When RAC heard his name called at the Grammys, he had to do a double take.
"Going into it, it's not like I had any realistic expectations," he remembers. "I had to take an extra second to process it. Like, okay this is happening for real. Its not a nightmare scenario, like what happened at the Oscars."
After a decade of hard work, RAC took home the golden gramophone for his work on Bob Moses' "Tearing Me Up" in the category of Best Remix. It's a category that means a lot to him. He's dedicated much of his career to reinterpreting the craft, trying to bring a heavier songwriting perspective to what is usually a mindless dance menagerie.
"It's confirmed that I'm on the right path," he says, "these ideas that I had about remixing, about doing things differently and approaching a song from a non-dance music perspective, have made sense to a lot of people."
He also turned out to be the first Portuguese artist to win a Grammy - ever. He ended up on four different nightly news programs in his home country. It's been pretty surreal. But he can't sit around and think about his Grammy forever. He's got to get back out there and make music, and today, he shares his first bit of wholly original work in a couple of years.
"This Song" is pastel-colored cascade of synths and light touches floating around former Vampire Weekend member Rostam's dark whisper vocals. The beat is punchy and the vibe is like falling in love, and saying the song title in conversation is endlessly hysterical.
For RAC, it was a whole new world. He recorded "This Song" in Rostam's Los Angeles studio. It was an experience that stood in stark contrast to the recording process of his first album Strangers, an experiment in remote collaboration with people he'd never met in real life, some of whom he still hasn't ever met face to face.
With Rostam, he found himself not only physically on par with his fellow producer, but actually co-producing for the first time.
"Creatively speaking, 'This Song' came together pretty organically," RAC says. "It feels a little more earnest, a little more honest. It was really interesting to get in a room with another producer, someone with that same mindset. I wasn't sure how that was going to work, because normally when there are tow people with very strong opinions about how things should sound, it can get difficult, but in this case it was not. It was awesome. It's really great to have somebody that's going through a lot of the same things that I am. Whenever he had an idea, it was always like 'oh, I haven't thought about that, but it's awesome,' which isn't usually the case."
Both men come at the electronic game from a band-driven perspective. Both creative minds are more comfortable initially writing on a guitar or keys, and both men sought to inject a bit of analog physicality into the production. As it stands, "This Song" is one of the synthier sides of RAC's catalog, but that shiny danceable side only helps to bolster its emotional resonance.
"This Song" is the first from a load of new tracks RAC's got up his sleeve. He can't give any details about when or how, but a new album is forthcoming. Today, "This Song" is shared in Spotify's indie electronic playlist Metropolis. Listen to it as part of the playlist below, and look out for more from RAC in the very near future.