HomeMusic NewsAri Lennox: 'I've literally gained a real friend in Missy Elliot'

Ari Lennox: ‘I’ve literally gained a real friend in Missy Elliot’


Ari Lennox joins Dotty today on Apple Music 1. Ari reveals why she considers Missy Elliott her “fairy godmother”, reflects on working with legendary producer Jermaine Dupri, explains why her songs aren’t a reflection of her personal life, and discusses waiting until the moment is right to release her second album.

Ari Lennox Tells Apple Music That Working With Missy Elliott Has Been “A Dream”…
It’s been a dream and a learning experience and I’ve literally gained a real friend in Missy Elliot. That is my sister. That is my inspiration. I don’t want to be weird, but I just feel like she’s… I don’t want it to come off weird or disrespectful…I feel like she’s my fairy godmother, my young fairy godmother. Because I didn’t want to come off weird about it, but she’s just been a light in my life, guiding me and just helping me. And we’ve been creating some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever made ever. And it’s just been a very enlightening, insightful journey.

Ari Lennox Tells Apple Music About Working With Jermaine Dupri On ‘Pressure’…
It was a dream. It was very intimidating at first because I’m a big fan of his entire catalogue, specifically Mariah Carey’s ‘The Emancipation of Mimi’. They have an incredible work relationship. And so I was very intimidated, but we just fell into it because he started making this beautiful beat and it was probably one of the third beats that we had worked on. And I was like, “That one.” I could hear it in his headphones and I was like, “That one.” And Johnta started writing to it and I started writing to it. Then we sat with it for some weeks. Then we got back in the studio. Then I called my girl up, Jaylin, whos a phenomenal singer, phenomenal songwriter. And she came up to the studio and she finished it for us and she murdered it.

Ari Lennox Tells Apple Music About Whether Her Music Reflects Her Real Love Life…
No, absolutely not. These guys are very weird. It’s a character that I dream to experience often, but unfortunately these guys out here are very strange, so it’s not like I’m living my best life romantically, but I guess it’s manifestation. I would like to be able to live my life this way with the one that I love. Yeah, it’s really manifestation and dreaming.

Ari Lennox Tells Apple Music About Her Connection With Her Fans…
It’s beautiful. I love it. I feel like I have the coolest fans in the world, the sweetest people. It feels weird calling them fans, but the coolest… supporters. The part that makes it hard are the strange obsessive haters that can turn things into things that they’re not. But my supporters, they’re beautiful. I love being open with them. I wish I could tell them everything. But yeah, it be the other types of obsessive people that can make it not fun.

Ari Lennox Tells Apple Music About People Online Trying To Pit Her Against Chloe And Other Black Women…
You think you’re lifting me up, but you’re actually causing havoc. You’re causing a divisiveness between me and another beautiful fellow black artist. I want everyone to win and I’m doing my own thing and Chloe’s doing her own thing. And I feel like there’s room for all of these things in this industry. I’m enjoying what everyone else is doing, but I’m also focused on just being grateful and being content where I’m at. Because I know it’s special and I know there’s a special place for it. And it’s so much more peaceful that way to just be grateful. At the end of the day I am making a living off of my dreams and I couldn’t be happier. What else do I need more in life?

Ari Lennox Tells Apple Music Why She Releases Music At Her Own Pace…
If it don’t feel right, it ain’t coming out and I don’t care who mad. It’s just not coming out. I just believe in making music from my soul, from my heart and I want to be involved in the writing process and so I feel like there’s just so much more work to do for a quality body of work that I want to share with the people that I love and that love me.

Ari Lennox Tells Apple Music About Working On ‘Shea Butter Baby’…
I think just consistency. Consistently working with the producers of my dreams. So Elite, Ron, Omen, Kojo, Crystal. We were always together and always working and really more so laughing, having fun, partying, eating lots of trash food and freaking hiking at the same time. It was just a beautiful moment in time and I felt like that’s why the music just fell so easily into each other. And God had blessed me with a label like Dreamville and I experienced my first apartment for the first time. So it was all of these beautiful new things and even new relationships and then the ending of a relationship. Everything flows so beautifully. So I think now I’m in a space where it’s like, “Okay, well there’s really no guys that are that intriguing to ever write about these days.” And so it’s like, “I guess I’m learning what do I want to say now?” What’s next? And now I’m back with Elite again because life happened, the pandemic happened, and we been apart for so long, so now we’re back in together and yeah, it’s like, we’ll see.

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