As part of our lockdown series, we caught up with the Raven Artson to see how he’s coping…
Hey Raven, how’s it going? For those who are not familiar with your work, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m good, thanks! My name is Raven Artson and I’m a 25 year old Los Angeles-based neon crooner sharing personal stories. Right now my main source of inspiration is the internal conflict I experienced during my coming of age. I’m trying to integrate this same conflict, or contrast if you will, in my sound. In doing so I violate the confines of genre.
Your work channels an otherworldly aesthetic. Which musical artists do you take your inspiration from?
Thank you! My dream collaboration would be Frank Ocean and David Byrne. They’re totally opposite artists genre-wise, but share a similar interest for combining pop culture with underground art.
Recently you dropped your latest single and video ‘Notice Me’ which soars with piano-led arrangements. Can you tell us your interpretation behind the track?
The track was written about how I fell in love with the idea of a fictional romance. Because my love interest became my close friend, the idea got threatened. I avoided reality out of fear for non-mutual romantic feelings. When I finally voiced my heart, reality confirmed itself and the idea was gone. It was a beautiful, intense time with a lot of inner struggle.
The music video for ‘Notice Me’ is shot in a very dynamic way. Throughout we see the difficult emotions that your character encounters. What was it like working on the video and how did it differ to the song writing process?
The process of how this video evolved from concept to screen was actually very similar to how I wrote the song: both processes allowed time in to transition the initial idea heavily. It took the directors Zach and myself over six months and two reshoots until we were satisfied. In my experience the true meaning of a project becomes clear over time.
When creating the video, what part did you enjoy the most? Were there any challenges that you faced along the way?
Overcoming challenges is simultaneously the hardest and the most enjoyable part. An interesting challenge was the visual translation of frustration building up to an emotional climax. Because this feeling is very complex, disjointed and often unexplainable, we used non-cohesive imagery to tell a cohesive story. In my opinion we succeeded in conveying that specific feeling, and I’m super proud of that.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be and why?
A lot of times I see a clear separation of the creative and the business side. I think that it would be better if that line blurred more, allowing the artist in on the business side and the industry on the creative side. Building a career is like building a company, and in my opinion a good company is transparent and stimulates cross-fertilization.
What is the rest of the year looking like for you?
At the moment I’m quarantining in a music studio to grow in my capacity as a songwriter, producer and creative director. Following my latest ‘notice me’ single, I’m releasing my ‘notice me’ EP on June 12th. Be on the look out for more interesting projects after that!