"Some of the challenges are around audience acceptance"
Some artists not only contribute their voices but also lend their souls to craft narratives that resonate with the very essence of humanity. Raveena Mehta is one of those people.
Her journey, marked by a seamless fusion of cultures, languages, and creative mediums, has led her to the forefront of the music industry.
Born in Antwerp, Belgium, Raveena’s early years in Europe exposed her to a plethora of languages, including English, Hindi, French, and Gujarati.
This linguistic prowess would eventually weave its way into her music, creating a sonic diversity.
However, it was her pivotal move to Mumbai, India, in 2008 that transformed her artistic expression.
In the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, she was immersed in an environment that would shape her outlook on culture, art, and music.
The collision of these contrasting worlds, from the heart of Europe to the heart of India, ignited a fire within her, fuelling a more culturally aware perspective.
As Raveena’s artistic horizons expanded, she found herself grappling with weighty themes that resonated with her.
Under the guidance of vocal coaches Suchita Parte and Kim Chandler, she honed her skills in both Indian classical and Western contemporary music.
This relentless pursuit culminated in the launch of her debut commercial music album, From Deep Within, when she was just 12 years old.
Since then, Raveena Mehta has been on an extraordinary trajectory.
With two albums and over 15 music videos primarily in the R&B/soul genre, she has carved a niche for herself in the music industry.
Her music, which often incorporates Hindi and Urdu dialects, has resonated far beyond borders, featuring on Vh1, SS Music, and Zee Trendz.
But Raveena’s artistic explorations extend beyond the confines of her creations.
She has collaborated with a diverse array of artists and producers, including Sandesh Motwani, Avitesh Shrivastava, and Jerry Wonda, just to name a few.
Now, Raveena Mehta has taken herself to new heights, debuting as a model at New York Fashion Week’s Runway 7.
We caught up with Raveena to talk all things music, diving into her heritage, creativity and distinct sound.
How has your early exposure to music shaped your artistic identity?
I began my journey in music at the age of seven, releasing my first album at the age of 12.
Starting music at a young age gave me the tools to believe in my own abilities.
It taught me the importance of discipline and how vital it is to build something lasting, whether it’s a career in music or an entrepreneurial venture.
The biggest realisation I had was that good things always take time.
But consistency will always help you get to where you have your eyes set – so be consistent, remain disciplined and enjoy the journey.
My interest in amalgamating both classical and Indian styles comes from my childhood exposure to both parts of the world.
Having had both a Western and Eastern upbringing, I always found myself questioning and enamoured by the complexities of culture, identity and history.
This led me to undertake my own exploration of identity by fusing what I knew of the West and East to create my own sound.
Which artists have impacted your sound?
I have been influenced by the likes of Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Diana Ross, artists whose songs I grew up singing.
And then of course Bollywood has been a very big influence in my life.
“From legends like Lata Mangeshkar to Shreya Ghoshal, and Arijit Singh.”
I would say my style is extremely influenced by my early years of training in both Hindustani classical and Western contemporary.
I learnt a lot about head voice and chest voice, and what was interesting was the ability to access a middle point because of my training in both.
How do you reflect on the impact of your debut album?
I truly believe it was the most pivotal time not just as an artist but it helped mould my understanding of what is and isn’t possible.
This realisation was so important.
I learnt how to break down boundaries of thought and social structures and conformity, and learnt how important taking risks and being bold is.
I also saw how important it is to push your boundaries and give yourself the best chance at pursuing what makes you happiest.
The 2010 launch became an extremely defining time in my life.
It led me to pursue music as a career and broadened my horizons to limitless possibilities.
What’s a memorable experience from one of your collaborations?
Working with Tiger Shroff on ‘Casanova’ is most definitely a collaboration I think back to very fondly.
From being in the studio together, I learnt that we went to the same school in Mumbai.
“But some of my favourite moments were writing and recording the song, and especially the video shoot.”
His work ethic and humility were so inspiring!
What themes or messages do you convey through your music?
The overall message has always been to be authentic, and true to yourself.
The messages have evolved to also include dialogues around love, lust, desire and longing.
These are such integral parts of being human, such core feelings to what makes us so unique.
I’ve always been an advocate for women’s rights.
I definitely love to see women pushing their boundaries, not feeling the need to conform to societal moulds if they do not want to.
Do whatever you wish to do.
How do you approach the visual aspects of your music?
I’m very involved in the visual aspect of my music.
“I studied fine art and design so it’s also a part of my creativity that I get to access!”
I feel like the visuals of a song are extremely important to give the song more life and also a creative way to connect with fans.
It gives audiences a visual memory of the song and it’s great to be able to associate colours and imagery with sound.
How has your background in fine arts influenced your approach to music?
100%! I really believe it all goes hand in hand.
I studied at Goldsmiths University of London and Central Saint Martins University of The Arts London.
Here, I studied various forms of fine art, from film, painting, drawing, and sculpture to performance art.
I found such a beautiful ability to be able to synchronise my love for music with my love for art using my body and my voice.
What role has social media played in your career?
It’s been a really beautiful and rewarding journey.
Social media has been a wonderful tool to connect with people, fans but also artists and entrepreneurs.
“I am able to connect with my fans through my stories, reels and posts.”
I showcase glimpses of my day-to-day life, as well as my journey and adventure in music!
Social media makes the world a much smaller place which is incredible but can also be a double-edged sword.
Being mindful of social media usage and being aware of how it’s impacting you and your mental health is very important.
What challenges and opportunities do you see for emerging artists today?
I would say that the challenges and opportunities that exist are vast, like any other industry.
For emerging artists, the opportunities are centred around being able to access digital platforms.
Through various distribution networks and collaborations, being able to target niche markets and hone into them is vital.
While I believe there are so many opportunities in India for growth, I would say some of the challenges are around audience acceptance, especially if it’s fusing Eastern and Western styles.
With India digitising, it’s led to various companies scaling out distortion which means there’s a lot more competition.
Having said that, if you are passionate about music – go for it, create your niche, and your audience.
Build from the ground up and network with the right people who can give you the right guidance.
There’s no doubt that the possibilities that lie ahead of Raveena Mehta are boundless.
Her journey, from Antwerp to Mumbai, is a testament to her relentless pursuit of creativity.
With each note, each lyric, and each performance, Raveena continues to push the boundaries of her music.
In a world where music serves as a universal language, Raveena Mehta stands as a true ambassador, bridging gaps and building connections through her songs.
With over 140,000 monthly Spotify listeners, Raveena has already carved out a massive following.
However, her touching vocals, soothing harmonies and definitive ear for a unique sound will only lead to more triumphs.
Listen to more of Raveena Mehta here.