TENNIN is a genre-defying alternative pop singer. Fairly new to the music scene, TENNIN began creating her sound in 2015. Having played such venues as La Cigale in Paris, and shows in London and Berlin; as well as releasing four singles it is no surprise that she has garnered attention from media including Les Inrocks, Afropunk, Earmilk, and Radio Nova. TENNIN was also a finalist on Afropunk BOTB Paris shortly before releasing her third single on record label False Idols. Her most recent release in November, ‘Run’, comes just after a performance opening for Dope Saint Jude and Muthoni Drummer Queen at Les Cuizine.
Run is truly a genre-defying track breaking the norms of pop. It is electrifying and gritty with powerful vocals and a hauntingly sexy production backing it up. You can feel the punch and intensity of the lyrics through edgy lines like ‘look at what you’ve done to me take a look in the mirror’ and ‘you’re a poison never come back around’. TENNIN’s desire for a new vision of music without specifying any style is definitely achieved through Run. She is a force to be reckoned with and this track takes the world of pop/alternative/electro to a whole new level.
Check out "Run" here
Welcome to BuzzMusic TENNIN! You’re sound is so powerful and edgy we absolutely love it! Where did the desire to create music that doesn’t fit within the ‘cookie-cutter genre’ come from?
I am glad to hear that, thank you. I am always curious to know what genre will be associated with my music because when I start to work on a song, I do not think about any genre or style, I think in terms of “universe”. I try to build a world. If you listen to my other songs, you will notice that there is a specific universe to each of them. I love to play with my voice and to challenge my creativity.
Making music for me is looking for a new type of sounds, superposition, and melodies, instead of sticking to the norm. One day, a media called me a « sounds researcher », and I take that gladly. I want the audience to have their own definition of my music.
We know experimenting with different genres is part of your artistic persona. Are there any specific genres you would like to incorporate into your music?
I am, consciously or unconsciously, surely inspired by the music I have been listening to but trying to incorporate specific genres to my music is not a rule. My first contact with music was with African music as a child. Then I was deeply into Hip-hop music as a teenager. I discovered trip-hop quite late, and I feel fascinated by this rich musical genre. I feel close to African music because of my roots, I am in love with hip-hop because of its prose, and close to trip-hop music because of its creativity and unique world. Can we hear all of these genres in my music? It all depends on who is listening. The only rule I want to impose is to keep it unique and different.
"Run" has a certain intensity to it, what is the story behind the lyrics?
To tell you the truth, I wrote the song as a personal message to someone. I wanted the person to know how I felt and thought it would be really stronger with a song. You know, when you love someone, you speak, share energies, and have expectations. When you are disappointed or when you know disillusionment, you think that learning to hate the loved person would be easier and will help you to move on fast…This is how I felt when I wrote RUN but I think everyone has a story to project on this song and everybody has been through this type of situation. Today, among all of the songs that I wrote and produced, released or not, RUN is one of my favorite.
What were the specific production elements used in "Run"?
I worked with Broken Shadow, a beatmaker I team up with. He produced the song. I work with him for several years, and we co-produced many tracks. The idea on RUN was to create a kind of tension, a threatening rhythm, with hypnotic elements.
On the chorus, we have Balre’s (French DJ and musician) electric guitar. I think the mix of guitar and electronic music adds an interesting contrast. The guitar adds a warm and familiar touch. It matches the feelings I reveal in RUN.
As 2019 is coming to an end, what are your plans for next year? Can we expect an album?
A lot happened during the whole year, I am very happy and grateful about 2019. I released 4 songs, signed one on Tricky’s label, I opened for Dope saint Jude and Muthoni Drummer Queen as well as Afropunk Battle of the band Paris…. So now, I plan to maintain a certain rhythm and release more content and art. I will be on stage in Brussels in December, and other dates are on the road. I plan to release a new complete project for early 2020. You know the deal; you will know more very soon if you stay tuned :)