Photo Credit: Anastasia Velicescu (@stassie.v)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // March 9, 2020
Having worked on countless projects by Travis Scott, Teyana Taylor, and Lil Nas X, johan lenox is finally stepping into his own as an artist with plenty of inspiring stories to tell. Kanye West specifically suggested to lenox that he utilizes the orchestral textures he’s been sharpening as the center of his composition, and lenox does exactly that. With the help of producer Frans Mernick, lenox and Rence joined forces to create the enthralling “i need a vacation.”
On “i need a vacation,” johan lenox reflected,
“We bonded over our mutual distaste for toxic relationship situations where someone talks about the other behind their back yet keeps wanting to hang out. We combined Frans’s drum production with Rence’s sampling ideas and structural sensibilities and my orchestral sounds. We built on each other’s vocal melodies and lyrics, changing and evolving the song numerous times until it became what it is now.”
Although “i need a vacation” came to be from lenox and Rence’s frustration with toxic relationships, it’s safe to say that these two musical masterminds have strengthened their bond over the bewitching tune. With Mernick’s stellar drum production, Rence’s experimental sampling, and lenox’s orchestral soundscapes, “i need a vacation” has us in absolute awe. The accompanying visual consists of lenox and Rence prancing around a floor covered with red solo cups as five woeful women stare down at their phones as if they’ve been waiting for responses for years.
“This song was a chance for three people who admired each other’s work to come together around something that was just bugging us. As we found more ways to complement each of our styles, we came back again and again to change and improve the song. ‘i need a vacation’ is important to me because it feels like one where we focused on creativity–even from the name–and not simply doing what’s popular.”