Chicago’s current culture of creative youth is a unique breed. Artistically, they’re multi-talented, eclectic in influence, embrace collaboration, and possess little-to-no tolerance for subpar output. When it comes to understanding matters of both human nature and society at-large, they’re wise beyond their years as they’ve been exposed to a larger sampling during their formative years than most people will in their lifetime. Above all else, they’re never stagnant - embracing the innate hustle embedded in the city’s DNA. There pherhaps is no better embodiment of this than 21-year-old singer Bernie Levv.
A familiar face on the city’s creative circuit, our introduction to the Whitney Young graduate as a musician came in the form of Signs, an 8-track offering released in 2014. Throughout the project, the songstress revealed herself as a soulful singer, and used that common thread to explore the realms of disco, pop, R&B, and jazz. To allow herself the ability to gracefully transition from genre to genre, Levv hand picked a new producer for each track. The debut did everything a young artist could hope for: provided the promise of potential, caught the attention of major level media outlets, and crafted a musical direction to build upon.
While music is Levv’s main form of creative expression, it’s far from her only. Over the years she’s pursued her passions for fashion, dance, art direction, and modeling. Her experience across these disciplines is evident in the presentation of everything she releases musically. From the wardrobe in her live sets and choreography in her music videos to the styling of her press photos Levv has created a visual aesthetic that complements her music better than many artists that have teams in place for those sort of things.
Leading up to her sophomore release, The Golden Hour, we see the sonic variety displayed in Signs and Levv’s manicured artistic vision executed at their highest levels yet. The lead single “Passing”, released in July, was addictive and really came to life courtesy of the Verluxe-directed visuals that played on the sort of progressive throwback of the track. The follow up, “Want It”, kicked things up a notch as producer Drummy inserted some house influence for a different feel that opened up any expectation of what the full-length will look like when it arrives. Though the project was initially slated to release a few months back, it has been pushed back a bit - another commonality shared amongst Chicago’s current class. Jokes aside, creating a good project takes time and Bernie wasn’t afraid to make sure The Golden Hour stands out amongst its peers and the final product, which drops next week right here on These Days, certainly does just that. Check out our sampling of her work in the playlist above and stay tuned for more on Bernie Levv.