Recently graduating from her performing arts high school in Chicago, RnBass singer Ravyn Lenae is bursting with talent and color ready to take on the music scene. She is a classically trained singer and songwriter who uses a mixture of genres like R&B, Electronic, Soul, and Hip-Hop to influence her art.
Hailing from the south side of Chicago, Ravyn was able to join forces with fellow natives Monte Booker and Smino to create group Zero Fatigue. Although they are each focused on their individual careers, the work that they’ve created together has been magnificent. In early 2015, Lenae released her single, “Greetings,” which quickly became a household favorite in the Chicago area and beyond. In August of 2015, she released her highly acclaimed debut EP, Moon Shoes, which grossed over two million plays on Soundcloud.
At just 18 the phenomenon has accomplished more than your average high school graduate. Now on her sophomore EP Midnight Moonlight Ravyn has changed colors to showcase the growth she’s gained in between projects. Midnight Moonlight plays host to a number of relatable songs including, “Spice” and “Unknown.” They each help fans walk alongside the singer in her new life as she enters into the real world. She explores what it means to be herself, her passion, and what it feels like to be unsure of things.
From releasing your debut EP Moon Shoes to your new EP Midnight Moonlight I’m sure you’ve changed. How do you feel you’ve grown in between both projects?
I definitely feel like I’ve grown vocally and lyrically. I guess with this music it’s a whole different approach to writing and challenging my voice to fit the content. So when I listen to Moon Shoes and Midnight Moonlight I think the main difference is the colors that they both have. Moon Shoes is more so a bright, vibrant project, while Midnight Moonlight is more so purples and blues. I think those colors are more mature than pinks and yellows. I think I’ve matured in that way from project to project.
The moon seems to play a significant role in your projects. What is it about the moon that makes you feel compelled to dedicate your work to it?
I think the moon is fascinating mainly because in the midst of darkness there’s this huge light in the sky that’s really beautiful. I also like to think that the moon is very beautiful and elegant woman watching over me. That plays a lot in my writing and my inspiration for projects.
What’s your favorite song off of Midnight Moonlight?
I’m torn because I connect with each one differently. But I believe my favorite two are “Unknown” and “Spice.”
You’ve been placed on a few lists surrounding new artists. What is one thing outside of music that you’d want someone to know about you?
I really want to go into acting and voice overs. I’m really interested in that — whether it’s being a Disney princess or being in a thriller on some Angelina Jolie stuff. I really want to do that.
Being on the Telefone Tour with Noname had to have been exciting. What was touring like for you?
It was definitely an experience. There was no way to prepare for that. The very long hours, no rest hardly, eating at weird times, and maybe getting sick. You know, all of that plays a role in touring and I think those are parts that people forget and only see the fun side of it [the performing and the greeting.] The traveling was also a fun part. Mainly because I love to travel and I love meeting different people. I think it’s one thing to connect with your fans on the internet or social media and there’s another thing to meet them in person and say Wow, these are actual people. It’s a very powerful thing that people are skipping dates or have midterms the next morning, but they still manage to come to a show. It reminded me of how valuable my supporters are and how much they mean to me.
You’re surrounded by some pretty amazing women; your mom and manager Lyrical. What has each of those ladies taught you in terms of staying true to yourself and honing your craft?
I don’t think I would be the artist that I am without my mom. She keeps me grounded and I think it’s pretty easy to lose sight of your goals when you’re surrounded by all of this music industry stuff. Especially being young I think it’s important to have the support and guidance always there. Even if she’s not traveling with me, she’s still a phone call away. Even with Lyrical, she reminded me of what the goal is and what my purpose is in music. I think they both keep my head on my shoulders.
What’s one thing you do during your performances that you feel leaves a lasting impression on new audiences?
I make a strong effort to talk to people while I’m performing. I think no one really engages that crowd in that way. No one has a conversation with the crowd and that’s one of the main things that I do in my sets. I think people remember me by that because it makes them feel a certain way. I like to talk and I think I can share part of me with the people. It’s one thing to remember the music, but if they’ve remembered something you’ve said or your voice that’s just way more powerful to me. Also after my shows, I like to stick around so that I get to have individual conversations with everyone. Anyone who wants to talk I always say that I’m here and if you want to talk or want a hug, I’m here.
What’s next for you?
I’m not going to college. I want to completely focus on music and see where it takes me. I’ve been molding my music career around school so not having to do that is a liberating feeling. I’m just excited to work on new music and visuals and dedicating my time and energy solely towards music.
Keep up with Ravyn Lenae on all social channels including, Twitter and Instagram. Ravyn is set to take on the Soulection Experience stage this summer, be sure to grab your tickets!
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