Photo: Sam Lahoz / Courtesy of Transmission Publicity

Lenny Zenith Celebrates Beauty With “Suddenly Someone” (premiere)

Pioneering trans artist Lenny Zenith reminds listeners that it's about more than "a little surgery and a pronoun change" on "Suddenly Someone".

Lenny Zenith has an incredible journey and an incredible new and energetic single, “Suddenly Someone”, a tune that crackles with the energy of glam, the spirit of punk and carries a little more lyrical heft than your average two-minute tune.

If every picture tells a story and every story has a beginning and songs are actually pictures created by someone (or something like that), then Zenith definitely has a story to tell. A pioneering transgender artist, Zenith transitioned while in junior high in the 1970s. He led the band RZA from his New Orleans home and opened for Iggy Pop, the Replacements and scores of others. While leading the acclaimed noise-pop outfit Jenifer Convertible in New York during the 1990s, the band worked with a pre-LCD Soundsystem James Murphy on several tracks.

Zenith‘s new What if the Sun isn’t his debut LP, but it is the first under his own name. Though it touches on elements of trans life (and some money from the record’s sales will go to support Trans Women of Color and Trans Lifeline), its themes and emotions run to a variety of areas. (And if you haven’t got enough Zenith in your life, he’s publishing a new memoir later this year titled Before I Was Me.)

“Everyone’s always on about looks, ‘Oh, they look old, fat, gay, femme, basic, etc.’ and the song starts out with what many would often like to hear: ‘YOU’VE GOT THE LOOK THAT WE WANT'”, Zenith says. “Everyone is attractive in some way even if it’s not immediately visible. For many transfolk, going through life not looking the way you want, or the way you want others to perceive you is difficult. When someone finally says ‘I really want to be with you, it’s the best feeling in the world! Clearly, it takes a lot more than just ‘…a little bit of surgery and a pronoun change’, it takes courage, support, money, self-determination and sometimes a little bit of luck. There’s nothing more powerful than learning to love yourself!”


You’ve got the look that we want (ah – ah)

Pick up the telephone line (ah – ah)

you’re always making mistakes (ah – ah)

We think you’ll make it just fine (ah – ah)

You know we’re picking up the sunday papers

Everything you that you can afford

Tell your friends and tell your neighbors

That you adore no more


It’s 1978 you’re everything that we hate (ah – ah)

We’re gonna give you a chance (ah – ah)

To make one last mistake (ah – ah)

You know it only takes a little bit of makeup

And professional lights

To make you look just perfect for your opening

Oh Suddenly someone wants to take you home tonight


We wanna take you tonight (ah – ah)

We’re wanna make it just right (ah – ah)

We’re wanna give you a chance (ah – ah)

Before you make up your mind (ah – ah)

You know it only takes a little bit of surgery

And a pronoun change

To find your little spot along the gender range is plain

Oh Suddenly someone wants to take you home tonight