Richie Quake is one of those people who effortlessly walks in a constant state of ‘cool.' He can’t help it. Cool follows him around like a lingering cologne - there’s just a certain air about him.
At first glance, Richie is a New York club DJ. The guy you want to know on a Saturday night who can get you into the most exclusive spots in the city like Pubic ARTS, The Blonde, 1OAK, Rosebar, and the like. And he’s definitely the guy you want behind the console if you do make it out past 2 am. People often underestimate the artistry required to read a room full of strangers and understand in an instant their musical desires. Richie accomplishes this feat with perfect ease - socializing with the crowd all the while.
But the elitist attitude of exclusive New York City nightlife is probably the furthest descriptor from Richie’s personality.
If there was a phrase to serve as the antonym of having a ‘chip on your shoulder’- it would describe Richie.
He’s gentle and kind. He’s friends with everyone. He’s thoughtful and introspective.
And wait for it…
He’s a songwriter.
Learning to play guitar at age 14 and starting to write songs at age 16, Richie is a prolific writer and producer offering an intricate & poignant artist project with his most recent singles “Nothing In My Head” and “Dreams.”
The delicacy in these songs are both a reflection of Richie’s time spent in the early hours of the morning, existing in the space after the party ends before the world begins, and a return to his more introspective days as a kid growing up fast under the supervision of the city that never sleeps.
“At age 16, I got really into the whole singer-songwriter aspect of things," he says. "I would write about deep shit - about friendship, life experiences - I lived a kind of wild life at 16. Partying and running around the city. And when you’re young, you have this unfiltered-ness. You’re jaded but not beaten down by the world yet. Your jaded-ness is brand new. Now I don’t have time to be jaded. I don’t have time to sit and think. So I’ve had to relearn how to introspect for awhile.”
Walking the streets when the club closes, before the hustle of the day begins - Richie has had a chance to meditate and find introspection again in these rare, quiet hours.
The result: songs that feel all-too-relatable. Songs about insecurity, about the anxieties of growing up and finding a place in the world. Songs that speak to the desire so many of us have to accomplish our dreams whilst fighting the pressure to succeed. And songs about wishing racing thoughts would stop so we can just enjoy a moment of mental peace and calm while trying to survive in the spinning world around us.
And in it all, there's a constant throughline. Whether in his DJ set, his personal style, his apartment studio, his general demeanor, and especially in his songwriting and production, everything Richie Quake touches is exceptionally, cool.
Photos by Wallace Morgan