photography Joseph Cultice

fashion Lauren Lusardi‬

‭collar Zana Bayne

cuff Georgina Jewelry 

corset 0770 

Raven Numan: The Alt Pop Enigma with a Dark Aesthetic and a Surprising Pop Influence!

Written by Josie McNeill by Sandra Myhrberg

The Instagram of alt pop singer-songwriter Raven Numan is full of red and black aesthetic pics–they would fit perfectly into a Pinterest mood board for cool vampires and modern goths. Raven’s vibe in real life matches the same vision (she has jet black, straight hair), and so does the deeply personal and industrial-inspired pop songs she produces.
Currently, Raven has three songs released on Spotify–”My Reflection,” “Here For Me,” and “Going Down.” Each track touches on Raven’s personal struggles with mental health and self image–dark themes fitting for the alt style of the Raven Numan we see online and in person.
So, listeners may be surprised to hear that Raven’s biggest influence in pursuing a career in music was Katy Perry–a bubblegum pop singer known for her whimsical and colorful style.
Odalisque sat down with Raven to talk about this surprising music influence of hers, the impact of her father Gary Numan (frontman of the band Tubeway Army) on her sound, and the importance of being candid through songwriting.

Why did you decide to pursue a music career?
I grew up around it with my dad, I wasn't really interested when I was a kid. I was like “this is boring, blah blah blah”. And then I watched this Katy Perry documentary back in 2013, when I was 9, and I just fell in love with her whole vibe. I loved the arenas and all the huge venues that she was playing in. I just loved the music and I was like “I want to do that”. So I'd say Katy Perry got me into this whole music thing. Surprising but It wasn't my dad, it was Katy.

I know you just talked about Katy Perry’s influence, but your music combines the new wave sound of your dad, Gary Numan’s, music and modern pop music, so I was wondering how you found a balance between these influences to craft your own sound?
I grew up around that whole [new wave, industrial genre] so it obviously has a huge influence on me. My parents were always into Nine Inch Nails, and ever since I was little, I really loved them too. They're super dark and industrial, so I’ve just grown up around that type of music. Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Depeche Mode–my dad. So this music was just ingrained into my brain. As I grew older, passed the Katy Perry and Ariana Grande pop phase that I was in for a very long time, I realized that industrial/dark wave music was the type of music that I wanted to write. It captivated me.

You released your most recent track “Going Down” at the beginning of May. What inspired that track and how did it all come together?
All of my songs are quite dark because I can only write music when I'm not feeling good or when I'm depressed or when something really upsetting is going on. That’s literally the only time I can write, it's really annoying. I wrote “Going Down” a couple of years ago when I had recently been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I was really, really struggling because nothing made sense to me. I was really depressed. I was really angry. I had these crazy mood swings which ended up hurting a lot of the people around me. I was very suicidal. And I was like, “I can't talk about any of this. I can't talk about my feelings, but I can write them down.” I remember going to my room–it was right after a Billie Eilish concert actually–I just sat down, and I was so angry, I was writing down everything that I wanted and needed to get out of my head. Then I went to my laptop and plugged in my keyboard and just started recording these super eerie, sad and aggressive chords. I started singing everything that I had written down, and it just formed into a song. Basically, Going Down is about my experience trying to cope with the whole borderline [personality disorder] issue so I could show my family and friends how I was feeling.

You’ve spoken a lot about how you hope, if people do relate to “Going Down”, that it makes them feel less alone. Does music serve this same purpose in your own life?
Yes. 100,000,000%. Without music. I don't even know man, it’s helped me so much. Within the past five years, the person who has helped me through difficult times the most is Lana Del Rey for sure. When I’m feeling down, there are certain songs I’ll put on that will immediately calm me down. I’m not alone–there's other people out there that can relate to how I'm feeling. So yes, music has helped so much.

You said you wrote “Going Down” a couple years ago. Are all the songs written from a while back or are they more recent?
No, actually the first one, “My reflection” was written in early 2021 when I was 17. I wrote “Here For Me” in 2020 kind of at the beginning of COVID when I was 16. And “Going Down” at 18. So 16, 17, 18.

Why did you decide to release “My Reflection” first out of the three?
Honestly, we just chose it. There was no big thing behind it. We were just like this one’s cool, let's do this one first.

What was the experience of releasing music for the first time?
Terrifying. I was so scared. But it was also really exciting. I think when we released “My Reflection”, because it was the very first one, I was like oh my god this is really scary because it's incredibly vulnerable. And the fact that other people were going to hear what I was going through was really, really intimidating to me. But it's also cool in a way because I know a lot of people can relate to body dysmorphia and feeling unhappy with themselves, so I felt less alone, If that makes sense. I got loads of people telling me that they loved it and that really helped them which was awesome to hear.

How did it feel to first hear the song played on the radio?
I cried. I screen recorded it and everything. I was so happy.

Do you have a favorite memory from the recording process of your first song?
I'd have to think about it because when we recorded it, it was just me and my producer Ade Fenton. I love him so much. He's amazing. But I don't really know. It was just a really fun experience. He's such a funny and amazing guy. I've known him my whole life. I was so scared of singing in front of people, but he made me feel so comfortable. If I could remember a specific memory, I would tell you, but there was so much going on. We recorded pretty much everything last year in March down in Brighton.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
I can only give you the tiniest amount of information because I'm not sure how much I’m supposed to say, but I'm really excited for the future. Within the next couple of months, I'm flying to the UK for certain reasons, specifically to do with these next projects. I don't know how much of this I’m supposed to say, so I’m gonna keep my mouth shut before I talk too much. But I’m really, really, really excited about everything that’s coming up.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about upcoming projects or future aspirations?
I would like to tour eventually. I think that would be super sick. I would love to do that. Recently my label and I were talking about possibly supporting my dad on his UK tour which he just started so it’s too late for that haha. But it's all about trying to disconnect from him and start my own path. I’m only at the beginning.

‭collar Zana Bayn


collar Zana Bayne
‭cuff Georgina Jewelry 

photography ‬Joseph Cultice‬

fashion ‬Lauren Lusardi‬
makeup Bex Marie‬

hair‬ Johnny Stuntz‬

assistants Keegan Kruse‬ & ‭ Lucian Rodrigue‬