On The Rise: Raven

“I like to play a lot of older tracks as well, because good music doesn’t have an expiry date.”

Multi-faceted DJ and producer Raven has been igniting dancefloors and blowing up speakers across the world for over three years. Having been based in a plethora of renowned cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Berlin and Mexico City, Raven has been able to develop a sharp appreciation for dancefloor aesthetics – finely honing her artistic development which is evident within her formidable DJ sets. Fusing together techno and influences from acid, electro and early rave, the Canadian artist sets herself from the rest and delivers a raw but unique sound. Last year saw Raven drop her highly anticipated EP Flames on Radio Slave’s esteemed Rekids imprint, and more recently a four-track EP containing two tracks, plus edits, for Mania. Continuing to pave the way for her fresh blend of genre-binding sounds, we caught up with Raven about her electronic journey so far and a few of her ‘best’ things.

Can you tell us a bit about your musical background and how you first got into music?

My name is Raven. I’m a producer, DJ and vocalist from Canada, currently living in Berlin. I’ve been making music my whole life in someway. I always just had a natural affinity for it and the history of it.

To someone whoʼs just discovered you, how would you describe your sound and direction?

Raw, underground, dark, sexy… maybe a bit melancholic. I always like the feeling where you want to dance and cry at the same time lol. The music I make is based in Techno and I layer my vocals as well. In my DJ sets I’m playing pretty peak-time. From Tribal to New Beat to Psytrance. Whatever really. I don’t always have to play hard, but I like to play fast. I like to play a lot of older tracks as well, because good music doesn’t have an expiry date. You won’t really hear me playing House or Disco though. I’m a Techno girl through and through.

aving played across the globe and lived in cities such as LA, Chicago, Berlin and Mexico City, which cities in particular do you have a soft spot for and why?

I loved living in Mexico City. The food was amazing, but also the music scene there is incredible. Overall the culture and history of the Country, I loved and the people too. I can’t wait to return.

You have a new EP coming early next year on Rekids and have also released other material on the imprint. How did this relationship first come about and how has Radio Slave helped develop you as an artist?

I’ve known Matt for quite a long time. I’m always thankful that he took me into the Rekids fam. I feel like Rekids has always managed to keep its identity without ‘selling out’. Also the music I’m making isn’t exactly conventional Techno, so his support means the world.

Do you have any words of advice to anybody who wants to become a DJ?

Totally. Learn about the music you’re playing / learn how to classify the sounds you like. Go to record shops to familiarise yourself with labels or at least Discogs. Find the best way to organise your music – do this from the beginning and keep it up or else it an get quite overwhelming. When you record a mix or play, think about what you want to ’say’ with your set. What kind of experience do you want the listener to have? I always feel like I do best when I have a bit of direction in my head.

Where do you see yourself this time next year? And do you have any ambitions in the coming years you can tell us about?

Lol I don’t know. This Corona thing makes it impossible to make plans.

Do you have any New Year resolutions you can share with us?

I want to just create things. Music, clothes, good food, drawings. Not just for money, but for my spirit. I just came out of a relationship, so yeah just focussing on connecting with myself… Not to be all Eat, Pray, Love lol.

Quickfire Question: Best…

Best artist you’ve collaborated with?

I have some collaborations and remixes coming up!

Best closing track you’ve played?

Closing with Acid King – Richie Hawtin is a vibe.

Best DJ booth set up?

Booth at ADE Awakenings / Exhale was cool.

Best track you have produced?

That’s hard because I constantly fall in and out of love with everything I do lol… I made this one on mostly on the Roland System.

Best club sound system?

Berghain Baby.

Best dressed artist?

Partboi.. inspirational.

Best turntable?

Technics SL-1200G.

Best airport?

I spent like 10 hours in Zürich airport recently due to flight cancellations. Wasn’t too bad considering.

Best mix you’ve heard live?

Dax J.

Best restaurant in Barcelona?

Vegetalia, Vegan Nachos.

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