Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: Singer Ari Lennox pays tribute to R&B classic leaders in new music video

Diana Ross performs during the 61st Grammy Awards Feb. 10, 2019, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Diana Ross performs during the 61st Grammy Awards Feb. 10, 2019, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Ari Lennox released her first single of 2021 called “Pressure” on Sept. 10th, and fans are loving how she paid homage to several queens of early R&B.

“Looks inspired by Diana Ross, Donna Summer and every fine ass woman in the 2000s,” she said in a Twitter post. 

Lennox as well as many other artists in this generation uses inspiration from earlier R&B artists in their music and visual production. 90’s R&B singer Aaliyah is commonly referenced in today’s performances, including the artist Normani, who has referenced several dance moves and fashion looks from Aaliyah’s iconic music videos. 

In an interview with Vogue, Normani explains why she pays tribute to Aaliyah. 

“Aaliyah went against the grain,” she said. “That’s why she was a standout — in a category all of her own. It’s why you can see so many artists, decades later, are still inspired by her. She was willing to try everything and didn’t mind being different.” 

In a scene of Normani’s music video “Wild Side,” you see Normani dancing in the mirror. The scene was taken directly from Aaliyah’s “Try Again” music video, and even some of the choreography was taken from Aaliyah’s “More Than A Woman”  video. 

The visuals in Lennox’s “Pressure” displayed fashion from the 1970s to the 2000s. She teased the song’s release Sept. 7th on Twitter, giving us a 10-second clip.

The video opens up with the setting in the ‘70s. Lennox is in full glam, dressed in a stunning gown with a high-leg slit and an updo, paying tribute to Diana Ross. In a later scene, she is seen in a wig similar to the long, wavy one Donna Summers wore in the 1980s. Lastly, she brings it to the ’00s wearing pigtails, a blinged-out swimsuit top and a miniskirt.

The Dreamville artist focuses the song on how when you’re in a relationship, your significant other should be proving to you that they want you or in her words “apply pressure.”

“Keep your eyes on me, eyes on me, apply that pressure,” Lennox sang in the chorus.

Lennox is all about releasing music that mimics what she feels and communicates it in her songs. 

According to Complex, she tweeted in July about a new project but shortly after deleted the tweet.

“So until it feels right there simply won’t be no date on another project,” Lennox said. “So living my life is what I’ll continue doing.”

Fans were excited when they saw Lennox was releasing a new song. It currently has 999,840 streams on Spotify and 2 million views on Youtube as of September 17th. 

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