Charlie Rae and Aviator Stash
It’s all true, Charlie Rae says, the story about how a random passerby recorded her one day while she was busking, uploaded the performance to YouTube, and 500,000 hits later, she was a social media success story. “I was having a bad day,” Rae says by phone from her Mission Valley digs. “I was not in a good mood. But singing always makes me feel better. It was a cold day, but I went out anyway and I sat down on a sidewalk in the Gaslamp and I sang.” Who recorded her? “A marketing dude. I don’t know him. Andrea is his name, I think.”
Born and raised in Phoenix, Rae (she declines to reveal her age or her real name,) moved to San Diego in 2011. “I got tired of the blues scene in Phoenix, which I love, but I was tired of it.” She gigged here wherever she could. She worked day jobs to survive. But one day social media changed all that. RAW, an online arts magazine, says Rae’s posts have since gotten more than 10 million views, and that she was an instant hit on Reddit. That action got her onto the radar of an investor, who funneled resources into Rae’s music and her production company.
In concert, Rae has a strong, country-ish rock and roll voice and a vibrant persona. She’s at ease with her larger-than-life sexuality. She pays homage to influences like Whitney Houston or Otis Redding. “I want to bring back feeling again. People spend too damned much time on their phones. That’s why I work so hard.” She maps out a busy future: “I’ve got Grammys on my bucket list. I want to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” She giggles. “I want to take over the whole world.” The bill includes Aviator Stash and Fistfights with Wolves.