Raven is a DJ, producer, singer and songwriter who dropped her debut ‘Flames’ EP on Radio Slave’s Rekids label in April. Her music is a sophisticated, futuristic mix of acid, rave and techno and often features her vocal recordings. We asked Raven to introduce herself.
Who are you?
I’m Raven. I’m a producer, singer, song-writer, DJ and horror movie enthusiast.
Where are you from?
I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I left about 12 years ago and been on the move ever since.
What do you sound like?
My sound is deep, dark and “whelming”. I know whelming isn’t really a word, but it should be…
Why should we listen to you?
Listen to me because you’re already reading this interview. 😉
What have you released so far?
‘Flames’ which came out this year in April, was the first project that I released as Raven. Raven is my real name. I’ve had a few different aliases, but that’s a story for another time.
What else have you got coming out in the near future?
As I mentioned, I released my debut on Rekids this past April and in June I also put out a track on a compilation for charity. That might be it until after the summer. Right now I wanna use this time to create and experiment as much as possible.
Which of your tracks sums you up? Why?
I think I would go with the title track of the EP ‘Flames’. I like the mix of old school and new school genres, touching on techno, trance and acid. I enjoyed working on the sound design of ‘Flames’. ‘Flames’ could sum me up because the overall environment of the song is emotional, yet driving. It’s something unexpected.
How did you get into DJing/producing to begin with?
I’m a massive fan of music before anything, but I started DJing about 8 years ago after I began throwing events, because it was hard to find people that played the music I wanted. I started to get bookings pretty quick after that and it became my only job from then on. I had always been singing and collaborating with other producers, so production came about when I wanted to see what I could do on my own.
What are three things on your studio shopping list?
My setup is pretty minimal, with a couple of sequencers, controllers, pedals and midi keyboard. I use quite a range of plugins so I’m actually pretty content there. But I guess on my hitlist it would be the Sherman Filterbank, Moog Minitaur and a Strymon Big Sky.
What or who is your biggest influence and why?
I’m a massive Rick James fan. I think I was 11 when my mom played this ‘Rick James and Friends’ CD in the car, while we were on the road to my uncles for Thanksgiving. I remember going home and just Google-ing the shit out of him. He has an amazing catalogue. He’s written so many hits and ballads and generally just didn’t give a f*ck. That’s the type of energy I’m into. I love his in your face approach to music. He was just himself at all times.
Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?
I don’t like to think that I’m sacrificing anything. I think what I create is synonymous with what I’m inspired by on a day to day. It’s all pretty natural. It’s just my life.
Where can we hear your music?
Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, SoundCloud etc. you can also grab a 12” record of Flames on online record shops like Deejay.de and Juno Records.
What one song would feature on the soundtrack to your life?
Lords of Acid – ‘The Most Wonderful Girl’.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated by this urge I have to connect with people, to understand people and to be understood myself.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I have my dog grooming certification. I can do all the cuts for all the breeds of dogs. I also studied dog obedience and used to raise pit bulls and train them all basic commands and find their forever homes… lol yup.
Complete this sentence: At heart I’m just a …
At heart I’m just a sour patch kid. On the outside I’m a jawbreaker.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received?
“Don’t compare your beginning to somebody’s middle”. Just a good thing to keep in mind that we’re all on separate paths. That and there’s really no competition when you’re paving your own lane.
Where will you be in five years’ time?
I don’t know where I’ll be living in 5 years, but I’ll probably be feeling restless, recording a movie score, on my 2nd album. Three cabana boys fanning me, some hard-tek playing in the distance, sounds like it could be Ibiza… hahaha I’m joking.
Raven’s ‘Flames’ EP is now available.