Raven Shelley Featured Artist On MarkMeets Music

Introducing MarkMeets’ Featured Music Artist For December 2022 Raven Shelley

Shrewsbury born Singer-Songwriter Raven Shelley describes her ‘epiphany’ moment, which led her to devote herself to music. She has now recorded five singles with a London-based record label.

At school in Shrewsbury, my aim had been to get to university so I could spend my time studying the subject I had always adored: English Literature. And yet now I was here, and I had everything I’d always wanted but it all felt colourless.

Finding direction after school and university can be tricky – especially for creatives“, said Raven.

For me, that epiphany came one wet morning – or, to be strictly accurate, one wet afternoon – in Manchester. I’d woken late, having been out the night before, and I was annoyed with myself for having now wasted most of the day. I was in my second year of university, which, whilst fun, was also a time when I started to realise that graduation – and real life – actually weren’t that far away, and yet I had no idea what I was going to do afterwards.

The star who is the new one to watch!

Raven Shelley is gaining popularity online

I always joke that I cause chaos in my own life just so that I’ll have something to write about. But really, I know that I take all the pain, all the anger, all the hurt, and also all the love – all those feelings that run through me – and I transform them into something else, something that can often translate to a universal human experience. It’s an interesting way to view things, because even if I’m hurting, I can think “Well, once the rawness of this has subsided, I’ll be able to process it, and turn it into art”. 

Perhaps it’s this knowledge that keeps my self-belief afloat. Though you finish some gigs and you’re ecstatic, you can also be playing some evenings to an empty room in some back street pub with 3 people and a dog listening. And yet, sometimes all you need is one person to hear you for everything to change. 

“A new singer songwriter whose music is on our latest office playlist” MARKMEETS MUSIC

‘Sink in Solitude’ was the start of all this. It was a song written to myself, to force myself to take action and not waste the time I’ve been given. Adrift at university after the transition from school, I was lost. And then I found what I wanted to do. Music, writing music, is as essential to my life as breathing. It’s my oxygen. And that’s something I hold onto even when life is tough.

So, I think I’ve finally figured out what the hell I’m doing with my time. 

Read an interview further below.

I decided to send some demos of my songs – ‘Sink in Solitude’ included – to various record labels. One London-based label – The Animal Farm – wanted to hear more, and from there everything changed. I suddenly had a direction, something to pursue. I now have 5 singles recorded: one has been released and the second, ‘Do You Miss Me Yet?’ (which is in a much more cheerful vein to ‘Sink in Solitude’!) is out now.

Each month here at MarkMeets, we celebrate either a new unsigned music star or an existing artist on the rise, and destined for stardom.

New interview with Raven Shelley

Tell us about your recent single:

It’s a song called ‘Sink in Solitude’, and it’s actually my first single released! 

It’s a song about time passing by without achievement, and it has a very special place in my heart because I still remember the time when I was writing it. It was one wet afternoon in Manchester; I’d woken up late, having been out the night before, and was annoyed with myself for wasting most of the day. It was winter, and (as usual) raining. The light was flat and dull, and I stood looking down at the grey urban street, at the litter, the sludgy brown leaves and skeleton trees, at the other houses, wondering about the individual stories and tragedies that could be unfolding just metres away from me. 

I’d been reading Shakespeare’s Richard II, and a lot of Shelley’s poetry, so many lines from the song are influenced by these two great writers. It’s a song I wrote to myself, trying to rouse myself to get on and do something, rather than wasting the time that I have been given. Cheery stuff! But I do think that it’s quite a universal human feeling, in that everyone has felt like that at some point. Whenever I listen back to ‘Sink in Solitude’ I remember that time very clearly. 

Your first single and how you felt when it was released:

As I’ve said, ‘Sink in Solitude’ was my first single to be released. I was a bit nervous before hand, you have to hype it up so much in the run up, and I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations. But it’s had a fantastic response! I was elated when it was finally released. It’s a pretty old song now, and it’s been a real struggle trying to get it out into the world. It’s weird though, it kind of leaves you with a slightly strange feeling in that you’ve now given it an independent life of its own. It doesn’t really belong to you in the same way. You’re sending it out there to make its fortune!

Your favourite song that you have created that is an album track:

I’ve not recorded an album yet, as we’re focusing on releasing a string of singles at the moment. Some of those singles could be album tracks too though, in the future. But I’m writing all the time at the moment, and there are several songs that I think would be great album tracks.

Your favourite song to play live:

It’s got to be ‘Do You Miss Me Yet?’, which is my next single, and was released in September. I wrote it when I was really angry with someone, and I thought ‘What would I really like to say to them? I mean really, if no one was every going to read it, if no one could judge me for how I felt, what would I want to say?’. I had no intention of turning it into a song initially, but once I started I just couldn’t stop, and it kind of wrote itself. I’m very excited for it to be released, because it tends to make people laugh whenever I play it. I was listening to a lot of Dylan at the time, songs like ‘Positively 4th Street’ and ‘She’s Your Lover Now’, and I hope that very Dylanesque mixture of humour and savagery comes across when I sing lines like:

“I mean how are you not bored of yourself
It’s bad enough dealing with you as someone else
But you have to put up with you every day of your life”

I tend to preface it at live gigs my saying it’s for “everybody’s ex” – it makes people listen! At one gig several people came up asking if I had the lyrics with me so they could read them. 

Your most emotional track:

That’s a tough question, and it changes all the time. I find writing is very cathartic, so whilst I write some things that are just a bit of fun, most of them come from some very emotionally honest and vulnerable place. I think ‘Sink in Solitude’ resonates with a lot of people, and ‘Do You miss Me Yet?’ is emotional in terms of being very angry. ‘Ariel’ (released in February) is about Sylvia Plath, and that’s one of my saddest songs I think, though it’s obviously less personal to me. There’s also a couple of songs which I have and which I don’t even tend to perform live very much, because they’re almost too personal.  

The best lyric you have ever written:

That also changes all the time! I have a song called ‘The Scorpion’ which is very lyrically dense; I was reading a lot of surrealist poetry at the time, and ended up walking around one night when the stars were very bright. I stood underneath the constellation of Orion, and this song started coming to me, with verses like: 

“The candle of the day went out

But there were still stars to see

On the edge of my vision was a scorpion

That waited silently for me
And the watch towers slowly breathed release

In the molten night’s heavy heat

And I’m waiting for the scorpion to sting”

I don’t entirely know what the song means myself, but I think it’s certainly up there with some of the best I’ve written, lyrically. 

Describe the feeling you get when you walk on stage to do a show:

Unlike anything else. At first, trepidation, though that has become less and less true the more I’ve played. After a few songs I start to loosen up, and then I really start to enjoy it, especially if it’s a good audience. And then once you finish (and if it’s gone well) it’s euphoria, and a feeling of great achievement. 

The hardest track to play live:

Possibly ‘Bubblewrap the World’, which is another one of my singles to come out at some point next year. It’s quite fast, and there’s a lot of sliding up and down the fretboard. Plus, lyrically it can be tough to remember because the choruses are all slightly different to each other.

Essential items you always take on tour with you?

I haven’t been on tour yet, but I know I would definitely take:

-A guitar
-A notebook
-A stack of books
-A camera

Describe your fans in three words:

With great taste?
(On a more serious note: Wonderful, bohemian humans)

A song by another artist or band you wish you had written:
There’s so many! Most things by Bob Dylan, ‘Untouchable Face’ or ‘Both Hands’ by Ani DiFranco, ‘Take This Longing’ by Leonard Cohen. Songs with incomparable poetry, basically. 

What we can look forward to from your band this year:

Much more music! There’s 4 more singles that will be released, and I’m moving to Manchester in the Autumn, so I’ll be playing loads more venues too. And then who knows? The possibilities are endless!

Raven Shelley is a new refreshing independant artist on the rise” – Music reviewer MARK BOARDMAN

Be sure to follow Raven Shelley’s journey from streaming music, buying tickets and merchandise to watching live performances when shows are announced.

MarkMeets Featured Artist is a digital platform that promotes unsigned, undiscovered, and undiscovered UK music talent. It was founded in 2002 to provide artists with the opportunity to reach a large audience.

Having worked in promoting and developing stars for more than 15 years from the likes of: Becky Hill, Years & Years, Mila Falls, Jessie J, Eve-Yasmine, Sharlette, Harvey, James Eldridge, Laura Steel, Tom Andrews, Tom Mann, Overload, District 3, Adam Lambert, The Dolly Rockers and many more: our reach, passion for music, and the platform that MarkMeets Magazine gives by identifying new musicians and supporting them through interviews, public relations, and invitations to music showcases and insider industry events simply works!

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Author Profile

Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman
Mark Boardman is an established showbiz journalist and freelance copywriter whose work has been published in Business Insider, Daily Mail, Bloomberg, MTV, Buzzfeed and The New York Post amongst other press. Often spotted on the red carpet at celebrity events and film screenings, Mark is a regular guest on BBC Radio London and in-demand for his opinions for media outlets including Newsweek. His TV credits include This Morning, The One Show and T4. Email Mark@MarkMeets.com

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