Having modestly introduced herself to the music scene with her sweet debut single “Don’t Care (Let Your Eyes Bleed)” late last year, 21-year-old South African artist Fentse. is back with a stunning follow-up single titled “Leaves.”. This time around, Fentse. maintains her progressive and eclectic sound, but adds a bit more funk and mainstream appeal to go with her rich, dark songwriting.
Leaves. is not your typical pop break-up ballad. Her mellow, whispery vocal delivery is so far removed from what’s commonplace in the R&B scene that it helps distance her from pop’s tired heartbreak record formula. “Should you stay? Or should you go? I must accept our leaves have fell, so please leave well,” she croons, conflicted by a souring relationship as she urges a toxic lover to leave without drama.
“When I wrote the song I was going through a period where I was resonating with acceptance that the particular relationship that I was in at that time was slowly and surely beginning to disintegrate or change,” Fentse. explains. “I was also in a space of indifference of how it would all play out, however I didn’t want to be the person to make the decision to leave.”
The production has an old-school, groovy feel to it, a stark contrast to the sad story she tells. “At the time I started writing Leaves. I started learning how to play the bass and with that, I naturally began listening to a lot more funk and groove centred music,” she explains. “Some of my favourite music is from a music trio called Khruangbin. I really wanted to accompany what would sound sad lyrically with a more upbeat instrumental, adding a layer of positivity or even nonchalance to the subject matter.”
Fentse. continues to refine her craft and challenge herself to produce high-quality music. As she continues to expand on her sound, it’ll be interesting to see how far she eventually takes. If Leaves. is anything to go by, she’ll be going very far. The sky’s the limit!