RnB's rising woman
Our focus on rising women in their field continues with none other than Washington native R&B Soul artist Courtney Shanade Salter— otherwise known as Ari Lennox. Her journey from being an Uber driver to a Dreamville artist is a story that can only be inspiring for the younger generation.
Lennox's journey starts with her being an uber driver whilst posting covers online to try and build up a fan base. Interest surrounding her built so slowly that she said she was almost ready to "quit" when she finally got her breakthrough from her 2013 EP ‘Ariography’. The EP sparked interest in artist Omen which further lead to Lennox being introduced to none other than the father of Rap-RnB J Cole himself. Though funnily enough, at this point it seems Lennox still didn’t grasp that her breakthrough had come; she was still concerned about travelling to a job at a public storage rather than being signed to Dreamville records (J Coles production house). Luckily, her dedication to hard work came through when J Cole put all his focus into working with her after working with Rihanna. From then on the rest was history, and things seemed to have flourished between them when she had been announced as J Cole's support act the on his 2017 For your eyez only Tour after her 2016 EP PHO release; the very tour that introduced me to her.
When Ari Lennox opened the show-- everyone was captivated, and I mean EVERYONE. Her live set certainly lives up to the candid and raw nature of her studio tracks where she aimed to write with “the kind of honesty and frankness” we all want to hear (listen to tracks like “Backwood” and you will know what I mean.)
Signed to J.Cole’s production Label Dreamville in 2015, Lennox has since appeared on the tracks of Dreamville buddies Earthgang and produced a song with J.Cole for the Creed II soundtrack called ‘Shea Butter Baby’ which will have you buzzing in all sorts of ways. Its' smooth sensuality has Ari all over it and her pledge to create "braver and riskier" music definitely shows here.
Lennox’s success stems from her incredible talent of having the ability to make every and any woman feel undeniably sexy.
Look out world. A new Ari is coming through.