Meet Raven Valentine

Photography by Anna Bloda

Writing music and performing yourself during the lowest point of your life is a feat to be honored by all. Some turn away from the chance out of what is comfortable because that is all we have. Where neutrality, numbness, and feelings of staying stagnant are more comfortable than breaking out of our own shells. Raven Valentine, however, beats the odds and triumphs in full presence.

Replete with potential, becoming the icon she is today. Releasing a collection of tracks towards a full length album, EVERYDAY IS VALENTINE’S DAY, Valentine’s love of self and others beams through offering listeners divine Kunt, a shot of love, the healing energies of party, and glam sanguinity. Struggling through understanding identity, stability, and self-image in a homeless shelter, Valentine’s becoming of herself in light of her drive for music and performance pulls through: the sights are strong towards a larger queer future that encompasses and nurtures all.

Snuff Mag talks to Raven Valentine on her newest track coming out March 23.

Can you talk about where you were when you started UP NOW versus where you are now post-release?
When I started “Up Now” I had just moved out of the Salvation Army Homeless shelter into a program from the LGBT center called TLP. It’s basically where they give you your own apartment that has on site staff that come once a week to check in on you. It was the first time in a while at that time that I truly felt secure. I had already recorded the demo for “I do what I want” and a few other songs in the shelter bathroom. I was just really excited to be in my own space and be able to work creatively as much as I wanted. Looking back post-release I’m just so thankful to be “Up Now”. To have moved out of that program into my own home with my best friend. To not have to be forced to do sex work anymore to survive & to be doing music with the people I love, it’s truly a blessing.

You've worked with a medley of artists, from choreography with Ashnikko, walking Gypsy Sport, and modeling for Anna Bolina and Nosesso. How did you become and manifest yourself with all these different performances?
I really just believed in myself, no matter what my environment was I focused on my dreams and the vision in my head and made them my reality. I worked so hard and everyday I tried to do my best and if I made mistakes I admitted I was wrong and learned from them.

Who or what is your unsung fashion icon?
I have always LOVED NAOMI CAMPBELL!!!!! She is an icon and legend!!!

What are three things that make you cringe?
Uhm I guess for me I hate seeing people go out of their way to be hateful. Also people trying to hard to be something their not. Talking to someone who is a bad liar lol.

What is something you expect to see change in the music industry?
I expect to see a lot more Trans people especially trans women in mainstream media. We are dominating in every industry. I just want to see more people appreciating it.

Where do you see yourself taking your music next?
I’m working on my debut studio album so I have a lot of really exciting things planned. The album is going to range from hip hop, electronic, pop, techno, rnb & other influences. I really love classical and nostalgic instrumentation that reminds us of our past but in new exciting evolutionary ways.

You mentioned your new single coming out, “I do what I want.” Can you tell me more about that?
“I do what I want” was one of the first songs I recorded in the homeless shelter. It’s a song that is so near and dear to my heart, it’s my baby. It speaks about doing what I want, I was manifesting a future for myself where I did exactly what I wanted. It’s a much slower song than “up now” where I envisioned myself in the future in my brand new luxury car, volume all the way up truly free and victorious.

Interview: Jasmine Reiko
Photography: Anna Bloda
Styling: David Stenberg


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