Meet Ravyn Lenae, Chicago’s new soulstress. With words beautifully strung together, Ravyn’s ability to captivate you with her writing will keep you hooked from start to finish with her latest EP “Midnight Moonlight”. “Raised on really good music” as a child and influenced by OutKast, Erykah Badu & India.Arie, it’s clear why Ravyn pieces music together the way she does, her ability to tell stories and translate emotion is mesmerising, leaving you replaying each track over and over again. Rayvn’s worked with fellow Chicagoans Mick Jenkins and Noname, and is apart of collective “Zero Fatigue” with rapper Smino and producer Monte Booker - “Music is an emotional thing and when you share it with people you care about and when the chemistry is there the music tends to be beautiful […] it’s us implementing the idea of family and unity in music, which is very cool.” Recently performing at SXSW with Zero Fatigue and on tour with Noname, Ravyn spoke on her live performance - “My goal is to send a message and communicate with people […] I really would like people to leave feeling something and getting a piece of me that they didn’t have before they came”. We recently spoke with the redheaded beauty to see what makes Ravyn, Ravyn, read the interview below.
What would you like people to know about yourself?
“I really like to colour, it’s a past time of mine, when I do have time to pass and I really like peanut M&Ms, I’m kind of obsessed with them”
If you could choose a film and track that describes you, what would they be?
“My favourite film is ‘Mr. Nobody’, it has stuck with me ever since I’ve seen it, mainly because it focuses on the idea of having choices in life and no choice being the right choice, whatever choice you make it’ll kind of point you towards your destiny, […] there’s no such thing as a bad choice or a good choice, just a decision, […] at the end of the movie the guy doesn’t make a choice he decides to run off into the sunset instead of choosing option 1 or option 2, I live by that movie, I love it.”
“I think my soundtrack to life is ‘Stereo Lab - Flower Called Nowhere’, I connect with it so much and I can’t even explain why […] the words are very meaningful but super simple, It’s a very care free song but still has a sense of knowing something or being mysterious, when ever I think of the song I think of traveling everywhere”
Why do you create?
“One, I create for myself, it will always be for me first, […] music is an emotional outlet for me and I wouldn’t be able to release those emotions otherwise, it’s very therapeutic, it’s beautiful to release those emotions than have them sitting. The second part is being able to share those emotions with other people, for them to connect and to listen to it over and over […] or to look-back a year from now and being able to pinpoint a certain moment in my personal life or in my career when I’m listening to a song, that’s why I create.”
Name the one place where you feel most creative?
“My room, I feel the most creative in my room, mainly because I feel the most comfortable, a part of being creative is feeling safe, as an artist you’re very timid […] releasing your personal stories or experiences, so when I’m in the room by myself I feel the most safe and comfortable enough to do that”
What accumulation of influences made you the artist that you are now?
“One, my family, the very powerful women in my life, my Grandma and my Mom, they’ve inspired me so much in ways I can’t even vocalise. […] I’m very into colors, the meaning of colors, and how they resinate in my life, a lot of my songs I relate to colors, a lot of people I relate to colors, it’s because they hold so much value. […] and my personal experiences, as an artist you naturally pull from experiences, people, or not even my own experiences, maybe someone who’s close to you, so I think it’s very important to be able to dissect those and put them into song form”.
Choose any era you like - what would you bring back from that time?
“Maybe the 60’s, I think that was a very cool time […] for music it was a very cool time, people enjoyed dancing to music, you weren’t too cool to do that, people wrote love songs, guys weren’t too cool to do that, so I think it was a really cool time for music, people were just super smooth back then in a way that we just won’t have now”
What would you like to see next for your career?
“I would like to challenge myself, the way I measure my growth is by looking back and being able to specifically pinpoint certain things in my music or me as a person that has developed or changed in a way, so wether it’s my visuals, my lyrics, my songwriting or just my voice, I really like to see development and change and I look for it all the time, it keeps me on my toes in that way and I’m really excited to work on new visuals”
You can listen to the rest of Ravyn’s catalog on SoundCloud and explore her ‘Gram and Twitter to keep up with the singer. The future seems to be exciting for Ravyn and we’re eager to see what’s next for talented singer.