How and when did you get started creating music?
I’ve been singing ever since I can remember. I started singing in church and school choir when I was really young. But I wasn’t writing songs then. I was writing poetry; very serious, advanced poetry at like seven years old. My first poem that I wrote as a child was called “The Deep Blue Abyss.”
Then I started studying opera intensively when I was about thirteen years old. I went to college as a Vocal Performance major, studying opera and then I was bit with the songwriting bug pretty late. I went to school in New Orleans at Loyola so being around jazz culture so much made me more interested in improvisation and songwriting. So I started writing songs and recording seriously when I was about seventeen years old and I’ve been focused on that ever since. I would release my music through mixtapes in college, flipping popular songs and then throwing a couple of original tunes in as bonus tracks to see how people received them.
Name 3 of your greatest musical inspirations.
Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, Marvin Gaye – it’s difficult for me to choose only three, though. I feel like I draw inspiration from so many people and so many things.
For someone who has not heard your music, what would you tell them to expect?
Expect the unexpected. I have what they call musical ADHD so you never really know what you’re going to get. But one thing that is consistent is that it’s going to be groovy.
I think a lot of the music that I make could be considered new age disco if I had to describe it but I don’t know. I just create what feels good to me. Like if you hear my single “Relax” and then you hear my newest single, “Cool” they’re pretty different. But then the musical project that I’m getting ready to release is completely different from both of those singles so I’ve got something for everybody.
What have you been up to during the shutdown?
I’ve been surprisingly busy during the shutdown.
At first, it was difficult to be creative because we weren’t able to be around people so that meant no collaboration. And I love to collaborate. I tried collaborating virtually but it’s just different. The energy is different. Then I had to wrap my head around so many events and things being cancelled as well as the fact that there was a whole pandemic happening. I was slated to headline my very first festival in April and that, of course, was cancelled. But once I wrapped my head around those things, I found myself inspired again.
I started working out consistently during quarantine. I wrote new music and released my latest single, “Cool.” I also got mainstream radio play for the first time during quarantine. The “Relax” remix featuring Slim Thug is now on regular rotation on Majic 102 which is super exciting and crazy. I started a new Live performance series called “The Mile High Club” which takes place every Sunday at 7:30pm/CST on Facebook and Instagram Live and features my band, The Mile High Club band. I also named my band this quarantine haha. So much great stuff is happening and I feel so blessed. I also have a full-length project for y’all which will be released really soon.
What is your creative process like?
It’s definitely not a routine thing. It changes depending on my mood and energy for sure. Most times I start writing an idea or concept with no music and then I build the production around that idea with the producer. I sing the sounds that I hear and we sort of build a shell that way.
Other times I hear the track and just sing what comes to me freely and then fill in the gaps of the story later. So there’s no formula. Sometimes melody comes first; sometimes lyrics; other times both. But what remains consistent is the fact that for some odd reason, my best work comes to me when I’m just driving my car. I keep my voice memo app close for that very reason.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’d love to collaborate with Pharrell, Anderson Paak and Kaytranada. I know those were three people but I couldn’t help myself.
If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?
Hmm… probably Anderson Paak. I think that’d be a super fun and sick show.
What is the most useless talent that you have?
I can cross one eye.
Do you feel social media has helped or hindered your musical career?
It has definitely helped. I have my quarrels with social media because I do think that a lot of times it promotes “uniform” thinking which is dangerous in my opinion. But when it comes to my music, it just widens the lens of my audience. I have worldwide reach to spread and promote awareness for my music which is definitely helpful.
What’s next for you?
I am gearing up to release my first full-length project very soon. My singles “Cool” and “Relax” are available to buy and stream right now. And of course, you can always tune in to The Mile High Club, which is an Elevated Live Performance Series that takes place on my Facebook and Instagram Live on Sundays at 7:30pm/CST.
Where can we follow you and hear more?
You can follow me on all social media platforms at (@SincerelyLenora)