Up and coming teen rocker Gabbie Rae revealed to National Rock Review she is now being managed by Wendy Dio in this exclusive interview.
Gabbie Rae has been wowing crowds lately, not only at Ultimate Jam Night, where she is a regular guest, but also opening for bands like Queensryche and performing on the Monsters of Rock Cruise.
In exclusive news, Gabbie Rae revealed to National Rock Review that she has just signed to a management deal with Wendy Dio.
National Rock Review sat down with Gabbie to see how she got involved with the metal community and with Ultimate Jam Night, and find out whatâ€™s up next for the 17 year old rocker.
NRR: You have been opening for some of rockâ€™s heavyweights – Vince Neil, Queensryche, Stryper – and of course your appearances at Ultimate Jam Night. Quite a few metal stars seem to have taken you under their wing. How did you get involved in the metal community?
Gabbie Rae: I got involved in the metal community about 2 years ago, actually probably about 2 and a half now, I did a show with Michael Sweet and Oz Fox from Stryper, they did an acoustic show at the Whisky-a-Go-Go, and at this time I wasnâ€™t involved in the metal community at all. I had been friends with Michael for a really really long time so he sent me a message, he said â€œHey do you want to come down and sing?â€ and of courseâ€¦yeah, so it was the first time I was singing at the Whisky which was like a huge deal to me. So I went and I sang, and there was a guy in the audience who works with Michael and was connected to all of our people in the community that we know now and he kind of took me in and at that point everything just kind of blew up and I was getting all these gigs with the metal community, I was finally being recognized as a rock artist, so that was actually kind of the night that started it all.
Yeah and I am really, really lucky too, because all of these legends have completely taken me under their wing. Never in a million years did I think that would happen. Michael Sweet for example, he has such a big part in where I am today. Todd La Torre, of Queensryche, he is one of my best friends and he supports me constantly. Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnakeâ€¦itâ€™s everybody you see at the (Ultimate) Jam Night, they all support meâ€¦itâ€™s crazy and I am grateful, I never thought this would happen.
NRR: How did you get involved with Ultimate Jam Night? Who brought you on board?
Gabbie Rae: Chuck Wright actually brought me on board. I was thinking about this the other day, where did I meet Chuck originally, and it was actually that same guy who was at the Michael Sweet show. I had been working with that guy for about a year and all of a sudden he was, â€œThereâ€™s this guy and his name is Chuck Wrightâ€ and of course I knew who he was â€˜cause I am a huge Quiet Riot fan, so he brought me to â€¦Chuck has this other side project called The Acoustic Saints and this guy brought me down and I ended up going up and I did a song with The Acoustic Saints and Chuck and I totally bonded over that. So I think that may have been the first time that we really officially got to know each other, and I think we had seen each other in passing but that was kind of the big night. I did â€œCome Togetherâ€ by the Beatles then. And then after that, it was a few months later and heâ€™s like â€œHey, weâ€™re starting this thing jam night do you want to come and be one of our first guest performers? And no one knew at the time how big this thing was going to get. I was like â€œYeah I would love to,â€ and now I go like every other week, itâ€™s like a part of my life now. So yeah, Chuck Wright was actually the guy who brought me in.
NRR: Are there any musical collaborations you are working on?
Gabbie Rae: Yes. I have a lot of writers coming in, a lot of celebrity writers that you see at the (Ultimate) Jam (Night) all the time, I canâ€™t say any names yet, but you see them at the jam all the time. They are going to be joining into my album and I am actually hoping to get a few guest appearances too, like vocalists and guitars, a bass player, maybe, wink wink. Itâ€™s all kind of up in the air.
I love National Rock Review they constantly support me, so I called my manager today and I said I am doing this interview and I know we havenâ€™t released this yet, but I want National Rock Review to be the first people I tell, so I am giving you an exclusive. Wendy Dio is now managing me. She signed me as her artist.
So next week we are going into the studio and we are actually going to do a demo first and Wendy is going to do her magic, sheâ€™s going to go to all of her little connections and, you know, do her thing. And then in the near future we are going to go ahead and make a full length album, and once we get to the full-length album in the next few months is when I am going to have all these guest performers come on, guest writers, so, weâ€™ve got a plan. But yeah, Wendy Dio is now managing me.
NRR: You got to perform â€œRainbow in the Darkâ€ at the Dio Memorial with Dioâ€™s Disciples. What was that experience like for you?
Gabbie Rae: I am still in shock over it because I have been a fan of Dio since I was a very. very young child. My dad was a huge Dio fan so growing up itâ€™s all I heard around the house. I grew up on his music. So, when I met Wendy, and I have known Wendy for about two years, she just took me under her wing. When she called me and said we want you to perform at the memorial I was just likeâ€¦wow. And actually being at the memorial, I never thought that would happen, I idolize Ronnie and just to be there, itâ€™s such an honor and to perform at the memorial it was an honor with such legends too, so many legends there and the Dio Disciples were there, Christian Martucci, Lita Ford was there, so it was just this big group of people. By that time we had all, we are like a family now , so just kind of being there with my metal family, honoring Ronnie wasâ€¦itâ€™s an honor and itâ€™s one of those memories that I will just carry with me forever.
NRR: Youâ€™ve been putting together a new band. Is that going to be part of the record or are they for touring, whatâ€™s going on with that?
Gabbie Rae: I think what the plan is, now that I am with Wendy we want to get a solid line-up together because I have a roster of musicians that I take for different events that are around the country, you know a whoâ€™s where kind of thing. But we really want to get a solid line-up, but I am going to be focusing on that after the record is done. I have some people already in place and we are going to be doing auditions too, Wendy is going to set that up, but that is going to be after the record so we have a little bit of time. I have some really great session players for the studioâ€¦all the (Ultimate) Jam (Night) people.
NRR: Is there anyone you would love to work with that you havenâ€™t worked with yet?
Gabbie Rae: Oooh a tough question. I have always wanted to work with Nuno (Bettencourt.) Actually I talked to him last night (after Ultimate Jam Night) and it looks like he is going to be joining us, maybe, for the album. Iâ€™ve always wanted to work with him, so if he joins me on the album, writing, itâ€™s going to be a dream come trueâ€¦cross that off the bucket list. Itâ€™s funny because all of these people that I would dream of having on my album or just collaborating with are like my family now so itâ€™s strange, like Todd La Torre for example it would be a dream to have him do a song with me on my album and I am kind of hoping that happens. I could go on forever. Todd, Nuno, Richie Kotzen, thatâ€™s all iâ€™ve got for now.
NRR: Free 2 Luv. Tell me about them and your involvement with them and how you got involved.
Gabbie Rae: Free2Luv is a non-profit organization. They have many different branches and I am a celebrity ambassador for their anti-bullying branch. I am an ambassador with Fran Drescher, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Arnold, Jake T. Austin, Vanessa Hudgens, they have taken me on and I have been working with them forâ€¦I want to say three years, I could be wrong but I want to say three years.
They are doing billboard campaigns now, so they are putting up billboards all over Seattle which is where they are based and I am the face of their billboards. And they are also doing digital billboards around the world, so I think they said they have 7 million outlets around the world for billboards. So if you go to Seattle my face is huge on these billboards. And they have more too, because they put one up and I think they have four more coming.
Itâ€™s a really great organization, I recorded an anthem song for them a few years back. They are really great, they raise awareness all over social media and they are so passionate about what they do and they are really really genuine people and they really truly care and they really really make a difference and they put their heart and soul into it. So when they called me and they asked me to be a part of their campaign I was like yes, yes, yesâ€¦I would love to! And I have kind of grown with them, we are all kind of growing together and they are getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and they have all these celebrity ambassadors now and I am so happy for everything they are doing.
NRR: How did you get involved with them? How did they pick you?
Gabbie Rae: A few years back, i was a lot younger, I had a done a cover of â€œDonâ€™t Look Downâ€™ by David Ryan Harris because I was actually at that time starting my own campaign for anti-bullying. It was for anti-bullying for special needs children. We recorded the song, we did a music video I went back toâ€¦I lived in Myrtle Beach for 5 years, and at the time I was living in Atlanta, so we went back to Myrtle Beach and we shot the video with these people that I knew (who were) special needs. It was a really, really beautiful video. Free2Luv found that video a year after it was released, so thatâ€™s actually how they found meâ€¦through that.
: I was trying to raise awareness, they were trying to raise awareness so we were like a perfect match.
NRR: Do you have anything else that you want to share with us?
Gabbie Rae: Itâ€™s super hard right now because everything I want to say is all hush hushâ€¦big things are coming, I will leave you with that.
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