Artist Name: Raven Felix
Origin: The Valley, California
The A&R Report got the chance to interview up and coming artist Raven Felix. The young lady from the Valley is making quite a name for herself and she’s only starting. At the age of 19, Raven released her 1st mixtape, Valifornia , which you can download here. She’s been featured on Snoop’s GGN and TMZ. As she is getting ready to release her new mixtape, Valifornication, she has been releasing new music (check it out below). This is what the young rapstress had to say:
Thank you for taking the time to this interview, tell us a little bit about yourself and why did you decide to do rap? Who inspired you?
I did music as a kid, so music was a big part of my upbringing. When I was a freshmen in High School I listened to a lot Classic Westcoast Rap/Hip-Hop, but also grew up in a rock household. At that time I had discovered Nicki Minaj. For me it was HUGE! To discover a female who was so powerful and to be able to speak her mind. The music I was listening to at the time lacked that. Since I had already done music and wrote before, I decided I wanted to be like that. That led me to listening to more rap music and discovering more female MC’s. Then I dropped out of High School my sophomore year. I was working at a grocery store and decided to shift my focus in music; it’s going great for me ever since. S/O to Nicki Minaj for that.
Besides Nicki Minaj, who else influenced you and inspired you?
My influences come from all different artists in all different genres of music. Henry Rollins is a huge influence to me, Bradley Nowell from Sublime, Eve and Missy Elliot are also big ones for me. I take a little bit of inspiration from everything I listen to.
How does it feel going into a genre filled with males? I mean you rarely see Female MC’s, how are you coping with the bias and all? Also you’re different since you’re Latina/Hispanic.
I think me being a female in general is tough in this industry. You have to find a fine line of being respected as a businesswoman and to be a lady. You have to be a harder worker than the boys, but still be super nice, cool, and know when to do stuff, it’s hard. I want to be respected as an artist and a lady. Being a representation for females is the best thing you can be.
I think when you don’t see somebody in the position that you want to be in, it’s hard to picture yourself there. I wanted to be rapper back in 9th grade and I tucked away because there was no Hispanic girl rapping on a big level like that. Just internally and mentally you get a blockade and start to thinking negatively. I think there was and is many talented Hispanics that weren’t given the chance. If I get the chance at mainstream success and inspire a little Latina/Hispanic girl that would mean everything for me.
How are you going to represent your culture and people in your music? Can we expect that from you?
I want to do it in the right way at the right time. I want to do it in special way, I have songs in mind that are about my grandma and my upbringing. I believe it’s important to represent life as a Mexican-American because you have American traditions and Mexican traditions. My grandma didn’t allow me to speak Spanish because she didn’t want us to have an accent when we grew up and she grew up with the racism towards Mexicans and speaking Spanish that was hard for her. So I want to represent it in different ways and I definitely want to infuse that into my music. You have to do it in a respectful way instead of trying exploit it.
When can expect this new Mixtape to come out and what projects or new music you got in store for us? Any features?
I don’t have an exact date for the mixtape yet but it won’t be long, Valifornication will be coming along in the next month or so. Gonna drop something dope with Adrian Marcel in the next few days and got some other great artists on the project like Chevy Woods and Ashley Jones.
What can we expect from this project compared to your first mixtape, Valifornia?
Definitely different. A lot more diverse and influenced by the music I grew up on. I like to make records for everything, you never know where a song can go. A lot of experimentation in this project and it’s only my second mixtape and I still have a lot of experimenting to do. Especially when you can see what people like. I think it’s Valifornia upgraded, it’s a brand new and a more mature version of me.
I’m only getting older and my music is evolving.
Looking back at Valifornia would you change anything about it?
No never, I’m proud of Valifornia, and I love that it was what it was. I think growth in music is so important and letting your fans watch you go through that growth is great and it’s only up from Valifornia.
How does it make you feel getting acknowledge/recognized by a legend?
Snoop is inspiring by the way he’s been able to transcend each generation and stay relevant for so long. I believe that’s every artist’s dream to being to stay long in the game. Getting to work with him and meeting him it’s something I would of never thought was possible. You grow up listening to Snoop if you live on the Westcoast and when I met him (did GNN News) he’s such a great guy; he’s genuinely himself. That for me was a pivotal point and also for my family to understand this is real.
What are some your goals you have lined-up? What can we expect from you in the near future?
My goal is to always just get better at what I do, and expand myself as an artist. Valifornication will be a step in that direction for sure.
Who are some artists/producers you would love to work with and why?
Oooh that’s a hard one cause there’s so many. I’d love to work with Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Tory Lanez, Kehlani, Kali Uchis – there’s probably way more but that’s just off top.
Any last words or advice you’d like to give Raven?
Never expect support from anybody, don’t expect your friends and family to support what you’re doing. I believe you have to earn it. Make music that you and your friends would listen to. Make your music cool to them, so they can support when you are not around.
Where can people connect with you Raven?
You can follow me on Instagram @RaveDaQu33n and on Twitter @RavenFelix. Support your girl and like my Facebook page at Facebook.com/RavenFelixMusic. Download my mixtape, Valifornia on Datpiff, Audiomack, or HotNewHipHop and stay tuned for Valifornication. Thank you for the support!