Rai is a one of Australia’s most respected musical talents: a highly accomplished pianist, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. As a songwriter, he has been nominated for APRA Song of The Year. His band, Thirsty Merc, has sold over 250,000 albums in Australia, and has been nominated for 5 ARIA awards. Since 2002, Thirsty Merc has released 4 studio albums and a string of hits in the Australian Music Charts. Rai was taught to play the piano by his mother from the age of 4.
He started writing songs around the age of 15. After finishing high school he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he commenced a Bachelor of Music in jazz piano. Enjoying heavy airplay and touring extensively, Thirsty Merc have become a household name in Australia. Rai’s composition ‘In The Summertime’ has been the theme song to internationally acclaimed Aussie TV show ‘Bondi Rescue’ for 17 consecutive seasons. Rai’s composition ‘San Francisco Street’ has clocked up over 78 million views on YouTube. Aside from his work in Rock and Pop, Rai performs as a solo artist, based around his love of Jazz, Soul, and Groove music. He has released 4 Solo EPs and has toured Australia and the U.S. since 2012.
Some of his notable collaborations have been with ARIA award- winning guitarist James Muller, Trumpeter James Morrison,
and Grammy Nominated U.S. jazz bassist Christian McBride (Sting, Wynton Marsalis band). Currently based between Sydney and Los Angeles, Rai tours globally with U.S. Funk/Electronic band
KNOWER and New York based guitarist Oz Noy. In 2020, Rai joined guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani’s touring band as keyboardist, played on 13 tracks on Joe’s new album ‘The Elephants Of Mars,’
and completed 45 shows across the USA in 2022, and over 50 shows in Europe in early 2023.