Wisconsin-based R&B pop artist RAYVEN recently spoke to Headliner about her musical endeavours and her gospel, jazz and musical theatre background that has influenced her songwriting…
When did you first realise that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Oh gosh, I am one of those lucky people that has always known what I wanted to do even from a young age. I grew up in the church and my parents were actually pastors, so I was always singing in the church choir. My dad's a musician, so he was always singing, and I was singing with him. The first time I actually performed was in a talent show in kindergarten – I sang something from Annie, and from then I just knew I wanted to be onstage singing and creating, which eventually led me to go to school for musical theatre. I started properly releasing music a couple of years ago, producing and writing myself, but I’ve pretty much known my whole life that I wanted to be a performer and artist!
Who were you listening to growing up, and who do you take the most inspiration from when it comes to your sound?
I grew up listening to gospel the most just from being in church. I grew up in a Baptist church, so Christian contemporary music and gospel was always playing in the car and at home. But my sister actually was obsessed with Michael Jackson growing up, which led me in turn to be obsessed as well. I definitely draw a lot of inspiration and a lot of my sound from Michael Jackson's music. I'd say he's my biggest inspiration musically.