How a self-taught musician becomes a fulll-time artist
My name is RAVS and I’m a 26 year old musician based in Dallas, Texas. I classify my sound as a mix of Soul, Pop and Hip-Hop.
HERE'S MY STORY:
My creativity has always been bursting at the seams. But, ever since I could remember, I’ve been deeply connected to music. Never had to think twice about it. It was just always apart of me. Singing in the choir here, singing in the car there. But, when I was 15 years old, after conquering many many songs on expert level of Guitar Hero, I got the courage to start messing around with a spare guitar in the back of my sister’s closet. I immediately fell in love. I started by teaching myself the songs that I enjoyed. And from there, it just never stopped.
I learned so much over the next few years. Just pushing myself any way that I could. I attempted to put out some covers in the early days of YouTube, but I mainly just liked playing them for my friends. I loved anything that was by The Beatles, Norah Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, and Amy Winehouse. But around that time, I was simultaneously introduced to a side of hip-hop that would change my perspective of music forever. I learned just how powerful music could be and what you could say in the parameters of a 16-bar verse. I looked up to artists like Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and other amazing modern lyricists. But for the longest time, I thought these two sides would exist separated within me.
I spent my undergrad at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) continuing to learn covers and just have fun with music. But, there was one day that changed everything for me. One summer afternoon I decided, out of the blue, to rap a verse I had written to a popular song on the radio. It took a long time for me to get the “flow” down, then on top of that, trying to play the chords of the guitar. Phew! After weeks of SLOWLY getting better, I eventually had a seamless run through. At that moment, I felt everything all at once. I felt a rush of energy over my whole body. I felt the clouds open up. It was like, at that moment, I knew what I was supposed to do with my life. All the different sides of me came together to create something beautiful.
After graduating, I made the move back to my hometown of Dallas, TX. I spent the next year meticulously attending open mics while working a full-time job in the corporate world. It didn't take me long to realize this wasn't where I was going to thrive.
Almost exactly one whole year later after quitting my desk job, I released my first EP, “Tangled”, on April 26, 2019. I worked with an amazing local producer by the name of Jemarcus Bridges to bring my vision to life. This put me on the map of local artists to watch in Dallas and I received a nomination for “Best EP” from The Dallas Observer. What I was able to do with this project was more than I could have imagined. The title ‘Tangled’ stemmed from the mentality that I was in while I was writing those songs. It was during a time that I wasn’t exactly sure if I could make a career out of music and I had a lot of other’s opinions blocking the belief I had in myself. I felt I was tangled up in everyone’s else’s idea of what I should do with my life.
Since then, it's been a journey of self-discovery and self-love. I’ve learned so much about myself and about the art I want to create.
I realized there is no limit to my creativity nor is there a limit on what I can do.
In the summer of 2019, my partner (Ike Egege) and I, started a custom wearable art business called Sketchy Outlaw - “Where the street meets the south”. He is first generation American-Nigerian born in the Bronx. We both have something different to bring to the table and have been creating custom pieces for the art community for the past few years.
The year of the pandemic definitely put the world on its head, and mine. But, I was able to continue to work on what I love most. I ended up linking with a new producer, Josh Goode, to make my new songs come to life. One being my most recent release, called “Isolated”. I think after 2020, we all know what that feels like. Set to release on all streaming platforms on March 12th, 2021, it should be a song that you can just take a deep breath with.