Our No Basic Girl of the week is New York based Singer / Songwriter, Raveena Aurora. If you are yet to have witnessed her honeyed vocals and endearing demeanour, prepare to immerse yourselves in the artist’s captivating sounds and visual aesthetics. In mélanging sweet sensuality with 90’s inspired beats, the 24-year-old has completely stolen our hearts with her ode to nostalgic tenderness.
On first reaction, it’s almost exhilarating to experience music that is both stylistically fresh and engaging on a spiritual level. Though it still positions itself on the whole Pop/R&B agenda, there remains a single-minded artfulness that we just can’t get over. With a deep self-exploration, along with musical inspiration from the sounds of Jazz and Soul legends — notably Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sade, Amy Winehouse and D’Angelo to name a few — the essence of Raveena’s sound is only further heightened through the unapologetic statements of self fulfilment and identity we are left with after experiencing her art. In an interview with I-D, the singer reflected on her vision, noting, ‘the story I’m trying to tell is one of healing. I want to make a community and a safe space for women of color because that’s something that I didn’t have growing up. But I did have music. So, I think that if I can combine my love for music by also making that space for women, it could be really powerful and do good in the world’.
On her dreamy single ‘Sweet Time’ it was also important for her to reclaim a representation of women of colour, which had otherwise been neglected within the industry. ‘I think it’s extremely important for women of colour to have self love, just for their own survival and growth as a community. I wanted to make a video that embodied that with women coming together to support and celebrate each other’s beauty and strength. I also wanted to do it through a dreamy, escapist lens. I wanted to portray them in this feminine, sweet way because that’s not usually the roles we’re given as underrepresented women in the media — that the girl-next-door, Virgin Suicides quality that blonde women usually play. Showing women of color through that lens was really important for me’.
Her dedication to such visual symbolism within her art continues with her latest video for ‘Honey’, where the conveyance of diversity is so undeniably poignant. In evoking an escape; a hope and an idea so human, it’s easy to lose yourself into each of her words as she unfolds this story. This story of two people being “water and roses,” existing in a “fantasy world,” and this motif of “milk and honey,” which frames the song as incredibly tender. And visually, having never truly seen a real representation of a ‘caring, intimate Indian couple in Western media’, this video reinforced the sentiment that you can love immensely, while remaining proud of your culture, making it so touching and somewhat of a milestone in terms of inclusion and diversity. Representing people who are so often unseen through a delicate and beautiful lens is something that can only encourage minority groups all over the world to appreciate themselves and to claim who they are. Not only this, but there’s also a powerful undertone that reaches not only people of colour, but people period; your identity is yours, so express your individuality — and own it.