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Kenya Vaun releases new EP, “The Honeymoon Phase”

The 22-year-old rising R&B artist, Kenya Vaun, released her debut EP, “The Honeymoon Phase” on Mar. 22. The lyrics throughout the album dance with emotion, making the listeners feel a sense of comfort. The ambiance of the songs gives a nostalgic feel that touches on the topic of love and different experiences.

The Philadelphia native broke out into the music scene with her single “Movie Night” in 2018. People began to love Vaun’s energy more with her single “Summer” released in May 2023. The song elicits a nostalgic summer vibe, and listeners quickly started to want more from her as they fell in love with her sound as an artist.

She began to gain more traction with her hit single “Used To” in Jan. 2024, quickly leading Vaun to become recognized within the world of R&B. Both singles are featured on the album, and both beautifully describe different struggles that tie into its themes: new beginnings, figuring things out, and experiencing more of life. Vaun’s lyrics beautifully describe life’s challenges with love and moving on to focus on the present moment.

The start of the EP is a testament to this with her song, “Yesterday,” which feels like a hug from your past. It highlights fun moments that one may have experienced while reminding listeners it’s okay to move on: “And we live careless, not a bill to pay in a world we call our town/ Oh, it was all so simple, where’d the time go?/ Feels like it was only yesterday?” The song makes you think of simpler times, and although those times were easier, Vaun highlights that the future is as important even though as we grow things become harder. She expresses it’s important not to want to change anything and that it’s all part of the journey when she says, “If I had a chance to do it again/ I’d do it the same, the joy and the pain, The coldest of winters, the summer time rain/ No I wouldn’t change none of my yesterdays.” This is my favorite verse in the song because it helps the listener understand that going through the good and bad is all part of the plan. You need to keep moving forward because one day you’ll look back and not want to change any of your yesterdays.

As the album continues, Vaun heavily focuses on the theme of love and the great experiences it brings but also sometimes the struggles and lessons you get from it. The lyrics are relatable, as Vaun paints a picture of recognizable scenarios and emotions we all have felt to create these songs. For example, “Overrated” explains what it’s like to fall out of love with someone and the emotions and realizations we deal with after: “I hope you’re doing fine/ ‘Cause I can’t get you out my mind/ I wish that I could hit rewind, so you could see/ That you’re the reason why/ You fell out of this love.” The song feels like a safe space for anyone dealing with heartbreak, which is also Vaun’s goal as an artist. She also focuses on this theme in the songs, “Used To,” “Halfway,” and “Butterflies,” to name a few. The songs make the emotions you experience when dealing with love feel less heavy, and although dealing with those emotions feels confusing at times, these songs could help you understand those emotions better.

Furthermore, the songs featured are beautifully written and perfectly produced; Vaun’s raspy vocals tie everything together. While listening to this album, I didn’t skip a single song. Each one perfectly spoke about a struggle but in a way that made you think for the better. The emotion put into these songs can be felt by any listener. The album reminds you that every struggle is part of your journey and to keep moving forward and gaining new experiences in life and in love.