We caught up with musician RAVENRAIN following the release of ‘Don’t Back Down’. Enjoy now!
How did you first get into music?
Well, my love for music and singing runs in my family. My grandma loves to sing “O Sole Mio’ in pure opera style and on the top of her lungs, so let’s just say that I didn’t need an alarm when I was going to school, haha. My great uncle used to be a co-songwriter for a popular Italian band in the 60s.
I’ve always loved Disney, ‘Under The Sea’ and ‘The Circle of Fife’ were a must for me. It is also thanks to my family that I have such an eclectic music taste.
My parents love music too, but my dad likes more rock and pop-rock vibes, so classic like AC/DC and Queen; my mum loves Latin music, so Ricky Martin was a must in our house.
When I was a teenager, I got really really interested in Asian culture, hence my love for kpop, even if I have to admit I joined the kpop world only recently.
I became more interested in singing ‘properly’, so taking actual lessons, when I was in middle school after one of my friends noticed my voice during Sunday mass.
I took singing lessons from then until five years ago, I also learnt basic piano and guitar, and I hope to be able to get back into those soon. I auditioned for X-factor in 2014, but I didn’t pass, and because I was dealing with severe mental health issues at the time, that kind of pushed me away from music for a while.
In 2015 I moved to London and went to uni to study media as I felt like I wasn’t talented enough to pursue a career in music, especially after getting not very good feedback from friends and former singing teachers.
Once I graduated, I felt like something was missing in my life, and a couple of years ago, I started taking singing lessons with a vocal coach here in London. Thanks to her, I found what I like to call my true voice, and I realised that most of the training I received in the past wasn’t the right one for me.
She also pushed me towards songwriting since I’ve always loved to write. In 2019 then I began my journey as a songwriter, I wrote and recorded my first single, ‘Hiding in the Dark’, which was released in the summer of 2020, and many more that I hope to release soon, so I hope you look forward to it.
What is the first song that captured your attention as a youngster?
‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ by Shania Twain; super catchy chorus and her leopard print outfit in the music video was to die for.
Who influenced your latest release, ‘Don’t Back Down’?
I really like the EDM vibes in Black Mamba by Aespa (which was released in November 2020); lyrics are the result of a late-night thinking session when I found myself reflecting about 2020 and the pandemic.
How Voldemort (aka coronavirus) has changed our lives forever, how dark last year was, but no matter what, we should never give up and always push forward, basically don’t let it push you down.
My personal experiences also influenced it; I think we all experience challenges or rough moments in our lives, so with ‘Don’t Back Down’, I wanted to address it (verse) but also gives an uplifting and empowering feeling to the listeners (chorus). You can find these themes in my first release, ‘Hiding In The Dark’, and future releases planned for later this year. I hope you’re looking forward to those too!
‘Don’t Back Down’ is electronic-pop at its finest; what draws you to the genre?
I love the dance side of electronic-pop, this genre gives me ( and I’m sure I’m not the only one) festivals and parties vibes, and I think after the year we had, this is what I needed to put out there and what people needed to hear. I don’t like to put myself in a box or category when it comes to my music, and I’d like to experiment, and this is what I did with ‘Don’t Back Down’.
Pre-covid, what was the open-mic scene like in London?
I’d say fun fun fun and busy busy busy. There were Open-mics everywhere every day around London, some of them still run online on zoom, but obviously, it’s not the same as performing live. At Open-mics, you can find people from so many different musical backgrounds and with different music experiences, from the classically trained pianist to the karaoke fun. It’s an enjoyable environment, and you learn something new about music every time.
What motivates you to make music?
With the support that I received so far, I’ve been getting so many positive comments about my music, which pushes me to create more and better. I want to create music that helps, inspires and empowers people. Music that can make you feel better when you’re having a bad day.
I want to create music that it’s relatable; that’s why I take inspirations from my personal experiences a lot. While writing, sometimes I ask myself, ‘what kind of words, what kind of sound or music I needed when I was going through rough times’.
What’s your favourite venue to play?
For now, Caffe Concerto, but I hope to be able to perform at bigger venus once everything is back to normal.
What are your other passions aside from music?
I love Asian cultures, especially Japanese and Korean; I can’t really explain why I found them extremely interesting and fascinating. So I’m learning Korean, and I hope to get back into Japanese. I’m a big fan of k-dramas and anime; I can’t count how many I’ve watched so far…if you need any suggestions, hit me up!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Oh wow, this is a tough one. Perhaps making certain things more affordable for independent artists, for example, promotions.
What new music are you listening to at the moment?
I’m big on kpop, so a new rapper I’ve been listening to recently is BeWhy. I’m mainly listening to new artists in kpop if I have to be honest.
What musical plans do you have for the next two years?
My plan is to keep releasing music throughout 2021 and hopefully an EP at the end of the year. Once the situation is back to normal, I’m hoping to get more gigs and perform at bigger venues; I hope to be able to tour around the UK next year or the following one. I hope my followers will keep supporting me, and I hope to be able to share my music with more people and reach a bigger audience.
FV Music Blog February 2021
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