R&B and soul have always maintained an interconnected relationship. While they are more than able to stand on their own, there is a certain sense of unity when an artist is able to successfully meld the aesthetics of these two genres. And in the case of LRNZ., the process of blending these sounds is as effortless as it is impressive. His voice glides like mercury over luxurious beats and synths, all in the pursuit of gossamer melodies and a deep-rooted emotional resonance.
On recent single, “Mind Control,” he blends soulful vocal rhythms with vivid synths and old-school beats that seem to rattle around in your chest for hours. Bringing to mind the sounds of early ‘90s R&B while simultaneously keeping his eye on its various current iterations, he’s able to build something with considerable roots in both R&B and soul but which also clings to its own distinct musical character. It’s a potent warning shot from an artist discovering the realization of an internal creativity and reveling in the freedom it affords him.
“When I was sitting down making the instrumental to this song, I had the beginning part of the hook already repeating in my head because of a conversation I was having with my girlfriend, LRNZ. reveals. “She was explaining to me how she seriously felt about me and was afraid of the feeling due to past experiences with relationships. I love the female perspective on life and happiness, which is really what I’ve been elaborating on lately. Since there’s only one that I’m claiming mine, I write what little bit of vulnerability she has given me.”
“What inspired me to write this song,” he elaborates, “was my passion to change how she perceived love and to switch the consistency of being let down with false promises with commitment and love. We all want that one person that is everything. But it’s rare to find that, because of the ones that want everything from you. I remember telling her “Baby girl... I don’t think you understand me when I say I can turn your entire world around. Just trust me.” And that’s what started the creative flow of “Mind Control.”
“I named it “Mind Control” because, I feel, for someone to have been brainwashed to think that there is no worth in finding a significant other is very normal in this world today. But to have that same mindset, and still allow someone to come in and literally prove to you that there is a better side to the pain to the point where they’re no longer thinking that way, is what I consider mind controlling.”
This is his first release for The Flock, a collective of Chattanooga, Tennessee musicians which includes Johnny Balik, Swayyvo, Phil McClain and others. Founded in 2011 but recently refashioned as Flock Artist Development in 2018, it’s a group of musicians and producers who are dedicated to illuminating the wealth of musical talent rising from the streets of the Scenic City.