Rai is 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 5 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 the internationally acclaimed Aussie TV show 'Bondi Rescue' for 11 consecutive seasons.
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. Thirsty Merc completed 33 shows for their 'Celebration' Tour to sold out crowds, and most recently, Rai joins virtuoso guitarist Joe Satriani's live band on keys for his USA tour in late 2022 and will return to Melbourne in Dec 2022 just in time for this exclusive show at Bird's Basement!