Blog

  • 15 Mar

    Raven’s Recap: Speed Walton

    Speed Walton is back in the Queen City.

    After headlining with Erika Badu, Snoop Dogg and working with legends like Pharrell, Speed Walton came back to his hometown to release his debut album in partnership with Capital records.

    He came by the Wiz studio Friday to talk about the release of his new album ‘RealNameSPEED’ and his listening party.

    The Interview

    The five-time Cincinnati entertainment award winner sat down with Wiz personality, Tropikana and immediately began the Q & A.

    The local turned national artist answered each question with humility. The topics varied from adjusting to the culture change after moving from Cincinnati to Los Angeles to what song he was looking forward to performing the most — ‘Late Nights 1 AM’.

    Click here for the full interview.

    Through Raven’s Rays: Speed Walton’s listening party @ TopCats

    Walking into Top Cats was like walking into a modern-day jazz club. The exposed brick and underground club feel matched the vibe of the night.

    The atmosphere was immediately set as his mother greeted me at the front door. At that moment I knew this listening experience would be filled with love and positive energy.

    DJ Ghost, Speed Walton’s official DJ, set the tone on stage while guests continued to come in and grabbed drinks.

    Walton greeted friends, family, and fans in the growing crowd. He made his way around embracing and taking pictures with as many people as he could as he walked towards the stage.

    The music came to a halt when DJ Ghost made the introduction for Speed Walton.

    Speed came to the mic to welcome the audience and dedicated the album to his grandmother, ‘Big Momma.’

    “The first song I wrote, in between that time, I was working on the album, my grandma died, and it was really hard to drop this album. So this album is dedicated for my big momma.”

    His grandmother was the first to give him a note pad, and that’s where his journey began.

    After apologizing to his mom for forgetting his belt, he kicked off with the first song of the night, ‘Alien Stoner.’

    A short moment after the opening, Speed shared a tearful hug with his mother — happy tears, no worries. His live band, aided to the funky-galactic-neo-soul hip-hop sound.

    Side note: Top Cats sound system is great!

    The soulful lullaby of Aiyo Sophia drifted out the speakers as ‘Late nights 1 AM’ began,  the song he was most excited about to perform. I looked around to soak in the full crowd, and my attention was captured at the fact that many in the audience were singing the lyrics along with Speed. The album had just dropped that morning.

    For the entire night, there wasn’t a single person that wasn’t moving.

    Speed Walton ended the night by inviting one of his friends on stage to perform one last song. It seemed to be a hometown favorite as family and friends flooded the front of the stage singing along.

    As he ended the song by having everyone raise their Space Invaderz symbols (Vulcan or Mr. Spock hand symbol), Speed thanked everyone for coming. Seeing almost every hand up expressing the signature hand signal, it left a lasting impression that Speed Walton, or as his OG fans remember him Buggs Tha Rocka, has a dedicated fan base.

    The listening experienced ended with a group photo, but the celebration had just begun.

    Fresh off the Stage

    Post interview: Speed Walton with Raven Nevar

  • 05 Oct

    My First Beyoncè and Jay Z Experience | OTR 2

    The arrival

    As we waited in line for our VIP wristbands and tickets, we heard the bass drop, and the crowd went wild. Immediately there was this wave of energy that rippled through the cement walls of the OSU stadium. At first, we all thought maybe it was DJ Khaled. We shook it off and convinced ourselves we weren’t late and we were not missing the opening of the concert. Then we all caught ourselves singing along to On the Run part 2. They had already gone on!

    We had little set back with security about my bag being “too big”, which separated us from the main group, but we found our way inside shortly afterward.

    We entered the nearest area that was closest to floor seating. My knees began to shake as soon as my eyes spotted Beyonce hovering over the crowd. “She’s right there!”. As we made our way to the floor, I immediately started shaking with excitement. We joined a small group in the middle of the floor, and we were quickly told to go to our assigned sections, but we didn’t know where our section was.

    A man in an OTR shirt motioned us over off to the side, a little sketchy, but we beckoned at his call anyways. He pulled out gold wristbands that matched the ones on our wrist. “I have VIP wristbands. Oh wait, you guys have them! Follow me”.

    We followed him to the middle of the floor section, and he pulled back the red velvet rope as if we were in one of those stereotypical 90’s movie when the underdog finally makes it to the elite group. We walked onto the plush red carpet of Club Carter.

    Beyonce and Jay z rolled out the red carpet for us! Literally.

    Now let’s break down this show real quick — you ready?

    Energy

    The energy was insane, from them to their musicians to their dancer – they all had pure enjoyment. I was shaking for the first hour due to the adrenaline that was rushing through my veins. As soon as we walked down the steps, their energy rushed over me.

    At one point Beyonce had a wardrobe malfunction. The costume was an orange bodysuit with beading. As she hit every count the beads started to fly, but that didn’t stop her,matter of fact, that made her go even harder on the dance moves. It was as if she was putting exclamation marks on each movement and the beads continued to fly at rapid speed. Now that’s energy!

    (All videos were taken by me at the concert, I do NOT own the rights to the music)

    Visuals

    I have a massive appreciation for set design and visuals! I had already seen pictures on social media of the stage design but seeing it in person was completely different. Whoever was in charge of the graphics, you are phenomenal . I did a little research and found out that the set tells a story as well. A lot of people might look at the stage and think, “oh dope, two runways, and moving stage.” When in reality this was done intentionally to help tell the story of OTR II.

    The article I found stated that the two separate runways on either side represent Jay Z and Beyonce’s separate journeys, a.k.a their individual albums. If I can remember correctly, I don’t think you ever saw the both of them on the same runway. When they performed together, it was on the stage or as this article called it “the bridge”. “The bridge” represented them coming back together, so any time they performed a song that they both are featured in they were on the stage. I’ll get back to the stage in a minute.

    Music

    Let’s get back to the reason we’re all here, the music. When you go to a concert, the artist typically tries to spice up their songs a bit right? Well, Jay and B did more than that. If it wasn’t them reinventing their own songs, it was making you fall in love with a classic all over again. The instrumentals and beats they added were genus. Giving the songs a whole new feel or combining two songs together. Their transitions between songs were seamless. I would like for them to release OTR II Live, please!

    Of course Beyonce’s vocals were insane. Being able to hear her vocals live were better than the recording! Enough said.

    Choreography

    The definition of a performer – a person who entertains people by acting, singing, dancing, or playing music.

    Beyonce is a true performer. Sometimes an artist favors one side of the performer spectrum, being strong at the singing aspect or being strong at the dancing aspect. Beyonce, on the other hand, is the spectrum. She can sing, dance and act! Let’s be honest when you’re putting on a full show you have a little acting in there, hello, don’t forget that’s technically Sasha Fierce upon the stage. She is giving you everything.

    The choreography was on point, not only for Beyonce but her dancers too. From hip-hop to contemporary to lyrical to bone breaking — Flawless. Plus, seeing the Everybody Mad routine in person gave me life! I won’t lie, I was definitely in the mirror before I went to the concert trying to learn the dance moves. If you’re wondering, it was a fail for me.

    Stage pt. 2

    Now back to this stage. I know I mentioned that it moved earlier, but this stage had Beyonce and Jay Z hovering over our head! Yes, you read that right. Over. Our. Heads. I thought I was already close being in Club Carter, but having them over our heads and looking into their eyes was a whole other experience. I liked that they didn’t use this element just once but multiple times throughout the concert.

     

     

     

    And I made eye contact with Beyonce multiple times! I don’t care what anyone says! Don’t @ me.

    Fluidity

    The show had this fluidity about it. At some concerts, you can tell when the artist and crew are doing a costume/ set changes but not Jay and B. There was no dead space! Whether it was short films playing during the intermission or highlighting the dancers and musicians I was always captivated by something. Everyone was. It was very rare that you caught people not staring at the stage. Can you imagine the pre- production?

    Bonnie and Clyde

    Now we all know that The Carters have had some relationship issues, look at the last three albums they’ve released. But after seeing them interact in the flesh, that’s real love! Having parents who have been together and in love, for 26 years you learn what’s real love and what’s fake or forced, what I saw up there was real! And you felt that! From them singing Forever Young to Apesh*t… that’s some real Bonnie and Clyde chemistry.

     

    Roll the Credits

    Have you ever been to a concert and they played legit movie edits at the end? Because I have. They had full credits for their “production.” But this needed credits. It was truly a movie. The whole time I felt like I was apart of a music video or movie. It was not just a concert but an entire experience. I felt so inspired after watching them. Their creativity, their energy, their message of love and fighting for equality. That energy lingered even after they left the stage. I felt buzzed, and no I didn’t have any alcoholic beverages, so it was strictly energy. Just amazing!

     

    Thank you Jay Z and Beyonce for making my first Carter experience unforgettable.

  • 03 Sep

    Welcome… Finally!

    Welcome to my blog!  I have written so many different versions of this welcome post, and that’s the best I could come up with but, here it is plain and simple. I’m joining the trend of being a blogger. If that’s cliche, oh well!

    This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been going back and forth with what I wanted my blog to be centered around. I could never settle on what I wanted it to be. Lifestyle? Beauty? Advice? Experiences? A collection of writings? All of these topics have swirled around in my head for years, and finally, I’ve decided to do all of them!

    I’m in my early twenties, and I’ve been out of college for over a year — wow that’s weird to see in writing. This probably one of the most frightening and exciting times of my life and I want to document it. I thought I had found my true self in college, but I have only just begun. I wanted to start this blog while I was in college but, it just wasn’t my time yet. I want to be able to look back on memories and experiences while helping others who are riding this crazy roller coaster called “your twenties.”

    I’ll be sharing subjects from simple stories of my life experiences to beauty. I’m 23 and still learning to do makeup, I’m an awkward black girl (Thank you, Issa Rae!), and I’m still finding my style when it comes to clothes – don’t tell anyone but, I still wear some items of clothing from high school, oops.

    My first passion was writing. I always had a notebook with me, I still do. I would sit under the pew at church and write “novels” ( a.k.a five pages because in my 9-year-old mind I thought that was a novel!). Don’t worry I paid attention in Sunday school.  Since I’m going through this new self-discovery phase, I wanted to go back to my first passion.

    I’ll also be using another passion. Video. Also known as YouTube. I know everyone does YouTube now but once again… OH WELL! I fell in love with YouTube back in 2006, and I tried to do it a few times once I got in college, but college won that battle. Now it’s time to return to where it all began for me.

    So here we go, come along on this journey with me and welcome to the world of Raven Nevar, Finally!!