INTERVIEW WITH … POP SINGER-SONGWRITER LENAY!
I recently introduced you to a new Pop artist named Lenay and her song “LA LA LAND“. Today at The Reclusive Blogger we feature an interview with her which you can view below!
1. Quick question … Are you an Early bird? Or Night Owl?
Lenay: Definitely night, but that can count as early morning too, just whenever it’s dark!! I used to stay up until 5am and edit or work on music. Now I’m trying to reverse it and wake up at 5:30 and get the darkness before morning and I’m equally loving it, it’s just harder to do sometimes and actually get out of bed haha. But once I do, I love it, as well as the feeling that the whole world is sleeping and I have it to myself.
2. Can you tell me a bit about the songwriting and recording process for “LA LA LAND” for you?
Lenay: Sometimes I just follow my cat around all day until he starts rapping and then I steal the words for myself and that’s how “La La Land” happened. I just had coffee. And that didn’t make sense on so many levels – not just the cat one. But for real I was jamming to the instrumental track in my car (that Disco Fries made – shout out to Disco Fries!!!) and I chose it and loved so much. I started singing the “la la la la la la la la land” part (in the middle of the verses) and loved the idea and feel of the “las” extending into its own melody so much, and then just went from there!! I wrote the verses while driving as well and would have to pull over to record them on my phone to not forget haha.
3. Who has been the biggest influence on you as a musician and singer?
Lenay: A lot of different styles and artists for my music style, but definitely Lights and Selena Gomez for my vocal style. I love the way Lights enunciates her words and then dives into high parts suddenly with so much feeling. I do that a lot in songs, especially if I write them myself. And I love how Selena’s vocals are so saturated and surround you, as well as the fact that her songs have dark, moody vibes, which I love!!
4. What are your fondest musical memories?
Lenay: My first concert was for a band called Go Fish, which is a Christian-Acapella band. I used to love them so much and went to their concert I think when I was 12 and it was the best thing ever lol. Also my very first show was in Argentina last year at Club Vorterex and 800 people went!! It was SO crazy seeing my names on signs and hearing people sing songs I had written. Something I’d seen only on Taylor Swift concert DVD’s haha, I was like, “OMG OMG I have a sign”.
5. Do you have any fun rituals you do before a performance?
Lenay: Nope, haha not yet! I should though and I’m sure I will eventually. I’ve only had 4 shows so far, and right now I just adapt the rituals of whoever is around me and do what they are doing before I go up. One time, my band was stretching so I was like, “ok, I’ll stretch now”.
6. Who are your dream collaborations? They can be dead or alive.
Lenay: Taylor Swift + Ed Sheeran!! I would love to write or collab with them SO much.
7. Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? Can you describe it for me?
Lenay: I grew up playing classical piano, and reading other people’s music. But when I was little, I kind of didn’t register that someone had once created these songs … They just kind of existed for me. Then one time I sat down and was messing around and accidentally wrote a melody I liked on the piano and kept playing it once in a while. I never thought of it as me writing a song, and I stopped playing it and forgot eventually. But I wish I could remember what it was, because that was technically the first song I wrote.
8. What was the transition like of being a MTV VJ to being a Singer? Did you always want to be a Singer-Songwriter?
Lenay: I didn’t even realize I was writing songs at first or that it was even a talent! My dad would show me his songs he wrote on his guitar while he was growing up but never released anywhere or showed anyone. And my ex was in a band and was always writing songs and I started chiming in with melody ideas and eventually started writing entire songs for his project. I didn’t even realize what a big part I was playing in all of that and never asked for credit or anything, I just got excited about the ideas and melodies. Now looking back I’m like, “oh yea – I wrote that and it’s pretty darn good” haha!
9. Who was favorite guest when you were a MTV VJ?
Lenay: Macklemore, Ariana Grande, Ken Jeong, Ashley Benson + Selena Gomez. Haha, too many to count and I want to keep adding more but everyone was so nice! Ariana kept singing really cool random melodies. I could listen to her sing all day!! And I expected Macklemore to be like AAAAHH but they were super chill (which is cool to see both sides of people) and when they walked in I started rapping their song to them like, “walk into the club like what up”, and then we just kind of looked at each other for a bit and they were trying to figure me out and eventually we all started laughing. It was funny.
10. How has your life growing up and living in so many different places inspired or influenced your songwriting?
Lenay: Yea for sure! Some songs I have coming out have some Reggaeton beat influences mixed with dark pop I can’t wait for you to hear!!
11. How did the collab with Zara Bash on the song “LA LA LAND” come about?
Lenay: I actually had a bridge written at first but after a few weeks realized I didn’t like and then we were like, “hmmm … How about a rap collab? That would be so cool!!” So my manager Justin (Bieber) (jk) (hi Justin) asked a few potential people and Zara sent an idea back so quickly and it was such a PERFECT fit for the song!!
12. What artists or bands have been ‘On Repeat’ for you currently? Who have you been listening to lately?
Lenay: Well funny you ask, I just made a Spotify playlist with all of my favs!!
Lenay: Hope you enjoy!!
Stream “LA LA LAND” here: https://spoti.fi/2MzDsY0
Lenay’s Socials below:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: https://www.lenaychantelle.com/