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Chai Lenin Delivers New Soulful Single ‘Return’

According to the Singapore-bred singer-songwriter, “The song explores the relationship between trauma, love and the ways in which people help us navigate the everyday struggles of being human”

David Britto Aug 18, 2021

Singapore-bred singer-songwriter Chai Lenin. Photo: @anaxalbums/@adithya_rk_photography

After the release of her 2020 sophomore single “Tomorrow,” Singapore-bred singer-songwriter Chai Lenin spent much of her time studying, worked on a fellowship focusing on research on how gene therapies like the COVID-19 vaccines will change the regulatory landscape of the healthcare sector as well as jotted down song ideas. One of those ideas is now out in the shape of the R&B-laced “Return.”

Lenin tells us that after dropping her last single, a lot happened in her life personally. She says, “I’ve had deeply vulnerable moments with the people in my life, and these moments led me to really think about the ways in which the support of the people I deem family has allowed me to return to myself, and to my life in a way that is fulfilling.” The artist was keen on exploring the power of resilient love through her new song. She adds, “This inspired me to make music about the deeply personal nature of this narrative, using a mix of genres that resonated with me, whilst focusing on bringing out the rawness of feeling.”

Sonically, Lenin continues her experimentation with the fusion of Carnatic music while also bringing together indie-pop, soul and electronic elements. During the production process, Lenin was eager for the track to have a bitter-sweet mix of melancholia with a touch of optimism. She says, “This was a hard mix to achieve.” The artist adds, “With several revisions, and an amazing team, I was able to achieve my artistic vision.” Lenin worked with music arranger Nihil Jimmy, mixing engineer Harishankar V and mastering engineer Chris Gehringer on the track. “Without the collaboration with the team, the vision wouldn’t be executed so well,” she says.

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There’s more material in the works for Lenin as she juggles between music and being a full-time college student. “I’m currently working on another exciting project — in line with fusing the personal and communal — and hope that this will be an attempt at piecing together a story I’ve been meaning to tell for a while.”

Stream “Return” on Spotify below and on other platforms.


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