Lennox is a Barbadian singer, songwriter and musician who emerged on the local music scene as a solo artist with his first single “I Swear (I’ll Be)” last September. His follow up single, “Something About You”, debuted last month and the music video for the song dropped this afternoon. The island soul singer spoke to Zeitgeist about himself, his music and his career.
Zeitgeist: How long have you been pursuing your music career and what set you upon this career path?
Lennox: I’ve been playing and performing bass for just over 10 years, but as a solo artist this is kind of a new chapter that opened up a few years ago. But it all really started out because I just wanted to be in a band.
Z: In your interview with Loop, you mentioned that you had been in a metal band and a rock band and later decided to pursue music as a solo artist, rather than as part of a group. Why did you decide to get into music as part of a group, at that point in time, instead of on your own?
L: I kind of stumbled into it [through] [p]eople I met at school that shared a similar love for rock and metal bands and at the time being in a rock band was the coolest thing. At least to us.
Z: In September you released the song “I Swear.” How has it been doing so far and how has it impacted your career?
L: So far it’s definitely [gotten] a lot of love and support. It helped me book the Bequia Music Festival that was in January and some smaller shows at home [and] more press opportunities as well as corporate relationships that have since surfaced. All in all, I am in a much better position now than I was[in] before it, especially mentally, and I’m grateful for that and using it as the motivation to continue in strength.
Z: What do you hope that your new single “Something About You” – and its accompanying music video – will do for your career?
L: To reveal a bit more of what Island Soul is and could be. To continue to establish that sound and flavour and inspire others to do [the] same with their art. It’s only song number 2 and music is indeed a journey so as many people that want to ride this wave and see where it takes us.
Z: You not only sing, you write your own music as well. Where do your ideas come from, in general, and where did you get the ideas for “I Swear” and “Something About You?”
L: To avoid complication, I’d split it up into musical and lyrical ideas. My lyrical ideas often come from personal experience and trying to avoid a lot of cliches so when people hear me, they actually hear me. Musically it’s from constant experimentation and problem solving exercises. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of finding new ways to do things.
“I Swear” is [a] moody, guitar driven, pop tune and it’s essentially a song to a friend letting them know you really have their back, especially when situations are difficult. “Something About You” is a song about a funny, surreal experience I had and I wanted it to sound lighter, more fun and upbeat. Hence the reggae influence.
Z: Speaking of ideas, what inspired the creative for the “Something About You” music video?
L: Moments that make you wonder if you were in a dream.
Z: How was the production of the video? Were there any bumps along the way? Any things you had to change or ideas you had to abandon? Did you learn anything in making the video?
L: The production was great and a lot of fun. My favourite model right now, Tipheni Browne, was my co-star. She is amazing and really sweet. Qwesi and Nate and the iStayshooting team were awesome. We would have been talking back and forth prior to shoot day, of course, so by then we had a good game plan to go forward with. A few things didn’t pan out, nothing to thwart what we already had. I love film and was at film school for a few years so it was nice to just be on a set and get a practical reintroduction and lesson especially in lighting.
Z: What would you like people to take away from the video?
L: I hope people catch the vibe and overall tone of the work and enjoy the efforts of some very talented, caring artists.
Z: You’re set to release an EP this year. Is there an exact date for when that will drop as yet and how many tracks will there be?
L: No exact date. Still very much in development.
Z: Why an EP and not a full album?
L: It puts a little less pressure on tying together themes and sounds. If I was to do a full album it would be in fact based on a much more layered concept.
Z: What is the core idea, emotion or theme of this EP? What do you want listeners to get out of it?
L: It will be an introduction to some different styles from my “island soul” perspective.
Z: Your sound is very different from what one would expect from a Caribbean/Barbadian artist. It has a very international appeal. Why did you decide to go in this direction as opposed to soca, calypso, reggae, dub etc.
L: I always had a relatively “alternative ”mindset towards music. I saw what most people did and just wanted to try something else. Experience something different.
Z: As a Black, Caribbean artist do you feel obligated to represent your people – on both fronts – and your culture in your art?
L: I think that I always have tried to, in fact, a lot of Caribbean culture has always informed my music on some levels and always will. I think it’s that people have become accustomed to particular forms of expression and there are many layers to an individual as well as a society and though my perspective and experiences may not have been all the way typical I don’t think it makes any less authentic.
Z: You performed at the Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest earlier this year. How was that and was that the biggest stage you’ve performed on thus far?
L: Not the biggest stage per se. But definitely the biggest energy. It is very much a festival.
Z: How did you come to be one of the artists featured in the festival?
L: It was one of the small [festivals] over the years [that] I always wanted to play, so we reached out through email expressing interest in the show and sent our package which was “I Swear”, some bits of press and photos. Fortunately, they liked something enough to give us the nod.
Z: You mentioned on your Instagram that you performed unreleased songs at the festival, did the crowd response impact your selecting “Something About You” as your next single?
L: Not really. It was always going to be released as planned, but seeing people get down to it the way they did definitely gave me even more confidence in putting it out.
Z: When and where can we see you perform next?
L: No upcoming shows to speak of as yet. Just be tuned in on social media.z
Z: Aside from the EP what else can we expect to see from you this year?
L: I’m always exploring different ideas. Visual content. Plenty of collaborations. Community projects. The overall project is evolving every day and right now it’s a small team. So to keep adapting and putting things into perspective and finding out what works best.