A New Singer & Songwriter On The New York Music Scene: ROSALIA SCALIA
For most of us, performing in an elementary or middle school talent show begins and ends with the curtain.
But for Raveena Aurora, the experience proved otherwise. For this Sikh-American who is now an emerging singer/songwriter and folk-pop artist with a growing list of performance venues in New York City and the expected release of her debut EP in December 2012, participating in the talent show at age 10 opened up a new world.
“My parents found out I could sing,” she says. “Before that, no one had a clue.”
After the talent show demonstrated her singing talent, Ravenna Aurora, 18, a Connecticut resident, began taking voice lessons and pursuing theater, acting and other arts, and by high school, found herself deeply immersed in the theater.
Then she saw the limitations of the theater scene.
“It didn’t take too long to figure out girls who looked Indian were not going to get a lot of roles,” she says. “It felt to me like a catty business. I didn’t want to be molded or bound by someone else’s script or someone else’s vision.”
So she refocused her creative energy into her first love -- music -- studying classical voice with Lucy Yates and Alissa Wyatt, honing her song writing skills, and slowly developing a style that is a dash of The Civil Wars and a sprinkle of Nora Jones.
“My vocals sound a little jazzy,” she says.
Already, her current release, a tune titled “Slumber,” is available for download on iTunes and Bandcamp and consists of acoustic studio demos off the debut release.
Now a sophomore at New York University’s (NYU) Tisch's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, what she began writing and recording in her bedroom at age 15 is evolving into pop-worthy tunes. Writing both lyrics and melody, she says that her best musical phrases come to her while “singing in the shower. Lyrics come to me at the most spontaneous times -- I’ve had to use my leg as a surface to write on in the past because I didn’t have a notebook or a computer.”
Guitarist Alan Lilienthal (or Aya), whom she met at NYU, adds the chords to her melodies and now she often works with a co-song writer. Her lyrics, however, are born from a great deal of introspection and events that impact her emotionally, which she then connects with simple observations and details from daily living -- “like the profound ordinariness of being one of a billion stopping at a red light this morning.”
Like many works of art, her songs evolve from the point of their inception, and often, music or lyrical phrases that she first considered as the important ones turn out to be not so.
“When I first started writing ‘Where We Wander,’ I thought a chorus line I had previously come up with, ‘can you take the road with me’ would be the main hook,” she says. “It was then replaced with ‘where we wander,’ which took on more meaning and added more illustration to the song.”
Also informing her performance and image/brand building approach is her Sikh background.
“I credit my parents with instilling in me the self-confidence to know that I can be my true self and not conform to the male’s ideal of sexiness, which the male-dominated music industry often tries to promote through their female stars,” Raveena says. “My family taught me that beauty and sexiness can be found in elegance, grace, and how a woman carries herself with confidence, not the tightness or shortness of our skirts.”
Currently in full production by Mason Jar Music and A mini Tribe Records, her debut release “Where We Wander” contains six songs with full string orchestration and driving percussive undertones of the African drum. In addition to the title tune, the EP also includes “Grey Eyes,” the simplest of songs about a beautiful boy with captivating grey eyes; “Sleep,” a dreamy song about the physical and emotional heaviness of depression; and “Habit,” about the moment when one realizes a love has become something stale and ordinary.
“We’re basically trying to make badass folk-pop music,” she writes on the indiegogo.com website where she is setting a goal of $5500 to alleviate the costs of making a music video of her title tune, “Where We Wander.”
To learn more about Raveena Aurora and her music, visit her website by CLICKING HERE. To invest in her efforts to raise $5500 to fund a music video, and produce merchandise and graphic design work to accompany the sounds on the debut album, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
August 20, 2012
Conversation about this article
1: Harman Singh (California, USA), August 20, 2012, 4:28 PM.
I love the voice and the lyrics! So proud of your accomplishments. You have a bright future ahead, indeed. Best Wishes.
2: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), August 20, 2012, 5:53 PM.
Excellent. The Arts are the greatest way humanity can unite and music not only is the 'food of love' but it can give us pleasure that is non-hazardous to the body! Even if it is addictive.
3: I. Singh (Chelmsford, MA, USA), August 21, 2012, 1:00 PM.
I was present when this young lady was born. I have seen her grow into a strong, talented and ambitious artist. May the Divine show her how to recognize and achieve her potential. Her parents' generation studied business, engineering and medicine. Now her generation has been blessed with the opportunity to study yhe arts, music and theater. Let's hope and do an ardaas that all learning occurs on the strong foundation of the Guru's wisdom - that's all we need - as "success" comes from that.