Raven Artson

Interview by Angela Donskaia
Photo shot by Rick Erfmann in Los Angeles, USA

From our chilly Amsterdam HQ, whilst LA was bathed in a golden glow, we spoke to the ever-sunny Raven Artson. So far his work has been all about collaborations. Whether he’s banging the drums for his band Moses and the Firstborn, or producing music for the likes of Ray Fuego. He’s currently on a getaway from his Dutch home in the land of milk and honey, seeking inspiration in the raw Californian dream. Serendipitously, the best time to call him up for an easy breezy chat.

How did you end up in L.A.?

I want to spend some time here to discover the musical climate. Most of the music I listen to is made here. It’s exciting to see in real life what my idols have been inspired by.

You will be missed in the Netherlands.

Oh, I’ll still be around all the time. I’m really thrilled about performing at your launch party.

How does L.A. make you feel?

‘If I had to pick something, it would be the good old patatje mayo.’

To me, L.A. represents a celebration of life. It’s notable that even the music I produce here is way more cheerful compared to what I make in Amsterdam. I think it has something to do with the sunny desert climate. Life is way more funky and soulful here.

Was going solo a long time dream already?

I think it was the best way to put all of my ideas into action. I got my first four track recorder when I turned 15 and just started making mixtapes and demo’s. And suddenly there was ‘Mozes and the Firstborn’ – the first real band I was in. We did everything ourselves. Later on I also produced music for other artists, like Ray Fuego. I never stopped doing all of that. Going
solo is just a very organic move. It just seems abrupt to the outside world.

Who did you want to be as a kid?

Working in music has always been a dream. I just didn’t aim for it as pragmatically back then. My life philosophy was to not overthink. So as soon as I came home from school, I started calling around venues and bookers to ask if the band could perform there. That’s simply how you got things done.

What’s your favourite colour?

Red. I just realised I actually wear it a lot. Sometimes I’m even fully dressed in a ketchup red suit. It’s a very romantic and passionate colour – both positive and negative. Very outspoken. Yeah, I really like it.

What’s your star sign, are you a Scorpio?

No, I’m a Virgo. Why did you think so?

They say Scorpios are also quite the passionate type – both positive and negative.

What do they say about Virgos?

Apparently they come across quite introverted to the outside world. Yet, on the inside there’s a constant urge to improve, as well as a drive towards perfectionism.

Yes for sure, sounds like me! But doesn’t that count for all of us? Don’t you recognise yourself in this?


Haha, see! We could all be friends.

Do you love being in groups and around people?

I love having the option to be surrounded by people, yet consciously not ‘use’ the situation to socialise with them. When I feel lonely and don’t have people around me, I’ll call everyone to ask where they are. Being around people also gives me the space to be less self conscious. It helps me to switch off the overthinking button. It gives me space to make decisions.

Do you travel by yourself a lot?

This trip is the first time ever I’ve traveled so far on my own. I’ve realised that it actually helps to get new energy and inspiration. Also, it challenges me to make the best out of new situations and go for it with full energy.

How do you like to escape (from everyday life or in times of stress)?

I don’t necessarily hit the club straight away or start drinking a lot or anything. I prefer to first talk to a friend about the things that are on my mind. I need a psychological relief before I can go out and have fun.

What’s your favourite hangover food?

Anything greasy. I don’t really do too much weed, but I did it in California and it’s way stronger here. I had such a bad hangover I didn’t feel like eating anything. But if I had to pick something, it would be the good old patatje mayo. <3

What’s the last thing you googled?

‘Just try to live a little.’ 

Roland JX8P synthesizer. It’s the synthesizer I’m going to buy tomorrow. I have to pick it up in the super posh Calabasas celeb area. Really curious how that’s gonna look like.

Who or what would you take to a deserted island?

My girlfriend, friends and family. And my laptop. I write, edit and produce a lot of music with it.

Songs you keep playing on repeat these days?

Empress Of – Within
Yves Tumor –  Licking An Orchid
Jorge Elbrecht x Ariel Pink – Hang On To Life

What’s the thing you’re most proud about?

My music.

What is the thing you’re most insecure about?

Also, my music.

What else do you enjoy doing, besides music?

A part of my creative process is talking to people on philosophical or psychological stuff.  I love it. A lot of my friends are directors. creators and photographers. I love to hear them talk about their work and getting inspired.

What’s your favourite music?

Anything as long as I get this strong emotional connection with it. This can range from artists I mentioned above, to Kanye West, The Byrds, Michael Jackson, together PANGEA, and Rihanna.

What’s your life mantra?

Just try to live a little.

What’s your favourite movie?

The Double Life of Veronique.

Which emoji reflects your personality most?

😊, It’s like the cute schoolgirl. It expresses an optimistic view online, a positive emotion. However, she’s still lost in thoughts.

Who are your favourite artists?

Camiel Muiser and Rik Erfmann.

Art Direction: Ekaterina Galetski, Hair Styling: Hester Beek, Make Up: Joyce Clerkx for Charlotte Tilbury & Kevin Murphy @ Angelique Hoorn Management, Hair Colouring: Camilla Turelli, Outfit: Demask Amsterdam

Raven Artson plays 21 December at OMG there are horses in the void! at OT301, Amsterdam. Show free for members.