Chicago is a city of enormity — physically and energetically — and in its emotiveness lies a stoic beauty. From every beat of traffic, somber winter snowfall and thick pavement ripples of a city summer, Chicago-born soul artist Ravyn Lenae translates the heartbeat of the city into song.
Lenae is truly a wonder, especially for her age. She graduated from Chicago’s High School for the Arts this summer; while a student there, she released her single “Greetings” as an extracurricular activity in 2015. Her talent in combining youth and experience gained the attention of Chicago-based music collective Three Twenty Three Music Group.
Last year, Lenae released her debut EP, Moon Shoes, which has since hit more than 2.8 million listens on streaming site SoundCloud. In 2017, she dropped her second album, Midnight Moonlight, with acclaimed Atlantic Records.
Her genre is fluid, like Midwestern seasons. NAS, Erykah Badu and Ella Fitzgerald are a few of her root influences. Lenae, though, is carving herself a niche in a new and unprecedented sound. Using bottle pops as beats, lyrics like raindrops and an effortless vocal ability that flows through melodies like a city’s pulse, Lenae creates a harmony of soul, R&B, electronic and hip hop.
A lucky few get to soak up the soulful melodies of Ravyn Lenae with contemporary R&B goddess SZA 9 pm Wednesday, Sept. 13, at WOW Hall; the show is sold out. Midnight Moon is available for free listening via Spotify and at ravynlenae.com.