Exclusive: Kenzie presents ‘You The Best’

The emerging singer and Chloé muse reveals a painfully gorgeous music video.

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Born outside Boston, USA, Kenzie moved to London at the tender age of six—a city that would become the backdrop and form the family around her craft. The alternative pop singer-songwriter is nothing if not original, both her songs and personality refreshingly honest and beautifully crafted. Kenzie approaches her music as a safe space to explore the extremities of a feeling or mood, and breaks down the thought processes involved. Today, Glamcult exclusively premieres her brand new video. You The Best is a two-edged message to a former lover, both beautiful and heartbreaking. Watch and listen here, and get to know the story behind the song.

You The Best feels charged with heartbreak and reproach but also contains a lot of love. Is there anything you can share about the inspiration for the song?

I don’t think this song could have come out of an experience that wasn’t love. I originally wrote it as a sort of open letter to someone that I don’t have any contact with now. It reminisces on love without the nostalgia, after the facade of everything has fallen away. You The Best also feels like a disclaimer. Sometimes love can feel like a cycle of violence. We get hurt by someone and then hurt someone else, and we cite the last person as an excuse. A lot of things can go left unsaid after a relationship dissolves. Sometimes we get the chance to say our piece and sometimes it’s too painful to. You The Best is saying the things I never got the chance to.

We love that your video presents a live version of the track rather than the studio version…

This song has been so much about acting on a feeling. The lyrics were written as a stream of consciousness on a plane, physically trying to escape the memories of this person by running away. The decision to put out the track was pretty impulsive, and the video came together in a similar way. The studio version of You The Best was performed as one vocal take, and it stings a slightly different way every time I sing it. The video is me, on a couch, in my feelings after midnight singing about something that still feels very real. It would have felt a little off just lip-syncing along to the studio version in the video.

Being awake at 3am, smoking a cigarette, and thinking about past love—we all know those moments (too well). What does music mean to you in tough times? Can it cure heartbreak? 

Sometimes I think it’s about leaning into the heartbreak. Music has healing properties for sure but I think part of it is allowing yourself the time to fully work through the tough feelings. There’s something so comforting about listening to a sad song when you’re in the throes of your melancholy. With writing music, sometimes it’s the most difficult when I’m in that place, but then words will suddenly come, or a melody will start running around my head, and when it all comes together there’s this big catharsis. There’s something really satisfying about making a song you feel like you really needed to hear.

We heard you’re officially a Chloé woman! How was your fashion week experience? Beyond brands or designers, what does fashion mean to you?

It was so unreal! Personal style is so important to me and I know what I love when it comes to looks and pieces, but there’s a level of awe that I have for fashion because while it is so closely linked with music I still feel like it’s such a different world. Being offered a deeper look into that world was really special, especially with a brand like Chloé. There was one perfect night that culminated in getting probably the best Caribbean food I’ve ever eaten at some neighborhood spot at 4 o’clock in the morning, before that there was a warehouse party, and before that, there was a dinner with Natacha Ramsay-Levi, the creative director of Chloé. She’s just this unapologetically authentic person and it reflects so clearly in her collections. I feel like femininity is being redefined. I’m not going to look to someone else to tell me what a woman is or should look like, I just know whatever I am and whatever I decide to do, I’m enough. I think that when fashion has the ability to empower you to be innovative and find yourself rather than dictate how you should be, it’s an incredible thing.

Glamcult’s current theme is NURTURE. How do you relate to this term? And do you practice any self-care rituals we should know about?

Again, I think there’s something therapeutic about writing and performing music. In that way it is an act of self-care, but when it starts to feel like a task I’ll revert to other things. Drawing and free writing have recently become a great feeling-dump for me. I meditate when I can, and I also love talking to myself? Ha-ha, I don’t know what that’s about, but it really helps me work through my thoughts. When it’s tough to do the big things though, the little things I can do for myself really keep me sane. Spending the afternoon at the nail salon, for example, is such a weirdly re-aligning thing.

Follow Kenzie on Soundcloud and Instagram

Words by Leendert Sonnevelt

www.bbytth.com

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