DJ Rap shot out of Singapore and into the jungle of the U.K. club circuit.
After gravitating to the English rave scene in the late '80s, Singapore-born Charissa Saverio quickly turned from club kid to DJ, christening herself DJ Rap. She began making drum 'n' bass records with producer Jeff B and learned to mix with some help from London's Rave FM resident Coolhand Flex. Eventually, successful 12-inches such as "Spiritual Aura" enabled Saverio to start her Proper Talent label in 1994, which spawned more than 20 singles over five years. The label's reputation secured Saverio's inclusion on the Journeys by DJs
series and resulted in her first full-length, Intelligence
. Because she was one of the few women DJs in England at the time, she became known as the "First Lady of Jungle" by the time of her major label debut, 1999's Learning Curve
. The album's glossy and cosmopolitan pop represents a notable departure from the hardcore drum 'n' bass and breakbeats that typify her earlier work, notably the single "Ambience -- The Adored." Of course, Learning Curve
was retooled for its Stateside release, with jungle tracks such as "Beats Like This" and "Audio Technica" deleted. The disc's Garbage-like quality still found Saverio successfully putting vocals to edgy pop tunes such as "Bad Girl" and "Good to Be Alive." Now the ample-bosomed British beatdigger is determined to introduce America to her first love: drum 'n' bass. With the release of last year's Brave New World
, a mix CD produced with Kenny Ken, and the Proper Talent Recordings retrospective Propa Classics
due out in September, Saverio is poised to expel those rumors that she's not really a jungle bunny.