Dew Tour’s first glimpse of Canadian superpipe skier Rachael Karker was at her debut in 2018 at Breckenridge, Colorado. This first appearance made a lasting impression as she went on to win first place in a modified superpipe that year. Fast forward to December 2021, and Rachael is back in Colorado at Copper Mountain, where she won third place at the US Grand Prix and had her sights focused on Dew Tour next, but due to a mishap during practice, Rachael gracefully bowed out of the competition. Before all this went down, we spoke with Rachael to learn about her music taste, where she finds her music, what she listens to while skiing, and get a custom-curated playlist. All this in Rachael’s latest On Rotation interview.

What’s your favorite type of music to listen to?
I would say my favorite type of music is probably alternative rock and indie rock. I’ve always been into that.

Are you listening to current-day artists or older artists?
The 90s, early 2000s like Metric, a Canadian band that is one of my favorites. I grew up listening to them. I still listen to all their albums all the time. 

Who are some of the music artists you are listening to for this winter season?
This season I have an artist called Allie X, and I’m listening to one of her albums. This is a newer album, and then some alt-J. I have two of their albums, and that’s what I mostly listened to while skiing.

Do you have a curated playlist that you always play while skiing? Or you just hit shuffle on all your songs?
Yeah, my playlist while skiing is shuffled, or I listen to a few albums in the same order every time. Then I can usually tell how long I’ve been skiing based on what song is playing.

How often do you switch out albums?
Usually, from season to season, I like to keep it consistent. But sometimes, for some contests, I’ll run out of music, and then I just hit shuffle and see what comes on.

Do you remember what you were listening to at the Grand Prix from this past weekend before Dew Tour?
Yeah, I was listening to Allie X and Alt J.

Do you think it’ll be the same thing for Dew Tour?
Yeah, it’ll be the same.

rachael karker on rotation
Photo Credit: Durso

How were you introduced to alt and know rock?
I’d say my parent’s taste in music and my older brothers. When we were growing up, we had CBC radio on all the time, and that’s a lot of what they play is alternative rock, indie rock, a lot of Canadian artists, I feel like that’s where I sort of developed my tastes of music. It was just always playing throughout the house during the day.

Are the artists you listen to predominantly from Canada?
Yeah, I probably know a few more Canadian artists the most. A lot of my favorite bands are Canadian bands. I just think it’s because I still listen to CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) a lot, and they play more Canadian artists, and that’s how I get more into them.

Does anyone on the Canadian team have a similar taste in music as you?
I would say Noah [Bowman] knows a lot of similar artists. Brendan [Mackay] and I live together at home, so we have a lot of similar music tastes and will play the same albums and songs a lot.

What’s the gym vibe like back in Calgary when everyone is training? Is there a speaker everyone jams to?
Yeah, we have a speaker in the gym, and it’s usually first-come, first serve whoever connects to it, and they get to pick the playlist for the day.

I’ve talked to a few USA team members, and they’ve mentioned that when the rowing team is in their training facility, it can feel a little hectic with their heavy metal music.
You never know. Sometimes you walk in, and you get guys trying to lift 300 kilos, and they’re just playing crazy music.

On those days, do you throw on some headphones and keep your own focus?
Yeah, I will if I’m alone or in a bad mood and don’t want to talk to anyone. It really depends on the day, it can be any kind of music, but I tend to stick to a neutral level of excitement towards music because I find I can be easily influenced by it, like, either makes me really angry or sad or just too excited. So I like to keep it calm.

Who plays DJ the most on the team when you are all traveling?
I think Cassie [Sharpe] and Noah play DJ most of the time. Whoever’s in the front seat or driving, they get to pick the music.

Any ski movies that you watched growing up that had an influence on you?
I think a lot of the ski movies that I watched growing up were my introduction to rap music. I remember the Matchstick [Production] movies were always really good because they had a big variety of different genres that they used. Then there are also movies like Evolution of Style [2012]. I remember watching a lot with my brother, and they had a lot of rap music and made me want to ski to rap music too, because it made me feel like I was in a ski edit. 

Here’s the ender. Are you a fan of karaoke?
No, not at all. That’s my worst nightmare.

If your nightmare were to come true, what would you pick if you had to get up on stage?
I probably chose a song that I at least knew all the words to. Or maybe a classic like Piano Man or Hotel California. Anything that I think would get enough people to sing along with so they wouldn’t have to listen to me. That would be ideal.

Sound off in the comments below!

Join the conversation