An interview with Raman Mama
Raman Mama is a man of many titles. GW student, writer, comedian, and most recently, musician are just a few. In 2017, Raman released his debut mixtape All I Ever Wanted, a personal and reflective project which allowed him to share his inner musings on friendships, success, and his transformative life experiences. The Rival spoke with Raman about his mixtape, the inspiration behind his work, and the next steps in his music and comedy careers.
Raman, an avid hip-hop fan, believes that the genre is based in storytelling and mixtapes are an extension of this through the form of poetry. Each song, while individually important, acts as a stanza for the totality of the project and presents a comprehensive theme to the listener. “On this project, I’m examining my life and my experiences the impact they’ve had on my worldview. My trips to foreign cities, my relationships with my friends and family, and my life as a black man are reflected in my writing and comedy already so I wanted to express these themes musically” he explained.
Musically, All I Ever Wanted is mellow as it allows the listener to relax while Raman’s words carry them on a journey through his life while they reflect on their own. Piano and soothing percussion are consistent throughout the mixtape and serve as a break from the normal noise of everyday life. “I am a big fan of Drake and the sound he developed on Take Care, so that inspired the tone of the music I decided to make,” Raman said. “When writing the lyrics I was inspired by the storytelling of Billy Joel and how he describes love and relationships in a deep and personal way.” The song “Thanks” is reminiscent of Drake’s introspective “Look What You’ve Done” and “Piano Poetry”, the last song written for the mixtape, is bare-bones as Raman raps over a piano melody as if he’s conversing with himself and the listener is simply observing.
A project of any size or medium is subject to difficulties during the creation process and All I Ever Wanted was no exception. “There would be times where I would just stare at words and couldn’t come up with anything to write. Getting everything where I wanted to be proved difficult at times, but eventually it worked out and I was happy with the final product,” Raman explained, and with the subject matter there were precautions taken. “Some stuff was too personal to include on the tape or it dealt with people who I wasn’t sure wanted their stories told, so working around that took some time.”
When asked what he hoped what the takeaways from this project were, Raman paused to reflect on an answer. He responded, “I want people to know how transformative life experiences can be. I’ve lived in China, London, New York, and will live in Amsterdam this summer, but all of these experiences have changed me in their own way. I hope this project inspires people to give themselves the chance of succeeding in everything they do. I also want artists to keep shifting the form of music and incorporate more piano ballads in rap to allow for more emotional, introspective songs which the genre is lacking right now.”
Raman is currently touring the London comedy circuit, maintaining a blog featuring informative and creative opinion pieces, and is working on his sophomore musical project.
Originally published by Marquis Woods at gw.therival.news on 4.11.18
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