Emerging alt-R&B talent Ehlie Luna cocooned herself in grief after a period of deep loss, hiding away from the world to emerge only when she needed to come of the woodwork for her day jobs.
As a makeup artist and co-founder of au natural beauty line SPKTRM along with Jasmine Glass and AnnaLiisa Benston, the flurry of real-world responsibilities made it difficult to process her feelings.
“I lost someone extremely close to me and it felt like an acceleration of growth was prompted by that loss and that grief,” Luna, formerly known as Moxiie, tells Billboard. “There was a lot of learning and unlearning. It was the first time I actively took conscious, gentle care of myself.”
“Baptise Me” marks a new stage in Luna’s livelihood as a creative artist. It is the lead single from her inaugural EP as Ehlie Luna. But beyond the name change and the new project, the track makes holy the coping mechanisms — and the eventual bloom of certainty and wisdom — that come attached with navigating unfamiliar territory on your own. “Am I losing my halo? Am I too scared to let go?” she ponders, before propelling herself into a newfound emotional abyss.
Over a lush, trip-hop-inflected R&B skitter co-produced by Hustle Standard and Fredrik “Fredro” Ödesjö, “Baptise Me” processes the head rush of doubt into something tangible, sanctifying it in the process.
“I was working through a lot of emotional and spiritual confusion and epiphanies through songwriting,” she says of the forces that directed “Baptise Me.” “I was literally trying to take this blob of feelings and give it shape through words to help me process it.”
The accompanying, self-directed video is a ruminative, grainy visual that externalizes the feeling of interior exploration embedded into the song. Partially out of circumstance (“I rented a car and did all my touch-ups and changes in the backseat,” she writes), but partially out of a need for immediate intimacy, Luna basks in the sylvan wonders around her, raw and unembellished.
Luna is set to drop her first EP in the near future. Her next music video will feature a collaboration with Tarik Carroll and Marquis Neal of the EveryMAN Project.
Watch the rustic, transcendent video for “Baptise Me” below: