Exploration and acceptance, however simple, can be revolutionary feats. These acts are the engine of Raveena's music: The R&B singer's art unassumingly oozes honey-colored self-love and doesn't shy away from examining all facets of it. The New York-based singer and NPR Slingshot artist released "Temptation," the lead single from her forthcoming debut album, today, with an accompanying video.
The hazy daydream visual, directed by Raveena herself with Jackson Tisi, finds the rising star donning green silk and flowers braided into her loose curl and indulging in a divine female energy. The title cards at the beginning and end suggest this is a mini-Bollywood movie, albeit with a more permissive take on sexual fluidity.
"I tell you things I can't tell my boyfriend / Sometimes he don't understand / You feed my soul, that Pisces effect / But I know we're supposed to be just friends," she sings in her bedroom. Between lines, the camera cuts to visions of a character Raveena calls 'Miss Temptation.'
"I wanted to create a visual that felt like a storybook world for viewers to get lost in," Raveena tells NPR Music. "Miss Temptation, played by Giannina Oteto, represents a powerful goddess that embodies many different types of lust. ... I wanted Miss Temptation and I's relationship in the video to represent sexual fluidity and that pure feeling of being attracted to someone for the first time."
At the song's climax, to a beat aided by willowy flutes and synth courtesy of producer Everett Orr, Raveena steps out of her room and into her own fantasy, meeting the gilded woman she's envisioned in a garden. Raveena's goddess holds an orange snake, which the singer says is the portal between their two worlds. The women recline in the comfort of a flowerbed, finally together.