Raj Pickens was born in Houston, Texas, where he developed an early fascination with music. While living in Austin in 1997, Raj played shows at Ruta Maya and at the Ritz sharing the stage with Patrice Pike, Ian Moore and others at the Jeff Buckley Memorial Show. He returned to Houston in 1998 and began playing at venues such as the Crooked Ferret, Renegades, River Café, PJs, Blanco’s, Southmore House and the Mausoleum. He would go on to host the Mausoleum’s weekly open mic series for the next two years and played on the Maus’ outdoor stage at the last Westheimer Street Fest in 1999.
Recently, Raj has been featured at shows at the Sidecar Pub, Last Concert Café and Salento while touring with the Bob Marley Festival and the Legends of Rasta Reggae Festival. He has also lent his talents to playing benefits for the Houston Global Awareness Collective’s benefit for Noam Chomsky, Voices Breaking Boundaries at El Dorado Ballroom and at DiverseWorks’ World AIDS Day. Raj has released his independent debut release, Passionflowers, and recent projects include the raj pickens soundsystem, and the art, music, poetry and craft showcase series, Sonic Visions at Mojo Risin Coffeehouse. He is currently playing solo shows as well as building artistic coalitions with other area musicians to bring conscious music out of the Houston underground scene and into the spotlight. Raj recorded his newest release, transcendence, January 2007 at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales studio and is moved by higher powers to spread positive vibrations throughout the universe using music.
"...very unique and identifiable." - Robert Len Stallard, guitarist/songwriter
"I love your sound." - Sam of Wear It Again Sam
"Cool stuff!" - ODI, bass player Troubadours
"I really dig your music and vibe..." - Kenneth Scott, musician/singer-songwriter
Transcendence was described as "a stirring collection of acoustic-soul musings - - R&B with rootsy flavor." - Joey Guerra/Houston Chronicle