly on the move, travel is second nature to you. What are the top five essentials you rely on to maintain your peace, centeredness, and productivity while traveling?

Wherever I go, my headphones are a non-negotiable, ensuring that I'm always on the move to my own personal soundtrack. Music infuses every aspect of my life, serving as the backdrop to my experiences. Additionally, a notebook and pen are always on me. My memory isn’t the best and sometimes when I travel I think of ideas for partnerships based on ads or billboards I might pass, so I need to write everything down. I make it a priority to bring my laptop along, essential for keeping pace with the fast-moving nature of the music industry. And when it's time to find solace and escape from reality, a good book completes my travel essentials.

Where are your favorite places in NYC to…

Listen to live music? I love intimate sets where I can feel the bass from the stage. For that reason I’ve always been a huge fan of smaller venues like Baby’s All Right where you can have an intimate experience and really feel a part of the performance. 

Have a big girls night out? I have a soft spot for intimate, sultry atmospheres, making a night out with my friends complete in a dimly lit, moody bar or lounge, preferably with soulful R&B music booming in our ears. Eavesdrop, the hi fi sound bar in Greenpoint, always provides the right vibes.

Have an intimate dinner party? The Standard Grill at The Standard, High Line of course! 

Shop for unique pieces? Thrifting is always the best way to find 1 of 1s in this city.

Soak up some, not-so touristy culture? Brooklyn block parties during NYC summer time! Good music and energy, always. 


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