Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's home for music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
Jenevieve hit the limelight at just the right time. She made her official debut at the age of 22 with "Medallion" in 2020, drawing fans in with the deceptively airy track featuring heavy, poignant lyrics. The Miami singer's following grew quickly over time thanks to the unique timbre of her voice, which floats over thoughtfully-produced instrumentals, filling the need for a fresh sound despite the hyper-competitive and oversaturated music industry.
If you ask Jenevieve about the source of her success in such a short time span, she'd probably credit it to the fact that it's damn near impossible to put an exact label on the type of music that she's putting out. Just when you think you might be able to place her into one category, Jenevieve turns over a new leaf — new song "Midnight Charm" is a perfect example of that range. The new single and its accompanying visuals, premiering right here on Refinery29, speak to Jenevieve's ability to switch it up. While past songs like "Medallion" and "Baby Powder" skewed moody and slow (her "speciality"), "Midnight Charm" infuses the singer's usual plucky bass groove with whimsy, resulting in a cheery but funky moment. Its video, much like the song, is a little quirky, but that's Jenevieve in a nutshell: many different parts of a whole.
We caught up with Jenevieve on Zoom, discussing everything from her mild Disney obsession to the numerous Black musicians that have influenced her work.
Refinery29: Where did the inspiration for "Midnight Charm" come from?
Jenevieve: "Honestly, like most of my music, 'Midnight Charm' was written before the coronavirus pandemic hit, and we really just wanted to release it because it's been in the vault for so long. I worked on it with Jean Benz, and we wanted something a little more upbeat because so much of my music is very moody."
The song's visuals are just as unique as the track itself — how did you ideate the story you wanted to tell for music video?
"I grew up on Disney movies and shows, and that played a big part in the development of my imagination. So for me, 'Midnight Charm' reminds me of something that I might hear if I was walking into Disney World. I'd also come across a short video of Goofy playing golf, and I thought it would be really cute to incorporate that element of Disney directly into the visuals."
You're still quite early in your music career, but you've already carving out a lane for yourself with your previous releases and now this song. What does it feel like to experience this success at such an early stage?
"Everything happens when it happens for a reason. I've had so many setbacks, but they were for a reason. God didn't want me to go through certain things at certain times. I'm just now coming to terms with that, too; in the past, I was like, Ugh, why isn't this or that happening? Now I see that the right time for those things to happen is right now. Especially with COVID, I didn't expect tracks like "Baby Powder" and "Eternal" to do well, but I feel the timing of those releases was for a really good reason."
"As a person and as an artist, I just know what I want now, and I know what I want people to see when they encounter my work. And working with someone like Jean [Benz] has been so helpful because he understands me at a very deep level — I don't think I've ever met a producer or artists who just gets me — so that's played a big part in me knowing who I am and making the kind of music I've always wanted to make at this stage."
June is Black Music Month — who are the Black artists who have inspired your sound and fostered your love for music?
"I'm super into old school music. Not that I don't listen to current projects, but everything in my music library is from back in the day. My dad is from the Bahamas, and on his side, it's very old school — Marvin Gaye, The Delegation, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin. And then my mom [who is Cuban] put me on to Joe, India Arie, Sade, Anita Baker, and salsa icon Celia Cruz."
What can Jenevieve fans look forward to in 2021 and beyond? Is there an EP or an album on the way?
"I have a project coming out next month, but I'm also working on my debut album for right after that. And I also have some shows coming up — I'm going to perform at Day N Vegas, and I'm so excited!"
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.