Lean immediately grabs my attention when she walks into the room. Her stylish and carefully handcrafted outfit is a perfect match for her lighthearted attitude and fun enthusiasm. She’s dressed in a standout vintage “Marlins” varsity jacket accenting a graphic tee and tye-dyed stacked pants. I can tell from Lean’s fashionable aesthetic that her artistic expression is very intentional. It's evident that she puts just as much effort into her outfit as she does her music. After a badass performance that featured a ton of crowd engagement, Lean pauses to talk to me about what exactly inspires her music.
Faced with difficult situations in her life such as dealing with scoliosis and aiding her mother who is struggling to walk, Lean uses these hardships to fuel her drive in her musical journey. A woman of strong faith, she puts God before any and everything in her life and heavily relies on the hope He instills in her to keep going. With a look as unique as hers paired with her unwavering determination to succeed, it is safe to say that Lean is definitely going far.
What's your name, stage name and Instagram handle?
My name is Pauline. My stage name is Lean, which represents “Love Eliminates All Negativity.” And my Instagram handle is @Leanxbih.
How did you come up with your stage name?
So, long story short, I have scoliosis. My mom used to nickname me Lean because I used to lean to one side. For those who don't know, scoliosis is when your spine is not straight. So she would just call me Lean to get me back into position.
Wow, what an incredible story! And what’s the story behind how you began music?
I've been doing music for about 4 or 5 years now. I started in 2017. My dad has actually been making music for years. He did photography, videography, he did music, sax, drums, guitar, piano, you name it. So he was always pushing me and my brother to do it and that inspiration finally caught up to me
How would you describe your music?
I would describe it as very fun. Groovy. I can also get to the parts of your mind that make you think and feel in terms of love, pain, heartbreak. It has very different ranges of emotion.
Who are some of your biggest creative inspirations when it comes to music?
Ooooh! [she gets excited] I’d say for one, Micheal Jackson. If you know me, for sure Micheal Jackson! Even though he wasn't a rapper. I’d say Pac, Missy, Kim. Kendrick Lamar. MIA. The list goes on and on!
What does the future of your musical journey look like? What are some of your goals for the future?
One day to have a sold-out show. Sold out shows! Sold out dates. Just working and collaborating with some of my idols. Taking my gang along with me, just us touring the world. Making a movement, not just having the music out. But making a collective of changing our communities. But also getting other artists and creatives to their places and their goals that they want to reach.
What is the main motivation that keeps you going on this journey?
God. And my family. I wake up every morning and look at my situation and their situation. Especially my parents. My mom can't even walk right now and she's still working to find bread. She doesn't need to be doing that. At this point in my life, I'm ready to go. God has been a beacon of hope in my life [holds up a cross ring]. I never take this off; I take Him wherever I go.
What's your next project called and where can we go to look for it?Mmmmmmmm [she hums]. My next project? I’ma give y'all a sneak peek. The title of it is called “Activist.” For those who know, Lean is a drug, right? I do not sip that shit! [she laughs]. The other name for it is called Activist but at the same time Activist is someone who speaks on political and social issues. So in this project, I’m speaking on my political and social issues. So you can look out for that on Apple, Soundcloud, and Spotify.