South Korean rapper, singer-songwriter, producer, K-Pop boy group VIXX and VIXX LR member, and music label GROOVL1N founder RAVI is back with refined sounds in his new mini-album ROSES. Following his first studio album EL DORADO, special summer mini-album PARADISE, and singles “BUM (feat. Chillin Home, Kid Milli),” and “Mint Chocolate Anthem,” RAVI has returned on June 3, 2021 with his fourth mini-album filled with flowers and love. “Every track was like a different flower,” the 28-year-old solo artist told Kpopconcerts.com. “Among flowers, I was drawn to the rose because of its symbolism of various colors and thorns, which is why I decided to title the album ROSES.” Presenting his individual color by tending to the sounds of the songs, he hopes many people will listen to the whole album and enjoy its pleasant scents and qualities.
While keeping busy participating in variety programs and hosting a radio show, RAVI successfully runs his music label GROOVL1N which houses fellow artists nafla, Cold Bay, and Xydo. Nurturing and growing the company, he recently announced that GROOVL1N will be managing Korean promotions for legendary American R&B group Boyz II Men.
Gaining inspiration from everyday life and his fans, RAVI released his mini-album ROSES with double title tracks “CARDIGAN (Feat. Wonstein)” and “FLOWER GARDEN” along with corresponding music videos and fun live versions. Other tracks “CHEE$E (feat. BLNK & AHN BYEONG WOONG)” and “FREEZING POINT (feat. Xydo)” show how collaboration is a key aspect in his work. RAVI has blossomed through years of developing his skills and cultivating his style. Album tracks “ROSES” and “I DON’T DENY” express different mature sides of himself. All of these latest songs add to RAVI’s impressive list of copyrighted tracks. With nearly 200 songs, RAVI remains as the top K-Pop Idol with the most number of registered songs with the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA). With the release of ROSES, RAVI became the first Korean singer since 2019 to enter the US iTunes Hip-Hop Chart, ranking at #30. Displaying global popularity, the album placed Top 2 Worldwide on the Hip-Hop/Rap Genre on iTunes.
Balancing all his activities and running with little rest, RAVI recognizes that self-care is important and strives to take care of himself to be able to reach his goals. Surrounded by flowers, staff, artists, and achievements, what RAVI desires most is to personally connect with his supportive fans at a live concert. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to hold large events and meet fans in person. In fact, RAVI 2020 WORLD TOUR EL DORADO was unfortunately cancelled due to the world’s situation. However, he has created opportunities to engage with fans through his online release parties such as his most recent “RAVI EP [ROSES] RELEASE PARTY.” RAVI continues to pursue his passion by working on and releasing music for his fans.
In an exclusive interview, RAVI reflects on his ROSES mini-album release, ideal cardigan design, self-care instructions, and passion for music and performance.
KPC: Congratulations on the release of your “ROSES” EP! What are your thoughts on creating this album? How is it different from your previous works?
RAVI: I tried to create a sensuous and sophisticated sound in this album. I put a lot of thought and effort into creating this album, and I’m happy with the way it turned out.
KPC: In your album description it reads, “앨범 내는 게 두려웠는데 만들어낸 앨범 (Even though I was scared to make an album, I made my album).” Could you tell us more about that? How are you feeling now that it’s out?
RAVI: I love performing on stage. I feel genuine happiness in the moments when I am able to deeply share feelings and emotions with fans. I thought releasing new albums and singles would give me a reason to perform frequently, which is why I did so, but when the pandemic hit, it became difficult to hold performances, so, mentally, I became a bit anxious and scared.
KPC: What are your favorite lyrics from the album and why?
RAVI: My favorite line is “손을 잡으니 흔한 무기력감도 쉬는게 돼 다르게 해석하고 인지해 (once I hold your hand, even that common feeling of lethargy takes a break, I can interpret and perceive that as something else)” from “FLOWER GARDEN.” I wrote these lyrics based on the idea that even when presented with the same situation and feelings, going through it with someone else or a loved one, as opposed to being trapped alone, can make the situation feel entirely different.
KPC: In your “Cardigan” M/V, you are surrounded by cardigans. If you could design your own cardigan, what would it look like and what do you want it to say about you?
RAVI: It would be cool if it had various colors that mixed to create something loud and showy, and it’d be nice if the cardigan could be an expression of how I have a variety of sides to myself.
KPC: If you were a clothing item, what would the care label instructions include? How do you take care of yourself physically and mentally?
RAVI: This is a tricky question. I’ll write “I don’t need to be managed by anyone else.” Physically, I try hard to work out and watch what I eat. Mentally, I worry because I sometimes feel emotionally unstable, but I work hard to ease these feelings in these moments.
KPC: Can you tell us more about your songwriting and producing process and how it has grown over the years? What have you learned from your years of producing and collaborating with other creatives?
RAVI: I paid most attention to the texture of the sound and the structure of the chorus because I made the judgement that this was the best way to make the track sound the most sensuous and sophisticated to listeners. Working with other musicians is always fun, and the positive stimulation I receive from their energy causes me to work hard and love music that much more.
KPC: What vision and goals do you have for GROOVL1N and yourself?
RAVI: I hope that GROOVL1N can become an environment where great musicians and passionate staff members can gather together to enjoy their work and live a happy life. Like a family. For me, I’d like to become a much-anticipated player. I’d always like to improve myself so that I can create good music and performances.
KPC: How do you measure success?
RAVI: Everyone has their own way of measuring success, like money, charts, etc., but personally, I measure my success based on my happiness.
KPC: How would you like to be known?
RAVI: A hot and much-anticipated musician.
KPC: We’ve seen different sides of you from your work in music, variety shows, and radio. What else would you like to try pursuing in the future?
RAVI: Rather than moving in a new direction, I’d like to continue to grow by working through my own current projects and GROOVL1N’s projects, one by one.
KPC: You’ve recently started a YouTube channel. What kind of content can your fans expect to see from you in the future?
RAVI: It will be a channel where you can find RAVI’s official audios and music videos, all in one organized place. Please subscribe and like!
KPC: Lastly, do you have any words you would like to say to your international fans?
RAVI: Thank you for always supporting me and sending me love. I would greatly appreciate it if you could continue sending me your love and support. I hope we can meet with a concert soon. I really miss you. I love you!
ROSES is available now on all major streaming platforms. Stream the album on Spotify below and be sure to follow RAVI on his social media accounts below:
The KPC Team would like to thank RAVI and GROOVL1N for this interview opportunity! Translations by Nahri L.