Words by Keane Fletcher
Keys in the bowl folks: it's partner swapping time! It isn't often you get an artist brave enough to admit to their coveting of a friend's girlfriend, but that's exactly what Colorado-based artist Lenny The Heart has done with his latest offering, 'Ilygf' (I Like Your Girlfriend), a darkly infectious piece of confessional alt-pop that picks up where Ariana Grande's 'Break Up With Your Girlfriend' left off.
'[My best friend] was dating a girl and I was dating a girl that happened to both be friends too (we were all in high school)... once [we all] broke up we kind of just switched dates and that's where the lyrics come from. But I just wanted to have fun with the record and me and Junyer are still best friends! So we can look back and just laugh about it...'
Swingers rejoice! You can have your cake and write a song about it too!
Seriously though folks, all girlfriends aside, 2021 sounds like it's going to be a big year for Lenny, who's been making the most of last year's COVID-induced downtime by honing his songwriting and prepping himself for when touring resumes. And with his debut EP ROKKLENIN dropping in June, the video for 'Ilygf' being released in April, as well as an accompanying tour in the works, we here at Hipland are very excited to see what the future holds for this up-and-coming young artist.
Just as long as it isn't our girlfriends.
We recently sat down with Lenny The Heart to talk all things music, inspo and partner swapping. Check it out below!
1- Where are you based at the moment?
USA, a small town outside of Boulder, Colorado
2- How would you describe your sound? What are your musical influences?
I would describe my sound as alternative-pop/rock! There's some clear hip-hop influences with some of my music. I have listened to some great hip-hop legends like Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West and MF DOOM.
The past ten years I have listened to hip-hop as well as everyone from Lorde, Radiohead, Coldplay to like Tame Impala, Toro Y Moi, Small Black, and Washed Out. Some of the Warped Tour pop-punk acts like Transit and Yellowcard I admire too. I like to take everything I’ve heard and create my own sound, or so I try. Most of all I really REALLY love the passion and charisma of Thom Yorke from Radiohead and Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon!
3- How does the songwriting process usually work for you? Do you have a routine when it comes to writing and recording, or does inspiration for a song usually take you by surprise?
I don't have a regular routine. I have worked with a lot of different hardware and software production instruments but a lot of Lenny The Heart music is me finding pop-rock instrumentalists and writing to them. I can write a song in 5-10 minutes and then sort of edit it on a text message to myself, and delete or add words. Once I begin writing, I know what moment or times I want to express and it ends up becoming a true story. Even after finishing the writing I work to flow the vocals in a way that's me.
4- Your latest single ‘Ilygf’ (I Like Your Girlfriend) is a tongue-in-cheek, pop-rock jam about coveting someone else’s girlfriend in the age of social media. Is there a particular story that inspired this song? What was the process behind recording it?
So my long time best friend Junyer Argueta and I have made music since 2009 and he's who I started making music with. But he was dating a girl and I was dating a girl that happened to both be friends too (we were all in high school) and once the girl I was dating and I broke up and them two broke up we kind of just switched dates and that's where the lyrics come from. But I just wanted to have fun with the record and me and Junyer are still best friends! So we can look back and just laugh about it all while playing the song.
5- A lot of artists are really suffering at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications. How has it affected you and your creativity? How have you been forced to adapt?
Right before the COVID pandemic I was really pressuring myself to do shows but I wasn't really ready. Now I've got enough solid tracks that I'd love to perform and have been in talks with a local drummer. So, I've had a lot of time to plan and practice so that when the pandemic is over I plan to tour. I have had a lot of time to pitch songs to curators and It has allowed me to save money by not eating out or going out as much. It's been good for me.
6- What would be your dream collaboration?
Dream collaboration would be with MGMT. And I'd love to collab on a song with my favourite female artist- Lorde.
7- If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?
I think the thing in music that could change would be that normalising or glorifying the use of lots of drugs is not cool!
8- What's next for you?
I have my debut EP ROKKLENIN dropping June 11th, 2021 followed by a tour. I'm saving money to buy an RV and book myself a million shows after COVID. And in April I have a really cool music video coming out for ‘Ilygf’!
Thanks for stopping by Hipland!