The Impact of Culture and Self-Love on Raveena Aurora’s Remarkable Music Career

Credit: Furmaan Ahmed / Warner Records

Raveena Aurora’s love for music started from a tender age. Being raised in a Sikh household, she was surrounded by Bollywood music—a sound that the Indian-American would later intertwine with pop, jazz, and R&B when she started experimenting with the genres in 2013.

Before signing with Warner Records, Raveena released music independently, working with producer Everett Orr on several projects as she sought to solidify the unique flavor that she is now known for. She proceeded to treat her growing fanbase, which became captivated by her avant-garde musical style, to an R&B, soul, and jazz-layered EP titled Shanti.

Best denoted as a compilation of dreamlike lyrical compositions, Shanti told a story of healing and the difficulties associated with navigating young adulthood. Deeply connected to her craft, Raveena takes pride in playing a major part in how her career unfolds behind the scenes, as it relates to the production of her music and the direction of her music videos. She describes her songs and visuals as a blend of different cultures, tying a firm knot with the strings of her Indian heritage and her US influence.

In an interview with Homegrown, she speaks highly of how important the topic of representation is to her, as well as, its direct impact on her music, “I feel at the core my music is always about a story of healing, especially about the hard things we go through in our 20s and teens and especially as women and people of color. That’s always been the core of it…”

A common theme felt throughout her work—the voice of sensuality, femininity, and her deep love for her culture spoke loudly and sweetly throughout her debut album Lucid. The album was the birthing of 12 tracks conceptualized through her life experiences as a survivor of sexual assault and abuse.

In Lucid, she gets candid about the healing process and shared with Wonderland Magazine, “I think I really tapped into my womanhood on this project, exploring deeper tones in my voice and harder parts of my life to visit in the lyrics.” She adds, “Still Dreaming” is my favorite song off the album, and that song was about capturing this moment of transition between being a teen and becoming an adult, and wanting to stay in that pocket of time forever.”

By the time production on her sophomore album, Asha’s Awakening was coming to a close, Raveena transitioned from an indie artist to being a Warner Records signee. She notes that having a major label on board to further promote the project was a good move, citing that she believes the timing was ideal.

Asha’s Awakening was released in February 2022 with critics speaking highly of the release. Rolling Stone highlighted the 14-track concept album as one of the “Best Albums of 2022 So Far”.

Adding to the remarkable year she’s had to date, Raveena is also the first Indian woman to perform at Coachella, having done so at its 2022 staging. She expressed the excitement she felt via Twitter, “Only real ones will know the cultural significance of me singing Dum Maro Dum at Coachella, a song from an iconic Indian movie “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” that was about the westernization of Indian spirituality.”