tendai captures the twin emotions of young love and the oppressive nature of inner-city living on debut single "Not Around." The young Londoner, based in the east of the English capital, crafts intimate, R&B-influenced, ballads with an epic scope. The self-produced "Not Around" pulsates with confidence and heavy drums but that grandiosity belies the crisis tendai is opening up about right in front of our eyes. Filled with doubt and vulnerability, he questions the foundations of a relationship with clarity when he sings "You should hear the way they talk about us, we’re supposed to be happy."
The "Not Around" video runs with the same juxtaposition of personal and grandiosity, with images of concrete high rises and smoky horizons captured with a murky black and white color palette. The combination underlines tendai's croon of "It's not your fault the city lights don't shine when you're not around."
Speaking to The FADER via email, tendai explains: "'Not Around," both musically and visually, is my interpretation of the calm and the turbulent. I found it interesting how they both can coexist in one mind or in one relationship."