Canadian born producer Darren Rahn has already achieved more in his young life than most musicians dream possible. As one of the smooth jazz genre’s hottest producers, Darren has dominated the Billboard and Radio and Records (R&R) charts over the past few years. He recently held the #1 position on the prestigious Billboard Jazz Chart with his smash hit “Talk Of The Town,’ and is currently in the top five with his new radio single "What Cha Gonna Do For Me." In the last quarter of 2008, he had three consecutive #1 productions on the coveted R&R smooth jazz chart, holding the #1 position with three different artists (Dave Koz, Eric Darius, & Tim Bowman) from September all the way through the end of the year. That’s 14 consecutive weeks at #1! During that time, Darren held the top three chart positions for several weeks and had as many as four songs in the top 10 at the same time.
As a producer, he has worked with a variety of notable artists including Toby Keith, Dave Koz, Wayman Tisdale, Jonathan Butler, Najee, Bob James, Kirk Whalum, Eric Darius, Tim Bowman, Jeffrey Osborne, Phil Perry, Jeff Lorber, Michael Lington and many others.
Rahn began working behind the scenes in the mid-90s producing and programming tracks for other artists. It was his work with Wayman Tisdale in 2004 on the #1 single, “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” that would bring Rahn to the forefront of the music industry. It was in the number one position for four weeks and stayed in the top ten for nearly 8 months.
“Until my work with Wayman, I remained pretty much behind the scenes,” said Rahn. He continued to work in the studio with Tisdale and an assortment of other smooth jazz heavy hitters. These relationships would prove pivotal in the launching of his solo career and enabled him to quickly move from behind the console to the stage. Indeed, it was his early work on his debut CD, Once in a Lifetime, that initially caught the attention of Wayman Tisdale in 2004. Later, Eric Darius would take note of this solo work from the CD and hire Rahn as producer as well. These collaborations were pivotal in paving the way for work with many major artists.
From late 2008 into 2009, Rahn had multiple singles on the charts simultaneously. These include Dave Koz's "Life In The Fast Lane", Eric Darius' "Goin' All Out", Tim Bowman's "Sweet Sundays", Wayman Tisdale's "One on One" and his very own single "On the Rebound." This was followed up with a #1 smash hit for saxophone superstar Najee in the summer of 2009 with "Sweet Summer Nights."
Integrating his solo career with his producer side is something Rahn juggles carefully. “I try to keep it pretty well balanced. When I’m in the studio, I usually let the “producer” take the lead. I’m often in producer mode… making sure what is being played serves the song best,” said Rahn.
In an industry that is often more interested in the bottom line than artistic merit, Rahn has managed to remain strong in his desire to carve out his unique sound. Rahn has shown that it is possible to find a happy medium between commercialism and creativity. “Every time I write or produce, I’m trying to break some new ground,” said Rahn. “I know what’s worked in the past and what people have enjoyed but I don’t want to get stuck there,” he said.
When writing new music, Rahn stays up-to-date on industry trends but doesn’t try to write specifically to fit the radio format. “I’m aware of what’s working in the music industry but I don’t write my material based on that. I write from my heart. Whatever is moving me at that moment is what dictates the outcome. I let my heart lead the way but I also use what I’ve gleaned from the industry. The trick is to make sure everything is done to best serve the art,” said Rahn.
The music industry is changing fast and with his proven track record and innovative approach to music production, Darren will continue to break new ground as he continues to create new music. Music that is fresh, unique and unforgettable.