After first being introduced to the wonderful sonic world that AI Bendr has been creating not too long ago, I had no idea how interesting she is as a person even further than her music alone. The 17-year-old Ann Arbor artist is one of six siblings and attends the University of Michigan School of Music as a freshman. Beyond this, she was actually born in Australia and possesses triple citizenship in the US, Australia, and even Nigeria. I was also introduced to the fact that the AI in her name is actually pronounced “I”, so that should definitely help clear up any confusion moving forward, and you’re going to want to take note of this because you’re going to be seeing her name everywhere in the near future.
Most recently, she decided to gift fans with a wonderful new song entitled “Runaway”, and her skills are once again at an all-time high. When first bringing this song to life, she mentioned how she was sitting on a beach with her ukulele after having a stressful day and imagined what it would be like to just run away and escape to an island, abandoning her anxieties with her sudden exit. In the song’s press release, she just mentions how she longs to be “perfectly free”, knowing that this is never an easy feat, but it’s something that most if not all people hope to experience one day. She allowed her emotions to take the forefront in this incredible record, driving her to unleash all of her feelings and worries in this song as a way of letting go and connecting with others who might be feeling the same way as her.
As the track begins, upbeat, rhythmic drums and claps capture your attention before calming, tranquil ukulele riffs introduce us to one of the most peaceful melodies you’ll hear all day. As AI begins to sing, she begins in an equally serene manner and although she might be holding some enthusiasm back at the moment, you can still feel the emotions she’s experiencing with every single word she croons. After a few lines, she elevates the tone in her voice as background vocal layers and addition humming enters into the picture, assisting with the passion that she’s putting into every single note she sings.
In the chorus, the beat simplifies slightly as she constantly changes the intonation of her delivery, gifting us with some of the most incredible notes that truly cut right through your exterior and enter into your soul, making you not only listen to the message she’s speaking but also understand the situation she’s in, empathizing with her. Even though AI seems to still be keeping herself composed, not allowing her words to come through with too much power, the emotive qualities within her delivery are enough to give you goosebumps, as it did for me. In the bridge, every aspect of the song simplifies more than ever before, and the way she sings almost sounds as if she’s whispering, alluding to a breakout moment that is sure to steal the show.
That breakout moment comes in the final hook, where she sings the same lyrics as before but does so in such a powerful, captivating fashion that is clearly strong and confident as if to say that she convinced herself that running away truly is the best decision at that point in time. Ultimately, this leads us out of the song as she continues to drive home the idea of running away, although the vitality behind her words subdues every additional time she sings these lyrics, giving off the impression that she quickly came to terms with things, knowing that it simply can’t be that easy and she needs to retreat back to reality to deal with the emotions that are overtaking her mind in the current moment.
AI Bendr might not have an insane amount of music out at the moment, but every single offering she has delivered has truly taken my breath away. Her voice is so incredibly powerful even when she calms herself and tries to remain composed, and the evident passion behind her lyrics truly comes to the forefront when she allows herself to go somewhat off the rails and belt out her masterful notes. At such a young age, I can’t even begin to imagine how incredibly popular she’s going to become because there’s this quality behind every song I’ve heard from her that connects with listeners from all walks of life and she doesn’t hold anything back, wearing her heart on her sleeve while also never dwelling too heavily on the past. Clearly, AI Bendr is off to an extremely hot start with her early offerings, and watching her career transform and seeing her make her way into the spotlight is going to be quite a fun journey to experience first-hand, so you better believe I’m going to be watching every move she makes considering I know they’re all going to be magnificent. As for now, trust me when I say you need to get in tune with AI Bendr as soon as you possibly can, and “Runaway” is the perfect example as to why.