Young and Invincible: Introducing Raveena Aurora

I recently learned about an up and coming young Sikh American musician and songwriter named Raveena Aurora, who just released a four-song demo entitled “Fools” this week. Listening to her original music and her vocal stylings, it’s hard to believe she just graduated high school this past spring.

Here at The Langar Hall we’re always excited to learn about Sikh musicians and performers in the diaspora expressing themselves creatively and breaking new ground for out community. A musician myself, I was particularly excited to talk with Raveena to learn more about her story and share it with you all.

Brooklynwala: How do you describe your sound to people?

Raveena: For now, feel good folky pop music with a dark underbelly.

BW: When did you start playing music and singing? How did you get your start?

RA: I’ve been writing poetry since a very young age, but I started singing around the age of eleven when I entered a talent show in the 6th grade and gave a heart wrenching performance of “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas. Much to my parent’s dismay, I became obsessed. I was very involved with musical theatre throughout middle school and early high school and in the middle of high school, I started writing original music.

BW: Where did you grow up?

RA: In Stamford, CT. Not terribly exciting.

BW: Did you get encouragement from your parents and other family to be a musician?

RA: In the beginning it was a struggle, but once they recognized my commitment and love for music, they always stood by me and supported me. They do place a great importance on education (which they should!) and conflict arises when my focus is only towards music and less towards my studies. I am really blessed with parents who encourage me to pursue my passion to the fullest, but also keep me grounded.

BW: Who are some of your musical role models?

RA: Musicians are often not the greatest role models, but I love how Jason Mraz actively promotes peace, equality and environmentalism. I look up to people who use their star-power to catalyze change or advocate for a cause. To be completely cheesy, I whole-heartedly believe in the power of music and I plan to makehumanitarianism a big part of my career.

BW: I understand you will be studying music business and production at NYU this coming fall. Are you planning to pursue a career in music?

RA: Yes! At least, I hope so. Whether I end up performing for a living or not, I want to be involved in the music industry in some way. I’m going to NYU to figure out which aspect, beyond performing, I want to be involved with.

BW: Music is not such a common career-path for us Sikhs in the United States. What reactions have you gotten from other Sikhs about your decisions?

RA: When I tried out for Glee a while back, I did not expect the incredible amount of support I received from Sikhs around the world. (For all people wondering what happened to that, I’m not entirely sure. I think they never went through with the Myspace auditions and decided to not add any new characters last season, and now they are making some spin-off show on Oxygen with Glee auditions. Whatever.) I’d feel blessed if Sikh people responded the same way to my original music. I think more and more people are recognizing the importance of having Sikh people in the mainstream.BW: Has Sikhi played a role in your development as a musician and songwriter? How so?

RA: I don’t write directly about Sikhism or religion in my songs per say, but I think my Sikh upbringing has always made me unafraid to stand out and stand for what I believe in, which I think are some important qualities to have as a musician. The Sikh values that were instilled in me as a child- giving back to community and a strong sense of equality and justice- are also a big part of who I am and as I said earlier, I hope tomakehumanitarianism a big part of my career.

On a side note, I really want to experiment with the tabla, sitar and a few other classical Indian instruments for my future projects. There are some tones in there that you just don’t find in Western music. Hit me up if you’re interested in collaborating!

BW: What are you listening to these days?

RA: I’ll take a listen to anything if its good and has soul, but my library has a large concentration of folk, rock, and indie music.I’m in love with the writing and performing style of older bands like Simon & Garfunkel (I grew up on them), Fleetwood Mac, Sublime, Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin. Ella Fitzgerald is a goddess. She creates art when she opens her mouth. In terms of sound, I look for inspiration from newer acts like Florence + Machine, Ben Sollee, The Weepies, Freelance Whales, Shel and Bon Iver. Apart from those, I’m a huge fan of Beirut, Ray Lamontagne, Wilco, Cocoon, Vampire Weekend, Eliza Doolittle and early Adele.

BW: How can our readers learn more about you, and most importantly, hear your music (recorded and live!)?

RA: “Like” my facebook page, please! All my info is there.

The demo is available for free download on both Facebook and Bandcamp, (song lyrics are available on Bandcamp and on Facebook in the “notes” section) but I would advise downloading songs on Facebook, seeing as my Bandcamp downloads per month are running out. I also have a cover channel on Youtube, where I have been posting semi- regularly for the past year.

I probably won’t be playing live until I settle into NYU after a couple of weeks, but when I do, I will most definitely be posting dates/locations on my Facebook page (which you should “like”..)


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One Response to “Young and Invincible: Introducing Raveena Aurora”

  1. manpreet says:

    thanks for the information .. i have also uploaded the story on my blog
    http://thesikhnetwork.tk/

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