“Can I be honest for a minute?” asks Rayvon Owen, his smooth voice gliding effortlessly over effervescent synths on his new single, “Volume.” It’s a fitting opening line to the first single from his forthcoming EP, given that authenticity is a common theme within the Virginian artist’s music.
“Volume” premiered recently on OUT Magazine, who called it a “self-empowerment anthem”. Speaking to OUT about the track, Owen explained – “Like most everyone, I have experienced many highs and lows this past year. While I feel I have come a long way, I still sometimes fall short and don’t always believe in myself in the way I should. Coming out and accepting myself for who I am was one of the most liberating and life-changing experiences for me. While my confidence has grown, I am still human and am still learning to love the person I am—flaws and all—more and more every day.”
He describes the co-writing process of “Volume” as “therapeutic, as the track’s lyrics “morphed into an anthem about self-encouragement and reminded me to stay true to who I was.”
A glowing collection of pop gems layered with textures of soul and rnb and incandescent synth, each song on Rayvon Owen’s EP is a glimpse into who he is as a person, and the joy that being yourself can bring to not only you, but others. “People go through a lot every day and I think you can get really down when you’re only hearing negative things about what people are saying about you, or what people are doing to you. I think that the best thing you can do is to be yourself and I hope that people find that message through my music.”
His previous single, “Can’t Fight It,” released on Valentine’s Day, was a special moment in Rayvon’s life- he used the visuals to come out publicly as gay. “I was working on “Can’t Fight It”, and one of my close friends passed away. He was struggling with who he was and what he wanted to do, and never really accepted himself. And I really was thinking like- what legacy will I leave- is it going to be my authentic self?”
Rayvon continued to work on his music when a few weeks later, love struck. “I fell in love and it was all so much at once, the death of a friend who was going through the same thing and then beginning of this relationship, and it was just like, hitting me over the head – the universe telling me “you need to get this together.”
Despite knowing the time was right, Rayvon was nervous to reveal the news, recalling that he even lost contact with some close friends and family from his home town. “I was so afraid, being from the South and being black and coming from a more conservative area and growing up in an environment that is not very conducive to being gay or even questioning your sexuality,” Rayvon adds. Nevertheless, the outpouring of support from his fans was overwhelming – “I would get a message from someone who would say this helped me come out to my parents, or saved me from taking my life. And it’s just like- ok, this is worth it.”
Rayvon has a strong presence within the LGBT community, doing work with organisations like The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign and POINT Foundation. He also worked closely with his boyfriend, producer and director, Shane Bitney Crone, following the release of his documentary, ‘Bridegroom.” The film followed Shane’s heartbreaking story about the prejudice he faced from his late boyfriend’s family following his tragic death. Rayvon encouraged Shane to keep his late boyfriend’s memory alive.
“I love singing about love, life experiences and my journey growing up to be the person I am today.”
Rayvon won’t quiet down for anyone, and his new EP is no exception. From the shout from the rooftop lyrics of “Volume”, to the glittering loved up melodies of “Gold,” Rayvon Owen’s latest effort is a stunning insight into an artist who’s story has only just begun.