Believe us when we say that Ravi is a prolific producer and songwriter – the Korean rapper has registered an astonishing 185 chart-toppers among K-pop artists. The 28-year-old first made his debut as part of popular K-pop group VIXX back in 2012 before going solo five years later. As one of K-pop’s most recognizable faces, Ravi regularly collaborates with well-known brands like Givenchy, Gucci, and Burberry on fashion campaigns. The multi-talented Korean star is currently running his own label GROOVL1N. Hip Hop Weekly has invited Ravi to share more about his music with us. Check out our interview below.
HHW: Can you introduce us to your new EP “ROSES”?
Ravi: ROSES is a melodic album. I wanted to make an album that reminds me of the color green or orange and contains love. There is a heavy emphasis on guitar sounds and acoustic instruments.
HHW: You are an all-round entertainer. From running your own label, to rapping, singing, dancing, making songs, producing albums, being on TV as an entertainer, and even fashion. You have the whole package. What do you enjoy the most and feel most comfortable with?
Ravi: I do various things, but I feel the happiest when I’m on stage. I feel very alive and it’s a pleasant experience when I can share that energy with my fans and the audience. I can’t wait to make better music so I can forge a stronger bond with them and reward them for supporting me.
HHW: We enjoyed the M/V for “Bum”. It was amazing to hear Pansori (Korean traditional music) and Hip-Hop combined, and it even sounds good. Was there a reason for adding Korean traditional music to Hip-Hop?
Ravi: Korean traditional music and sounds have a unique energy to them, so I wanted to mix them with something more modern and produce something unheard of before.
HHW: From the campaign “PAUSE” to environmental campaigns, you have participated in many projects and released songs related to these causes. Is there any philosophy of RAVI that connects your music and social issues?
Ravi: ‘Learning’ is the keyword here. Through these projects, I learn a lot from listening to others and seeing how they think. Everyone is busy living their own lives, so it’s meaningful to recognize something you’re missing or not interested in.
HHW: Asian hate crimes have been an issue recently. What are your thoughts about the violence and discrimination?
Ravi: Everyone should be loved and respected. There shouldn’t be any place for violence or racism in today’s society. If something makes you uncomfortable, you should make an effort to find out more. Everyone is everything to somebody out there.
HHW: What do you think Hip-Hop is?
Ravi: I think it’s all about showing and expressing yourself.
HHW: How did you come up with the name ‘RAVI’?
Ravi: Ravi means “possessed” and “fascinated”, and it also means “sun”, and “sun god”. I was considering other names, but because I identify with it the most, I settled on Ravi.
HHW: What are the musical benefits of having your own label, GROOVL1N?
Ravi: I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with a bunch of hugely talented artists and staff. I can’t do it by myself, and I’d like to think we can accomplish greater things by working together as a group. I want everyone to be happy and enjoy making music.
HHW: Do you have any music that you often listen to these days? And who are the musicians that inspired you?
Ravi: I listen to 24kGoldn a lot these days. He’s exceptional at his craft and makes me want to listen to his music again and again. And I think the musicians who have been performing for a long time, like Chris Brown and Justin Bieber, seem like they genuinely fell in love with music, and that motivation has a good influence on me.
HHW: Ultimately, what do you want to convey through your music?
Ravi: I want my music to influence people. Whether they’re just listening, enjoying, or dancing to it, whether it’s just something they listen to to comfort themselves in difficult times, I hope my works can have a genuine impact on people’s lives.
Listen to Ravi’s new album ROSES below.