The teenage Chicago native, Ravyn Lenae, isn’t sounding like a teenager anymore as she debuted her newest EP “Crush” on February 9th under Atlantic Records. The entire EP is produced by Steve Lacy, who is also featured on two songs on the five-track project. Lacy is most recognized for producing on The Internet’s Grammy-nominated album “Ego Death” as well as the song “Pride” on Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn”. Lenae’s first project “Moon Shoes” dropped in 2016 and since then she has been featured the tours of SZA and fellow Chicagoan, NoName.
Ravyn’s Neo-Soul sound captures the essence of the city and sounds like it belongs in the soundtrack of a TV show like “She’s Gotta Have It” or “The Chi”. Having one producer gives the project a recognizable flow as the two creatives complement each other’s skills. The EP is comprised of records detailing the complexity of relationships while paired with an upbeat and funky sound, giving it distinction when compared to similar R&B works. It has received a warm welcome from current fans and has attracted new fans, increasing the buzz surrounding the rising star.
Ravyn describes the more mature sound to The Fader:
“The melodies are different, just my approach to certain topics are more blunt, and that’s a matter of the sound that’s changed, and also me being older. I don’t have to hide certain things anymore in my music. I’m feeling a little more confident in who I am and my experiences. I feel like this is a coming-of-age project where like, stop saying I’m 16. Stop [laughs]. Just a little more sexy and feminine.”
The new EP displays the promise and potential that Ravyn has. I enjoyed her last two projects but this one has a different tone to it. For the same reason you can picture it being featured in those television shows, this art has a place in today’s culture. It’s music you can listen to after meditating or while taking a mental health day. Music that creates a vibe no matter when or where it is played. I will continue to listen to Ravyn’s old and new work, while I look forward to what else she has in store.
You can listen to “Crush” here: