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Get to Know R&B Singer Raveena: An Icon in the Making

If you haven’t yet heard of Indian-American songstress Raveena Aurora, rest assured you will soon. The R&B artist made headlines (and history!) as the first woman of Indian descent to take the stage solo at Coachella in 2022, and her star has been rising steadily since she first began garnering a cult following in the late twenty-teens.

She is also garnering international acclaim, recently snagging a major feature in Vogue India alongside jazz legend (and one of Raveena’s biggest musical influences) Asha Puthli. Get to know this amazing artist a little more below:

Raveena at a glance

Raveena was born September 30, 1993, in Massachusetts and spent her childhood in Queens, New York. Her family is originally from the Punjab state of India but fled the country during the 1984 Sikh Massacre, a four-day genocide in which thousands of members of the Sikh faith were murdered – including her maternal uncle. Her family continued to practice their Sikhism in America, and the singer grew up deeply immersed in Sikh spirituality and culture.

Raveena never let being brown keep her down

Raveena’s interest in music and singing began at a young age when she frequently wrote poetry and sang in the bathroom – and her family encouraged her passion. As a young girl, she frequently auditioned for roles on Broadway but was turned down due to her Indian background. Undeterred, she continued singing and songwriting throughout her teens. She eventually attended college at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

After graduation, she auditioned for numerous record labels with her unique take on R&B but was similarly turned down because of her unconventional background and brown skin. As a result, Raveena ended up working a variety of odd jobs in order to fund her own music career.

In 2017, she self-released her first EP Shanti and quickly built a following online, including a feature on NPR. In 2019, she self-released her debut album Lucid to critical acclaim. Following this success, she landed a deal with Warner Records to launch her second album, Asha’s Awakening, which was released in February 2022.

Raveena’s music brings a unique perspective

One of the things that make the singer’s ethereal R&B tunes so evocative is the wealth of experience she infuses into each song. She has covered sexual assault, trauma, family, the Indian-American experience, and life as a bisexual brown woman in her songs – to name only a few topics. Because of this, many find themselves reflected in her work on their first listen.

Raveena doesn’t shy away from cerebral, experimental concepts, either. Her most recent album, Asha’s Awakening, tells the story of a Punjabi space princess exploring life on Earth. Hardly your typical R&B material!

Raveena is proudly pansexual

While she came out in 2018 as bisexual, Raveena has since clarified in a 2021 tweet that she identifies as pansexual, saying simply, “lol i think im actually pan.”

In April 2022, the superstar in the making gave an interview to The Independent in which she proclaimed “I had no idea I would be this gay“. She has spoken candidly and publicly about her experiences as a young Indian woman coming to terms with her sexuality. She even features queer relationships in her music videos like her single, “Honey.”

She’s talked openly about her experience with her sexuality, including the fear that she would be too gay to be accepted by her traditional Sikh family, and yet not gay enough to be accepted by the broader queer community.

While she wears her sexuality on her sleeve, she also is keen to not commoditize or exoticize her status as a pansexual woman. Instead, as she told Vice back in 2018, her goal is to portray bisexual relationships (especially among people of color) and bisexuality as something that is perfectly normal and acceptable.

The future is bright for Raveena

Raveena’s passion, talent, and unstoppable work ethic have made her a force to be reckoned with, and the music world is beginning to stand up and take notice.

Raveena’s beauty, exuberance, and boundless creativity are rare, and her dedication to putting brown queer women in the spotlight is unmatched. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just now learning about her, there’s no doubt that she will soon become a household name.

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