Who are you? Back-story and childhood
My name is Ravine better known by Akuu, I come from a small town in Southern Oregon where there isn’t a whole lot going on. My father accidentally killed my mother when I was two, and he spent 10 years in prison for it, so I was raised by my Aunt Crystal. I went through hell because of that woman, so a lot of my childhood was traumatizing.
Your biggest influence in hip hop?
Hip-Hop is great because there are so many subgenres that can be created from it. Tech N9ne does an amazing job of mixing Rock, Rap, and Opera. A lot of artists from the Midwest in general have a unique sound that resonates deeply with me.
Your first release and what leads you to the game?
Music is like any other form of art, you’re able to capture emotions and express how you feel. People have a hard time saying hard things, that’s where I come in. I’m not afraid to say what needs to be said, and I believe I can capitalize on being that person in the industry. This is actually the main reason I started making music. Everyone deserves to hear the truth, even if it hurts.
What kind of emotions do you try to give the person listening?
Whatever emotion I feel when I first listen to the instrumental. The key is to exaggerate the emotion to its fullest extent to convey your message. In order for the music to be relatable, you need to make sure the emotional impact hits the listeners hard.
What is your creative process like?
There are two ways I typically go about it. Sometimes I like to be alone, by myself in solitude. Other times I like to surround myself with friends and capture their feedback as I write. My friends also lighten my mood. A lot of times we end up smoking weed and goofing off, but we eventually get things done.
Where do you see yourself in the future with this career?
I can see myself being famous enough in the distant future. I don’t concern myself with mass amounts of fame. I just want to make a difference in the world, so even if I only ever reach a few million people I will be content. Although, I think there’s a high chance I may accidentally release that one song that just goes insanely viral overnight. An artist can dream right?
If not rap, what else would you be doing right now?
Actually, I am already doing what I love for a career outside of making music. I am a Data Analyst, I wanted to work with Google at some point, but my current job makes me pretty happy. I suppose if I didn’t need to pay bills, I would pursue a career in video game development.
How much have you grown as an artist?
Since my start back in 2012, I’ve made leaps and bounds to strive for success. At first, I was just doing small garage shows at my friend’s house. Then I made my way to performing as an opener at local shows and bars. I did a few of my own headlines before I took a break for a few years, and I had a few thousand followers on social media. The real growth has come from this past year. Life hit hard, I learned a ton of lessons from my past failures in music, and I put it all on the page. The problem with being an artist is that you are never fully satisfied with your own work. We are our own critics, and because of that I still feel I have a long way to go before perfecting my craft.
How are you different from others in this game?
You have to be willing to think outside of the box. People want uniqueness now more than ever, and most artists just want to play things safe. Not me, a few years back I decided to start learning Japanese. I fell in love with the language and culture. Honestly, Japanese music made me fall in love with music all over again. It gave me the idea to try and express myself in a foreign language. The potential to connect with other people on the opposite side of the planet is an exciting feeling. I know there are a lot of bilingual artists out there, but you don’t see many American performers switch languages during a song, especially not an English/Japanese combination. Bottom line is, that I have been prepaid my entire life for this moment and I don’t have to pretend to be someone else to succeed.