Ep Release | ravs

Fresh off the release of her debut EP, Tangled, soul/rap artist Ravs talked with Wavelength about the creation of her EP, the process of establishing her sound, and her views on being an artist in Dallas.

Brittany Griffiths | 3 May 2019

photo by Ike Egege


EP Title: Tangled
Artist: Ravs
Release date: 26 April 2019
Track listing:

  1. Picturesque
  2. Run
  3. Like This
  4. You
  5. Beauty


     A week after the release of her debut EP, Tangled, Amanda Bongiovanni, known as Ravs, joined me at Mudsmith on Lower Greenville to catch up and lay down some insight on the ideas behind the songs on her new record. “The idea of it is I felt like I was kind of tangled up in all these different ideas of who I should be, and you know sometimes they weren’t as pushed on me as I thought they were, right? You get in your own head,” says Ravs. The story of Tangled began when Ravs was a sophomore at the University of Missouri back in 2015. It was during her time in college when she started to experiment with song writing in an attempt to try to find her own sound. One of the first songs she ever wrote, which appears on the EP, was “Run” followed by “Picturesque” a few months later. “[Run] was one of those songs that I had to write to get past a certain point in my life which was following my dreams, and that’s what it’s about, just going after what you want to do.” Though “Run” isn’t necessarily Ravs favorite song, she felt it was important to include it on the EP due in large part to the amount of feedback she’s received from friends about the way they’ve connected with it. “I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and be like that song really helped me or I really needed to hear that right now. So that’s one of those things where it’s not about me, and for those that do listen to the EP, I wanted that to be there for them.”

     After graduation, Ravs stuck around Columbia for a year working for a venue before deciding it was time to leave. One of the catalysts for the move was the lack of culture and diversity Columbia offered. At the time, she considered moving to Chicago, a city whose musical variety and strong base for independent artists has long inspired her, but she eventually resolved to move back home to the Dallas area. Once home, she bounced around from open mic to open mic, meeting and connecting with as many artists as she could and trying to survey the landscape to determine where she could find her place in the local arts scene. “That’s the thing,” says Ravs, “I don’t want to just be another artist that's putting content into the universe, I want to be somebody that can really just like bring people together, and that’s always been the coolest thing I think about being a musician.” Not long after moving back to Dallas, Ravs acquired her cousin’s old MacBook and finally had the tools to start recording her own music which played a huge role in the process of putting the EP together. The EP also marked the first time that she had set a specific goal to have a project completed by a definitive date. Before then, she had been creating in a more ephemeral, unsystematic manner and setting an unbending deadline provided a framework for her to work within. For some, setting deadlines and creating self-imposed restrictions doesn’t work, but for Ravs, it helped propel her to finalize the EP. “I grew up in sports,” says Ravs, “and I need that competition to push me forward.”

     With a release date set, she decided to take her demos back up to Columbia to produce the EP with her old band Loose Loose, but after two weeks, she could tell that it wasn’t going to pan out. So, she returned to Dallas and began shopping her demos around, looking for the right producer to help her complete the EP. For a long time, Ravs always eschewed the idea of needing a MacBook, a tool often desired by artistic types, but having access to it catapulted her to being able to work on the EP on her own and to record the vocal and guitar parts at home. She eventually met producer Jemarcus Bridges who ended up producing Tangled. Jemarcus took the parts that Ravs had already recorded and brought a pair of fresh ears to the material which helped to take songs such as “Like This” in a different direction and to a new level. “It [Like This] didn’t start off as a great song, it really evolved into something better, with the different types of parts to it and movements within it… just me and the guitar doesn’t get it across. It really needs the drums and all.” Once completed, Tangled was mixed by Donny Domino (who has also worked with other local artists Bobby Sessions, M33CA, and Lo), and it was ready just in time for her EP release show at Travis Austin Customs in Oak Cliff last Friday, April 26th.

     Ravs wanted the show to be low-key and intimate, and representative of her interests, not only in music but the arts as well. Joined by friends, family, and some local vendors, she played a solo set for a nearly sold-out show. Post-show and coming down from the frenzy of releasing her EP and organizing the event, Ravs reflects on the role she hopes to play in the Dallas art scene, “In my mind, I really feel like I want to be a part of the art scene, and I want to bring something to the art scene in Dallas… I don’t know man, there’s this energy about being in Dallas right now. This energy that feels like some shit’s about to pop off… all these things are growing... and maybe it’s these waves that everybody talks about, you know, Deep Ellum has been up and down up and down, but you know if we’re on the up it, COOL! Hell fucking yeah, let’s go.” With the release of the EP now behind her, Ravs is looking toward the future and hoping to start collaborating with other musicians in Dallas. “I thought I was gonna want to sit back and just kind of enjoy the ride for a little bit, but no. All I want to do is okay like what’s next… I’ve completed that checklist like what’s up next.”

You can follow Ravs, keep track of her upcoming shows, and listen to her new debut EP, Tangled, at the links below!

 
 

photos from left to right by Katherine Tejada and Ike Egege

 
 

Connect With Ravs

 
 

Brittany Griffiths is a writer from Dallas, Texas. She is the founder and editor of Spontaneous Afflatus, an independent publishing house that specializes in poetry and short story collections. She is also the editor of Wavelength Magazine. Last year she released her debut poetry collection titled, Ebb & Flow.

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