The Sound of Ari Lennox
Written by Miriam Gonzalez on December 21, 2018
Washington D.C. native singer/songwriter Ari Lennox was born a rebel child. She struggled in school with her behavior; always getting in trouble for rocking her own way. She constantly moved from school to school, where early on she realized that it wasn’t for her. Trying to find her path by filtering through different careers, she realized that singing was her true passion. While she was attending Duke Ellington High School she began her hustle for music. Starting out with singing covers and skillfully flipping songs by adding her own element, she began posting her videos on YouTube and Facebook.
Later on, after discovering her sound, she began releasing music on SoundCloud where she released her first songs, “Cascade” ft. J Dilla, “Bound” and “Jane Novacane” ft Raphael Jason Zamora and Dave James.
To think, before she had her heart set on making music, she was having to struggle between following her dreams or joining the military with her then boyfriend. Falling full circle, it became the definitive of her seven track EP Pho, which is a mixture of R&B and a new age soulfulness that illustrates her life at the time; the struggles of making her mark as a women, and dealing with love.
Improvising with her sound in the studio, keeping cracks, small imperfections and building off of her own originality, became her signature. Ari Lennox gained her inspiration from artists like Erykah Badu, D’ Angelo, Bilal, Lauryn hill, and Ella Fitzgerald by bringing the realism into her creativity,
Two years after already dropping a few songs on SoundCloud, Omen reached out to her to be a part of his album Elephant Eyes where they recorded “sweat it out” which released July 21, 2015. Not thinking it would reach the ears of J. Cole, he ended up flying her out to LA. Within five months, on December 8th, Dreamville Records dropped Revenge of the Dreamers II , a compilation album featuring the artists signed to J. Cole’s record label. The release of the album was the debut of Ari Lennox as a newly signed artist on his record label, DreamVille. Being the only woman on the label, as well as knowing that other people want the best for her puts a lot of pressure on Ari Lennow. Dreamvile though encourages her to be herself. In an industry that is filled with men, the R&B scene and music industry has been opening its doors more and more to women. Ari Lennox is definitely an artist too look out for this coming up year in 2019.
2018 featured her singles “Whipped cream“, “40 Shades of Choke”, “Pedigree”, “Grampa”, and “No one”. Ari Lennox showcases her skill, signature sound, all while telling the struggles of battling depression, dealing with unofficial love, and the feelings that come with caring for someone while feeling lonely in a world surrounded by so many people. Ari Lennox as well as many artists in the industry have been using their platforms to talk about the things many others are too hesitant and afraid to talk about. Instead, they are taking off the blindfold and depicting what it’s really like to be a POC (Person of color) in this day and age by painting the reality of what it’s like to live in their shoes. Women in the same sense, are using their voices to give insight on what it’s like being women of color in a climate filled with such negative and toxic people always trying to put them against each other. Ari Lennox’s music illustrates that life isn’t all about the illusion you paint, but it’s to admire the rawness of what makes us all human. She reminds us to love, laugh, and feel even at the most difficult times.