An electroencephalography (EEG) based brain activity recognition is a fundamental field of study for a number of significant applications such as intention prediction, appliance control, and neurological disease diagnosis in smart home and smart healthcare domains. Existing techniques mostly focus on binary brain activity recognition for a single person, which limits their deployment in wider and complex practical scenarios. Therefore, multi-person and multi-class brain activity recognition has obtained popularity recently. Another challenge faced by brain activity recognition is the low recognition accuracy due to the massive noises and the low signal-to-noise ratio in EEG signals. Moreover, the feature engineering in EEG processing is time-consuming and highly re- lies on the expert experience. In this paper, we attempt to solve the above challenges by proposing an approach which has better EEG interpretation ability via raw Electroencephalography (EEG) signal analysis for multi-person and multi-class brain activity recognition. Specifically, we analyze inter-class and inter-person EEG signal characteristics, based on which to capture the discrepancy of inter-class EEG data. Then, we adopt an Autoencoder layer to automatically refine the raw EEG signals by eliminating various artifacts. We evaluate our approach on both a public and a local EEG datasets and conduct extensive experiments to explore the effect of several factors (such as normalization methods, training data size, and Autoencoder hidden neuron size) on the recognition results. The experimental results show that our approach achieves a high accuracy comparing to competitive state-of-the-art methods, indicating its potential in promoting future research on multi-person EEG recognition.