With her new EP Pho serving both modern soul and 90’s nostalgia, Ari Lennox is proving why her voice is a necessity soon to take today’s R&B arena by storm. Inspired by the likes of Tweet, Minnie Ripperton, Whitney Houston and Marvin Gaye, Lennox caught the attention of Dreamville executives J. Cole and Ibrahim “IB” Hamad after the release of her 2014 EP Ariography along with a track entitled “Backseat”. Throughout Pho, Lennox delivers –showcasing that she’s an asset to the Dreamville imprint that includes a roster of talents such as Queens native Bas and co -founder, J.Cole.
Named after the popular Vietnamese dish, Pho features her long time producer DJ Grumble whom she discovered on Soundcloud. With deep cuts like “La La La La” and “Cold Outside” where Lennox displays her vocal flair effortlessly, Dreamville’s first lady offers an intimate look in to her world with a mesmerizing voice she refers to as “vulnerable and soulful; imperfect but pretty.” Here are a few fun facts and visuals to help you get familiar with the buzzing songstress.
1.The visual for her fan favorite “Backseat” features Dreamville label mate and lyricist Cozz. (The single also appeared back in 2015 on the Revenge of the Dreamers II project)
2.Her cover of Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love” and Tweet’s “Turn Da Lights Off” will snatch your wig off. The lady can SANG.
3.She’s a Washington D.C. native influenced by the likes of Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, Bilal, John Legend, , Herbie Hancock, Erykah Badu, Toni Braxton, Omarion, Anita Baker, and many more.
4.During an interview with The FADER, Ari Lennox revealed that she loves both Trina and Lil Kim.
“I love Trina, and I love Lil Kim, but I guess I was scared because I didn’t know if I wanted to be like a “Lil Kim of soul,” per se. I felt like “Backseat” was that but then I was like, Man, fuck it! I’m being myself, this is what I’m going through.” – Ari Lennox
5.Dreamville helped Ari Lennox embrace who she is.
“I thought I would have to do a top 40 pop hit to make it. You know, that techno-type sound. Dreamville, thank god for them, because they really help me realize to embrace who I am. The most beautiful thing is, if a song that you made from your soul happens to blow up, that’s the best feeling ever, versus some cheesy, “I’m trying to make a hit” type record. It’s a beautiful family and experience.” – Ari Lennox
Read Ari Lennox’s entire interview with The FADER here and grab a serving of her EP Pho below: