With the summer officially coming to an end, September has ushered us into a new season of ideation, works + commitment, gifting us with new releases to close out one of the weirdest years of the new millennium. A few weeks ago, I watched ENÍ drop her first original single + visual for “Kiss’n in the Dark,” a warm spirited + melodic blend of soul and pop that reminds us why our generation still needs dance music. Rarely do we hear the DJ play a record at the club or party that makes you feel positive about yourself, intoxicated with joy + feelings of making out with your soul mate in the darkness of a dance floor. The bass drops, the chorus rides through + all you wanna do is have fun. Move. Lose yourself in rhythm, bass + vibes. Those sacred elements we dearly miss from the golden era of music – the personal relationship to “the groove”, has become lost in the artifacts of wax records, funky jams, house tunes, Timberland/Missy-era hip-hop + beyond. But emerging artists like ENÍ are the ones wrecking the walls of genre in 21st century popular music, taking root in those traditions yet remodeling them in a refreshing fashion that fits her unapologetic attitude about creative embodiment + freedom of expression.
The Philadelphia born singer-songwriter was raised in the housing projects of Hoboken, NJ where her vocal talent was first recognized at the age of 7. Her aunt, and mentor, began to instill a love for music in her and pushed ENÍ to develop her voice at an early age. Years later, however, having forced to deal with the loss of a family member, the damage of Hurricane Sandy and romantic disappointments, music was ENÍ’s answer to the world around her and took to songwriting as her only outlet.
Last month, I called ENÍ the evening she dropped her video and we caught up, eventually asking her a few questions that lead to the following candid conversation on the meanings of chemistry, freedom, happiness + desire:
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