Meet a Trine of Culture Shapers
REVÈ, Raaginder and Khanvict brought some serious heat to our wintery town on Friday, January 17th while simultaneously transcending us to an otherworldly place with their unparalleled, ingenius musical skills. If you missed out, crave more than our #5XAllAccess stories, or want to relive the mystique of the night – keep reading!
REVÈ is Raw & Refined
Show opener REVÈ was a wonderful start to the beginning of the night. As background context, REVÈ’s music is in majority fast-paced but contains sultry, mysterious contemporary R&B elements to it. Her songs switch between being fast and slow paced, and REVÈ cleverly and talentedly keeps up with her playfully constructed, edgy lyrics. If you listen to any of her recorded singles, she no doubt proudly displays the many dimensions her voice comprises of – creating a juxtaposition on themes of disconnectedness & alienation in her lyricism but supporting the raw, volcanic emotions she makes melody of.
One of the best things about her? The depth of her vocal talent and range shines immensely during her live performances. It’s clear that she doesn’t need editing; the sheer, raw yet refined talent she possesses is a real asset she confidently plays with on stage.
In fact, within the first couple of chords of her performances, REVÈ establishes that there is real POWER to her voice. Perfectly complementary to her background beats, there is impressive control that she keeps even as she extemporizes for her audience. REVÈ is not afraid of improvisation, and she is playful in the ways in which she artistically expresses herself during her performance. It was clear that the crowd was locked in and relishing in her talent.
There is impressive dynamism to what REVÈ does – her art celebrates her individuality and refusal to be defined. Her lyrics on the many dynamics of young relationships are raw and real. It is a treat to watch her perform and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next.
Raaginder’s Talents are Otherworldly
If you know me, my infallible secret to adding some sunshine to any day is turning on a Raaginder production on Spotify. As a recording artist, Raaginder holds impressive musical range – each of his recorded productions are rich in expression yet incredibly diverse. He can easily make melody to Indian Classical, a mighty set of lungs like the ones South Asian Soul recording artist Beya Likhari possesses, and tunes thick in bereaved emotions like his latest single “echoes.” There is existing proof to the fact that Raaginder will bend your mind with his music. Have you ever heard of playful rap to a violin ballad? Listen to “dreams”. Yet, I’ve never actually had the privilege of hearing him live until now.
Now that I’ve had the chance to do so, one thing is clear: Raaginder holds the power to transcend you to another dimension with his musical talent – in fact, he looks so serene while he performs that I wouldn’t be surprised if he himself journeys to the same magical and mystical place he transports us to. There is an authentic beauty and grace in that, and his genuine enjoyment for performing shines through during his act.
Raaginder holds an iron clad stage presence – the audience could not take their eyes off of him as he performed and captivated the packed room. His art is interesting, and he tells an emotional story. Each piece he performs is carefully crafted but there is ample room to play – we witnessed incredible improvisation to his original tunes; exuding emotion and perhaps pulling from the audience’s to create raw, transformative synergy. Either way, this makes for a pleasant treat for his fans and also displays his musical range to new listeners. But, don’t get me wrong. The background beats he creates for the centre violin are groovy, dynamic, contemporary and will definitely get you moving to sounds you’ve never encountered before. There is a genius mastery and passion behind his craft that translates clearly as he plays for a room that reflects his soulful energy right back to him.
Put him together with Khanvict and you double the mysticism – Khanvict’s sufi-inspired electronic sounds with Raaginder’s ballads are enough to awaken your ancestry within you but also create an emotional stirring you’ve never experienced before. The combination of these two is unprecedented and it’s making its mark on the world.
Watching Raaginder’s musical journey for years from afar and now seeing him live has helped me cracked his code. Raaginder makes music out of our heartstrings and I’m all about it.
Khanvict will Transport you to Your Childhood and the Future at the Same Time
This incredible hometown musician makes eastern inspired heavy bass and electronic music but is well on his way to headlining the biggest and baddest music festivals while simultaneously and rapidly adding to his growing following. Inspired by soulful legends A.R. Rahman and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Khanvict’s musical talent carries the same energy to move your whole being in the ways that his heroes do – but his beats travel deep into you to also get your body moving to his rhythms before you even realize it.
Khanvict’s set somehow transported the audience to our childhoods and the future at the same time. There was weighty nostalgia of qawwalis we all grew up either listening to on cassette tapes, or watching on television boxes with our parents, siblings and family elders – a common, powerful narrative that holds no specific geographical place. Yet, largely due to Khanvict’s highly specialized musical production skills, we are also collectively transported to a futuristic paradise – one that contains elements of South Asian sounds and refixes of electronic dance productions, but also shows us how infinite love for the universe sounds like in a timeless place. And if that’s not what Khanvict’s all about, I don’t know what is.
Khanvict already holds ample knowledge on how to get a room full of people dancing, but, through his musical production, we got to witness the magic he produces to get his audience vibrating to the same frequency while simultaneously grooving to the trendiest, most intricate tunes. His art form is an ode to his heritage and also to the collective contemporary South Asian experience, but don’t think that’s his cap – he’s well on his way to universalizing contemporary South Asian sounds just like his heroes have in their days. Proud heritage aside – Khanvict is also just a really banging heavy bass music producer who is innovative, captivating and has great creative range for all of his productions.
Khanvict makes room for everyone on his journey of breaking musical barriers. And it is amazing to see the level of talent and refined craft he possesses when he performs. To see him rock a stage at his own event is something we’ve all patiently been waiting for, and he’s made a legendary start.
The 3 performers of the night are incredibly unique to their own sounds, contributing to the overall originality of the show that sets precedent for cutting edge South Asian musical talent on the West Coast. No doubt, these culture shapers are starting to indent the world with their musical personalities – but their dreams are manifesting and we are ecstatic to be right here, watching them come true.
I also want to congratulate BTS pillars of support who made this show happen, including: Snakes x Ladders, Khanvict’s artist management team, Tarun Nayar, graphic designers Aksha Suri and Jessie Sohpaul, as well as music producers Kultar Got Bounce and dontdoze for their success!