BY CLAIRE LANTHIER//
The GWU South Asian Society is presenting their yearly Charity Formal reimagined this year, through an interactive virtual server powered by WRGW. The Charity Formal is a yearly event celebrating South Asian culture and heritage while raising money for specific causes. This year the Charity (In)Formal features several artists of South Asian descent and is raising money for both the DC Mutual Aid Network and the Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, and takes place on March 27 at 7 pm EST. This year’s headliner is Raveena, the popular soul and R&B singer known for her tracks such as “Close 2 You” and “If Only”.
Raveena’s tracks are comforting to the ear, with powerful and deliberate lyrics and music that stylistically blends traditional R&B and musical techniques from the South Asian diaspora — some of her major influences being Minnie Ripperton and Asha Puthli. Raised between Queens, New York, and Connecticut in a Sikh-American household, her love for music and songwriting began just at age 13, experimenting with different styles. Her debut EP, Shanti, released in 2017, features tracks that just flow, with her hypnotic voice cutting through synth and piano. Her first tour came after the EP was a breakout success, performing all around the United States as well as at Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw music festival.
Her debut album, Lucid, released in 2019, tells a story from beginning to end of resolve, growth, and healing from past trauma and going through a process of rediscovery. The record features tracks discussing healing from abuse, as well as growing up and first love. The record, like the atmosphere of her shows, is a space for healing and community, her music creating space for listeners to feel seen and heard, as well as listen to her dreamy tracks . The twelve tracks flow from one to the next beautifully, with the album feeling complete, whole, and collective. Tracks like “Stronger” feature powerful lyrics depicting her experiences with past experiences with men from a “whole and healed perspective” (via an interview with Wonderland Magazine). Her most recent release, a single “Tweety” released in February 2021, is bubbly and escapist, depicting the early stages of love — touching on lighter lyrical themes than much of her earlier work. This track includes more elements of hip-hop, continuing to build on the sound and overall vibe of her previous work. Raveena is a continuously evolving artist, and her performance this week is something that you don’t want to miss.
The show will feature opening acts from electronic artist Saad Ashraf, DJ Nikilad, Tanveer of Civilian Soiree, and Thammudu. To enter into a chance for a Meet and Greet with headliner Raveena, and to raise money for DC Mutual aid / API Domestic Violence Research Project, Venmo @GWSAS with “Charity Informal”. The event will take place Saturday, March 27 at 7 pm, and you can register for the event on Engage, by following this link:
Keep up with the GW South Asian Society on Instagram here.