By: Filip Sandström Beijer
Photos by: Zeina Idris
Reckless and naturally spiritual – this Canadian party creator is creating explosions on the dance floors in both Berlin and around the world. Keep seated and get to know Raven.
From Canada to Barcelona, from Mexico City to Los Angeles and Athens and you name it, Raven has, to say the least, traveled and lived in very different places around the world. For the second time, she's now back in Berlin.
“I’ve been to a lot of different places, and I've been DJing for ten years. I would say that I'm naturally curious and also a little bit reckless. I love to throw myself into new situations and I get bored easily. But it also has something to do with finding a place where I feel like I fit in, where I can find people that resonate with me.”
In Berlin, she finally found just that. The feeling of fitting in. But we would lie if we said that it was just love at first sight.
“The first time, when I left Berlin, I was like ‘I’m never going back to that place’. Mostly because of the weather. The winters can be so long and dark, and at that point I had lived there for three years, and I was hungry to see something else.”
But the bad weather didn't keep her away for too long.
“Berlin is totally special. It's the people here. It is totally possible for you to be free, and to be an individual. It's encouraged to be your own person. I really like that liberal feeling, and the freedom that people have here is not so easy to find in other places that I've been to.”
But to be completely honest, the weather is still there and it’s still haunting Raven. When we ask what’s the worst thing about the city, it becomes clear.
“You know what really sucks about Berlin? There’s a certain kind of shoes that I just can’t wear here. The whole city is always under construction. The streets are a little bit bumpy. It's like cobblestone and then dirt. But that's part of the city, so it’s both a good and a bad thing I guess,” she laughs.
Becoming an artist full time didn’t happen overnight, even if it feels all very natural and obvious, when you listen to her story.
“I was always interested in music since I was a kid. I remember that I used to have this portable stereo and I only owned two, or maybe three CDs. I played them and sang my heart out and got my little brother to listen to me. Then I told him to tell me if my songs were good or not. I was always writing my own music and in high school I started to play guitar, bass guitar and keyboard which I then started to record. After that I started Djing.”
Her journey as an electronic artist started when working as an event organizer and ran out of artists to book.
“My whole adult life and even before, I've been freelancing. I used to throw events and when I came to a point where I didn’t find someone to play, I started to play myself. I never did it with the intention of becoming a DJ, but I made it happen and got a lot of gigs and even residencies. So, then I was like “shit, now I have to learn this as well.”
“The whole thing then became my career. It happened naturally because it was what I loved to do, and I could see that other people also liked it.”
When she's not writing music or standing behind the mixers, she makes time for health and spirituality that are two important parameters in Ravens life.
If you see life as a video game, I wanna beat the boss and the boss is me.
“I'm very centred and health conscious. I didn’t really come from the best circumstances as a child, so I’ve been on this extensive journey of having to discover myself and get over some things that I've been dealing with since back then. I’ve always been trying to become a better version of myself, and outdo myself. Like, if you see life as a video game, I wanna beat the boss and the boss is me.”
She tells us her story about growing up with a single mom, who worked hard in three different jobs to support the family. Besides that, she was also a psychic medium, which led Raven into spirituality.
Having an aspect of spirituality in life makes it more interesting
“She was a psychic medium and the president of a spiritual church, so speaking about spirituality has never been weird for me. That particular church had all kinds of religions, which I guess made me more flexible when it comes to other peoples’ ideologies as well. I'm not overly spiritual and I'm not having a collection of crystals. I envision spirituality differently. For me it's about always recognizing my balance and always realizing that there is more than one way for people to journey through life. Having an aspect of spirituality makes life more interesting but it also makes you more centred.”
Another type of self-discovery, she says, is the ones that she gained through relationships with other people. Something that can also be heard through the music she's producing.
“A lot of inspiration comes from my experiences with relationships and how they can be difficult. Relationships aren't really about the other person, as much as they are about yourself. You do a lot of self-discoveries through other people. I write a lot about that kind of stuff.” She continues;
“I wanna make emotional dance music.”
When the creative process is not underway for Raven, or when she's not out partying, she sometimes finds herself occupied with one of her guilty pleasures – reality TV.
“A guilty pleasure for me is to watch reality trash TV, I watch that a lot!” she says and laughs.
And when you say A you have to say B right?
“Oh man, really?... 90 Days Fiancé, I've been watching that for so long and I watch all the spinoffs. And... No, I don't really wanna go into this, it's too embarrassing!”
So, with all due respect to Raven, we're moving on to the next topic. Since she’s lived in Berlin twice, we're curious about where she would take a visitor who’s never been to the city before on a 24-hour spin.
“I would definitely go for lunch in my area in Kreuzberg. Take them to Café Mori, this Brazilian cafe that is just up the street. Then we would go back to my place and I would make them some dinner because I love to cook. Then I would arrange a little pre-game before we would head out to whatever party is going and then after that I would definitely take them to Berghain, of course. After that, we would see what happens. If I can find them.”
If we look in the orb for what 2022 will be like, we look forward to an exciting year for Raven with new releases. And we're convinced that we're heading towards a year where we will see her name on club posters both nationally and internationally.
“Things are going really amazing. I had my first release in 2020 right when Covid hit. I started all this during the pandemic, and it’s gonna be interesting to see what happens when things start to open up for real again. But I guarantee I will definitely have some more shows and a few more releases and EPs coming up, which is really exciting.”