INTERVIEW: Irish Born Singer, Songwriter, Producer & Multi-Instrumentalist Lenii

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Mood Swings”?

“Mood Swings” is the 4th song from my upcoming EP “In All Fairness…”. It fits right in because the whole EP is basically about the idea of keeping up appearances, and “Mood Swings” is about feeling super emotional and volatile but worrying your friends don’t understand. The song is a mood swing in itself as there’s a hard switch to a piano ballad after the second chorus. The start of the song is the ‘high’ and the end of the song the ‘low’.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I started writing it after I went out in Manhattan one night and a few of my friends went to a bar around the corner where The Chainsmokers bought them all shots. They never called me to come over so that inspired the first few lines of the song (“all my friends are dead to me” lol). The song is actually about making fun of myself for being so emotional.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

The video for Mood Swings is a totally DIY, quarantine-born, home video. I shot it between 2 rooms in the house and edited and coloured it on Premiere Pro. It’s full of ups and downs, frantic shots and wild color switches – all symbolizing the “monkey mind” mood the song is about. I wanted the video to be dark and a little bit disturbing but with an overarching comical tone – very inspired by Slim Shady and Die Antwoord.

The single comes off your upcoming EP “In All Fairness…” – what’s the story behind the title?

The “In All Fairness…” EP is mainly about that idea of keeping face, with a comical / satirical spin on things – firstly because I think it’s wild how much we hide from each other to keep up appearances when we’re all human and experience similar things and secondly because it’s super common for people who are sad or depressed to be overly upbeat and humorous (think Robin Williams). The theme overall is brutal honesty and dark humour. The title “In All Fairness…” is a very Irish phrase that means different things depending on how it’s said. My version is like saying “Come On…” while rolling your eyes.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote “Mood Swings” with the producers, Benzi Edelson and Will Dailey, at Arcade Music in Manhattan. It was a really fun session. We basically wrote the whole song in the first day and came in to finish it a week or two later. The second day we recorded the slow ballad part at the end and recorded the piano live… I think we got the vocal in one take which always feels very special. We had Japanese takeout in the kitchen after.

What role does Ireland play in your music?

Music and poetry plays a huge part in Irish culture so growing up we would have sing-songs at family dinners and go to the pub as kids to play trad music. I think that probably influenced my songwriting a lot and the kinds of melodies I like.

How did the whole lockdown situation influence the writing on this record?

I actually wrote the song a few months before lockdown so it was already finished, but the music video was shot in lockdown so I had to be a bit more creative shooting it in the house.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I’ve always been very emotional and had very high highs and low lows. Literally when I was a child I would start crying if my toast got cold before I buttered it. So the song is basically about teasing myself for being so dramatic. 

What else is happening next in Lenii’s world?

My debut EP “In All Fairness…” is set to come out August 20th – which I’m really excited about. I’m planning a run of super cool merch and already have a million more songs to come out after!

Watch the “Mood Swings” Video here – 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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