The Chicago Cubs may have just won their first World Series in over a century last night, but Chicago has another winner on their hands with songbird on the rise Ravyn Lenae.
If Lenae’s name sounds familiar, it’s because the young singer-songwriter and Chicago native is affiliated with Zero Fatigue, the Chicago music collective composed of other artists such as Jean Deaux, Smino, and producer Monte Booker. Lenae has been catching eyes and ears since 2015, when she released her debut EP Moon Shoes.
Now getting a signal boost from a re-release of Moon Shoes back in July, the 17-year-old singer has teamed up with ThisisRnB to premiere the music video for the project’s superb track, “Sleep Talking.”
Directed by AZae Production, the visuals for “Sleep Talking” depicts the redheaded songbird mostly alone and reflecting on a relationship from a variety of spaces, from the bathtub to the bedroom. Lenae’s voice, with its island inflection, is hypnotic even as she sings a somewhat somber song, and “Sleep Talking’s” groove feels effortlessly smooth.
Get a first look at the “Sleep Talking” video, and learn more about Ravyn Lenae with our brief Q&A below.
THISISRNB: Congrats on all the success of your ‘Moon Shoes‘ EP so far. Can you tell us about the song “Sleep Talking,” love the title and concept.
RL: Thank you! I am still not certain of the meaning of the song. I find hidden messages in my music every day. However, I like to think that the “Sleep Talking” touches on the frustration of not being able to effectively communicate with someone, and the mystery in not communicating at all.
THISISRNB: It feels like you captured the lush elements of the production well with the visuals. The placement of the clocks with the underlying ticking sound was a nice touch. What was your inspiration and forethought for the video?
RL: While brainstorming the video’s concept, I knew that I wanted to emphasize the idea of time. Beyond “Sleep Talking,” I noticed that the majority of my work generally has elements of time woven into other ideas. I found myself stalking time (watching every documentary on the Internet that had to due with the subject), and sparking a sense of awareness towards time and its effect or, non-effect it has on myself and the surrounding.
THISISRNB: Your voice is quite exceptional, specifically your tone. It’s clear you use it as an instrument over the production. Tell us about your growth as a vocalist and artist coming from Chicago, and how the area has and still affects your artistic decisions?
RL: I have definitely noticed the growth and maturity in my voice over the past year or-so. I enjoy challenging myself vocally. I try to push my limits with every song, making each one better than my last. The Chicago Music Scene, or what I like to call a Music Family, has definitely influenced my life and artistic career. Not only are we supportive of one another, but we challenge each other to explore our potential.
THISISRNB: If you travel to the moon on your debut EP, where do you go next? What can fans and new listeners expect from your future release, and is there anything coming soon?
RL: I’m currently just floating. I think that is okay. I don’t know where I will land. In the meantime, listeners can expect new visuals and new tunes!