Portland Indie Remix Pioneer, RAC, On His Grammy-Nominated Work

“At the time, remixing was just dance beats underneath a vocal,” he recalls. “Not a lot of people were remixing indie bands or remixing more rock-oriented stuff.”

Portlander Andre Allen Anjos is up for a Grammy on Monday for best remixed recording. He works under the name RAC, and he’s become the go-to guy for remixing indie bands, from The Arcade Fire to Foster the People.

As a college student in Greenville, Illinois, Andre Allen Anjos didn’t aspire to be a globe-trotting artist and DJ whose songs have racked up millions of listens.

“My highest aspiration was to be a studio assistant, where I could work with recording equipment and make a living, but not necessarily be a musician,” he says.

But he wasn’t getting anywhere, so he decided to create his own agency called the Remix Artist Collective, or RAC. His first cold call: the Shins. The band was putting out its third album, “Wincing the Night Away.” The manager asked for some demos. Weeks later, he called Anjos in the middle of history class — Anjos had a green light to remix “Sleeping lessons.”

“James mercer, he’s like super nice,” says Anjos of meeting the bandleader backstage after finishing the remix. “I was just this little kid — so scared to meet them. He told me he liked my version better than his.”

The music taste-making blog Pitchfork picked up the remix, and the band released it as a B-side. Suddenly Anjos had real cred, and he saw an opening.

“At the time, remixing was just dance beats underneath a vocal,” he recalls. “Not a lot of people were remixing indie bands or remixing more rock-oriented stuff.”

Pretty soon, bands were soliciting Anjos. He’s worked with a who’s who of indie royalty: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Death Cab for Cutie, Tokyo Police Club, not to mention mega acts like U2, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

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