Back this week with another Women in Music article, this time featuring Lenis! Lenis is a Korean-American R&B artist hailing from California. We first heard of Lenis back in the fall and fell in love with her sassy, self-love promoting track, “Told Him.”
Read what she had to say about getting her start in the industry and how to network, find your support system, and make your mark.
Talk about your experiences in the music industry and getting your start as an artist.
I got my start as an artist after meeting student producers in college. Having the opportunity to experiment with music and perform around my school led me to realize a future in music. I have always been shy, but seeing how people were genuinely wanting more of my work kind of reassured me that I needed to keep doing whatever I was doing. It felt right. Now I am a baby in the music industry but I’m so grateful to be a part of such an exclusive industry as music. It’s humbling to now be surrounded by talented, driven individuals. I’ve never been more inspired and excited for my career.
What inspired or motivated you to become a musician?
A bunch of things inspire me to make music! Like that feeling you get in your chest when you find a song that perfectly matches your mood, and you can’t stop playing it. It’s the groove aspect and the connection I can get with listeners all over the world that compels me to keep doing what I do.
What advice or resources do you have to give to other female musicians? Have you faced any hardships as a woman in your career? Any advice you’d like to give other women?
Plainly, theres a lot of dudes working in music. Although times are changing and we are seeing more women taking prominent roles in the industry (woo!) there’s still a huge imbalance. But don’t you dare let that intimidate you if you are thinking about pursuing music. Your presence as a woman will only set you back so far as your mind lets it. If you’re dope and you work hard then theres no reason to be afraid. It’s simple – just let your work speak for itself.
Perfect Your Craft group has graciously taken me under their wing and I’ve been taking note of everything they teach me. From working in the booth with producer/engineer DTB I can say what really matters is being able to clearly communicate your ideas and be confident in the direction you lead. It’s about your ability as a musician. It’s about your ability to adapt to a fast-paced, competitive environment. Show them you’re ready for business and you ain’t playin! Anyone can do these things regardless of gender/ethnicity/sexuality. As far back as we can remember women have learned to settle for a culture which puts their needs second in line. But badass females today are making moves and history as we speak.
In whichever endeavor your embark on, music or not, know there is an army of people behind you praying for your success. So even if you’re the only girl in the studio, you’re never really alone. And remember that no one has more power over your position in the industry than your listeners, so get focused and make good music!
Maybe you can speak on the Time’s Up movement?
No one should have to compromise their dignity for an opportunity. Period. I personally have not experienced sexual ultimatums but I know they happen a lot. It’s sickening how these people in higher positions convince artists they don’t have any other option. So ladies- know your worth and find your opportunity elsewhere. Taking a fast-pass ticket to stardom has its consequences. That’s why I love the Time’s Up movement because it empowers women to stand up against corruption while holding men accountable on a spotlight. Let’s be the emerging generation of women in music that is vigilant and takes pride in earning our success. Any woman establishing themselves in music is a personal victory in my book.