How Raveena Aurora’s Vulnerability Is Paving The Way For Brown LGBTQ+ Creatives

Raveena Aurora is the songwriting genius you’ve been waiting to hear.

raveena
Image by @raveena_aurora on Instagram

At 26, Raveena has released an EP, titled Shanti, and an unforgettable album, Lucid. The American singer/songwriter has made a name for herself, both for being an out-of-the-box artist and for accompanying each track she writes with psychedelic visuals.

Her latest single release, “Tweety” is the sensual early 2000s bop that’s currently back in style, but her music does more than just fit the trend. In late 2020, she was featured on VOGUE India, a magazine that serves as one of the biggest visual inspirations for her own art. Over Raveena’s career, she has evolved in style and lyrical composition, all while staying true to her image: a carefree and openly loving female icon.

Raveena’s music is more about the message than it is about the sound, making it even more addictive. Though she’s perfected mellow beats and dreamy lyrics, she’s also pushed the industry forward when it comes to vulnerability. As a female artist, vulnerability can be a touchy subject. There’s an expectation to share yet the taboo around sharing too much can also be overwhelming. Raveena breaks these barriers down from the start, as an openly queer and a huge believer in showing queer love throughout music videos and visuals. In her 2018 single, the Massachusetts-born creator opens up about temptation and sexuality in her beautiful song, “Temptation” through lines like:

I tell you things I can’t tell my boyfriend

Sometimes he don’t understand

You feed my soul, that pisces effect

But I know we’re supposed to be just friends

raveena
Image by @raveena_aurora on Instagram

Raveena shares her deepest thoughts and perhaps, fears about growing up in a world unwilling to show queers happy and in love. The lush video depicts Raveena and “Miss Temptation” laying in a bed of roses, elated to have found one another. This video alone redefines what it means to be desired, and the ways in which queer love is not only beautiful but normal. The feelings Raveena describes in this song are like those of any relationship, and are only different in the way she feels she needs to hide these temptations from the world. Though the piece is catchy and delicate, it reveals a much deeper message on how her love for “Miss Temptation” is special and unlike any love she’s felt before.

Raveena intricately ties another part of her identity into her music: Indian heritage. The “Temptation” video is heavily inspired by 60s and 70s Bollywood movies and rhythms, as can be seen in her curly low ponytail and vibrant usage of red and orange. Much of Raveena’s music draws from iconic Bollywood aesthetics over several decades, which only adds to the elaborate world she creates when one presses play. Similar homage comes through in “Honey” and “Stronger” videos as well. The twenty-six-year-old artist has spoken about her complicated relationship between two identities: Indian and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. These two worlds don’t always mix, as it’s especially difficult for Brown women to be open about their sexuality and sexual experiences. She admits that the song “Temptation” was meant to illustrate owning her sexuality to herself, and an exploration with fluidity, love. At the same time, the track also encompasses the ways in which her past has shaped her present self. One of my personal favorites, “Headaches,” showcases confidence and an important message: love exists in many shapes and forms, they are all equal and should be celebrated.

Raveena’s freedom of expression carries over to her personal life, especially in her power to uplift other female creators. Recently, she shared on Instagram an excited eagerness to share more Black and Brown creatives, focusing on talented women of color who are changing the world today.

Raveena’s work is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever come across. As a young Brown woman myself, hearing her speak so openly about finding herself through music and her accessibility to show vulnerability is so inspiring. Not to mention, I’m absolutely in love with her voice. Raveena has created space for Brown and queer girls to speak freely and see themselves represented in the music industry.

Shrusti Goswami

Social Media Associate

Shrusti is a passionate writer and poet. You can often find her drinking a cup of coffee and finding new places to go with her friends and family. After college, it’s her dream to keep traveling the world and bring diverse stories to the big screen.

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