There’s something about Raveena’s voice that transports you to a favorite memory (or favorite person) upon first listen. The NYC singer released her debut Shanti EP last December and her music has been making us feel warm ever since. When you hear Raveena, you’ll hear traces of jazz and neo-soul, with a contemporary R&B feel. When it comes to her songwriting, you’ll get to know a woman who is expressive about her healing, how she loves others, and how she loves herself. Raveena’s music feels like a journey and her latest song “I Won’t Mind” is another chance to be apart of it.
You can learn more about Raveena, an artist we consider to be up next, in our feature interview below.
REHAB: There’s this beautiful mash-up of neo-soul, delicate jazz, and R&B across your recent Shanti EP. Who were some of your main musical influences growing up?
Raveena: I was super enchanted by jazz voices from a really young age. I grew up listening to and imitating a lot of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and newer voices like Amy Winehouse. When I got a bit older, R&B music spoke to me on a whole other level and I fell in love with the incredible range of songwriting possibility, and how rich and silky R&B instrumentation is.
Your sound is so soothing and comforting. When did making music become a serious passion for you?
I think as soon as I sang my first notes around 7 or 8 I was pretty hooked and obsessed with singing / creating as much as I could outside of my school work. I didn’t really come into my voice as a writer until I was a teenager though!
What’s your favorite song off of the Shanti EP (if you had to choose) and why?
Ahhh that’s hard. I think it’s a solid tie between “If Only” and “No Better”. I’m really happy with the story I captured in “If Only” and how we turned it into something infectious but still emotional, but “No Better” never fails to leave me in a good mood. The instrumentation that our studio musicians (who we work with really consistently on almost all the tracks) did a really incredible job on that song.
What was your direction for your newest track “I Won’t Mind” in comparison to Shanti‘s vibe?
I think what makes this track different from Shanti is the way we approached the production. It’s almost completely stripped down, as opposed to the full band tracks we had on Shanti, and I wanted the track to sound like an intimate conversation between two people in love.
When I wrote it, it actually was a conversation I was trying to have with my partner (/producer Everett) at that moment in time, but I just found it easier to say it through the music. The song flowed out of me really naturally – I practically wrote it in an hour while singing it into the mic in our bedroom.
You touch on spirituality and healing a lot in your music. How does your spirituality keep you grounded and what kind of perspective does it give you?
My spirituality (which draws from several religions and philosophical ideas) keeps me super grounded in the present and aware of how tiny I am in the scope of the universe. For me, it’s helpful to look at my life in that way because it makes all my anxieties and stresses, or conversely any momentary high I get from something artificial, fall away so I can focus on giving, and the beauty and importance of real things (nature, music, being a kind person to others, emitting a gentle and positive spirit into the universe). Music is also definitely religious for me in its own way.
What are the main messages you want to convey in your music?
Kindness, healing, feel-good sun drenched moments, and building a community of people who have been through shit who can empathize with each other through the music.
What advice can you offer to other women artists who are just now starting off?
I would say to focus on the craft first and listen to all the greats! Let yourself get lost in different eras, watch incredible movies, collect as many sources of inspiration as you can so you can figure out what you like and don’t like. I think all this can lead you to a really distinct style.
Lastly, what’s one word to describe how you’re feeling about 2018?
It’s gonna be beautiful and I think I’m going to grow a lot, but also overwhelmingly busy!
[Featured photo by Everett Orr]