Have you heard about the first Cambodian that has pushed industrial techno in Phnom Penh? Or about the secret nature parties that are held in Israel? What about Saudi Arabian Jazz Fusion? Articles and stories of this nature are exactly what you’ll find when exploring the Rave Report. The aim of this blog/site consists of 3 simple points:
1) Shining a light on communities that most of us don’t even know exist.
2) Grow a worldwide community by challenging stereotypes and unifying cultures through a love of music.
3) Providing a platform showcasing underground scenes to an international audience.
Today we meet the brainchild and journalist behind Rave Report: Verity Raphael. She’s a die-hard junglist who moved to London years ago. Since moving to the city, she followed her bass-loving heart and immersed herself in the ever-evolving bass music community that thrives in the UK’s capitol. She’s broadened her palette by exploring raves and events of all kinds: from jungle drum and bass to footwork over to jazz and much more! All of this enabled her to find her tribe in the dance whilst soaking up the vibrations and low-end frequencies that draw many of us to bass music in the first place. It’s been a powerful experience that has moulded her into the amazing individual she is today.
Her experience in London drove her to get writing creatively about the music and underground scene that she loves. Since starting the Rave Report, Verity has also become a staple writer for Knowledge Mag and Data Transmission. Having recently celebrated its first year of sharing fascinating stories about underground communities from around the world, our Rave Report head honcho kindly took some time out to chat with us about her blog’s journey up until now.
-You recently celebrated your first anniversary: how has Rave Report evolved?
Hey Soph! I’d say over 1 year, Rave Report has become more political. It’s always been about challenging stereotypes and amplifying the voices of global underground music communities. But after reflecting on the whitewashing of Dance Music and where I sit within that as a white music writer, fairer representation has come right at the forefront of my mind.
-2020 has most definitely brought many systemic issues to light that need addressing. Big ups to you for taking action and utilising your platform to speak out! When you were in the process of starting the Rave Report what was your greatest frustration?
Like many people before lockdown, I was pushing myself way too hard! I was publishing weekly interview features on top of a stressful full-time job and raving till 6am every weekend. But lockdown gave many of us the gift of time, so after being made redundant I was really able to work on establishing my name. It’s slowly getting there, and thankfully I got a new job. But most importantly I’ve taken a lot of pressure off myself to be writing constantly.
-I can only imagine! Many of us are guilty of pushing too hard when we want to accomplish something. Happy to hear that you were able to get that under control. When it comes to what’s next: What country would you most like to explore for your Rave Report archive?
Japan! I’m headed there for an adventure with my boyfriend next year. I’ve reached out to interview a few incredible Footwork producers based in Tokyo but with no response yet. I know the universe will make it happen – hopefully while I’m out there.
-No doubt the universe will provide if your intention is set. Wishing you the best of luck with that trip! Im curious to know what your experience as a writer has been so far? Any significant pros and cons being a woman who writes about electronic music?
Being a female doesn’t particularly affect my opportunities as a writer. I think that’s because Rave Report is my own platform, meaning I’m in full control and don’t have anyone to answer to but myself! My goal isn’t to monetise Rave Report – it’s to shine a light on underground music communities around the world. It’s pretty wholesome, and that’s why it’s been so rewarding.
-That’s rather refreshing to hear. There’s something to be said about running your own business. Aside from the inevitable challenges, the rewards most definitely make it all worth while. Speaking of challenges, what are your thoughts on the current situation regarding the arts sector in the UK?
I try and focus on positives in life, but I’m in a massive downer about all of this right now. I went to a socially distanced rave recently but we literally got shouted at like dogs to “SIT” because we were dancing in our designated seating areas – even though the security weren’t wearing masks and there were no sinks to wash hands. There’s so much division in opinions with COVID and I totally respect those opinions who are different to my own, but personally I think the whole thing has gone WAY too far.
-Agreed. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but it doesn’t make the situation any easier for us. Covid-19 has transformed our lives in so many differing ways. What has 2020 shown you and taught you about who you are and the reality we currently live in?
It’s taught me that I’m great at adapting to my situation! Especially that I’m capable of isolating on my own for months after losing my job but still actually enjoying it. Also 2020 has taught me to relax more and not to burn myself out working too hard… because you never know what’s around the corner.
-Indeed, you never know! Self care is incredibly important so making sure not to push ourselves too hard, and to be sure we take time to relax, is key. Is there anything in particular that you want to bring up regarding your work and what’s next for the blog?
I’ve got a huge collaboration with AKO Beatz dropping real soon, but for now that’s all I’m saying on the matter! 😉
-That sounds pretty exciting! We will be sure to keep an eye out for that. So to close out our chat here, please tell us how do we find you?
-An absolute pleasure, queen! Looking forward to what you’ve got coming up next!
Words by Sofi Mari