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Edwin Raphael, Mavica

Monday, May 20, 19:30
adv £13.75


How do you anchor yourself when occupying multiple geographic identities at once?

For Edwin Raphael, the Dubai-raised, Montreal-based songwriter, it requires an intentional and intensive form of world-building. By developing an unmistakable style of folk that merges Eastern scales with the Western pop canon, Raphael reimagines his music as an exploratory tool that allows him to construct an interior and sacred home to retreat into.

Growing up in Dubai, as the son of parents who immigrated from the city of Cochin in India’s coastal Kerala state, Raphael studied classical guitar before deciding on the keys. As he developed an affinity for John Mayer and Ben Howard, he felt at odds with Dubai’s distinct sense of “placelessness” — and the bewildering feeling of being immersed in a culture where everyone claimed an alternate homeland. It wasn’t until he moved to Montreal to pursue a business degree that he felt a sense of stability, and became deeply entangled with the city’s indie bedroom pop scene.

His debut EP Ocean Walk (2015) paired stirring, melancholic instrumentals with a fierce self-reckoning. It would set the stage for a string of releases that would dive deeper into the psyche; like confronting the aftershocks following a significant heartbreak, or relearning your emotional baseline as you mature. Subsequent releases, Cold Nights (2017), his acclaimed debut Will You Think of Me Later? (2019), and its follow up Staring at Ceilings (2021), reveal an artist devoted to sharpening his ability to translate his experiences into ubiquitous statements, and saw him open for Noah Kahan, Hollow Coves, JP Saxe, Palace.

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