Since releasing her debut EP back in 2015, Swedish pop sensation LÉON has been taking the musical world by storm and she shows no signs of slowing down!
The songbird’s latest track ‘Sleep Deprived’ is nothing short of incredible and it genuinely wouldn’t sound out of place on one of Adele’s albums. It’s that good. With crystal clear vocals and heartfelt lyrics, LÉON exceeds all expectations.
She may have a hugely successful single titled ‘Tired of Talking’ but when we rung LÉON earlier this month, she was more than happy to answer all of our questions.
In our exclusive interview, LÉON spoke about: her US tour, celebrity fans, filming the official ‘Liar’ video and much more. You can read a transcript of our chat below!
For people who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe your sound?
“I would say that my music is a mix of: soulful pop and indie. It’s personal.”
You’re currently headlining your very first US tour – how are you finding the shows?
“It’s been great. It’s been more than I could have expected to be honest. The people and the audiences have been amazing. It’s a bit kind of nerve-wracking because you never know how things are going to go but it’s been more than I could have imagined.”
The tour includes various sold out dates and you recently sold out a show in London too – is it overwhelming to see your music enjoy such international success?
“Yeah, it’s weird. Sometimes, when you think about it, it’s hard to take in because I’m still in the mindset that nobody knows my songs. (laughs) So when I perform certain songs, it’s weird because I see people that know the lyrics and it’s like ‘What?’ It’s so mind-blowing. It’s crazy and cool to come to places that I’ve never been to. It’s intense.”
Are there any songs that you particularly enjoy performing live?
LÉON: “Yeah, there is. It always changes. Sometimes I’m like ‘this song is the most fun to do’ and then at another show, it’s something else. I would say that I really like to do a cover that we’re doing of Arctic Monkeys; I just think it’s super fun to do. And then, of course, if there’s a song of mine that I love to do… it’s a song that I haven’t put out yet that’s called ‘Stay.’ That’s been fun to do because I’m kind of trying it out now with the live shows. It’s a little different to the songs I have out right now; just a little more low-key and more soul. It’s not a lot of like synths and big productions but I really like to do that one.”
CelebMix: “Has it been getting a good response so far? Are people enjoying it?”
LÉON: “Yeah, I think so. (laughs) It’s a cool way to try out songs because if I like a song, hopefully other people will like it. It’s a good way to test the waters in a way.”
We love your latest track ‘Sleep Deprived’; it has a seriously catchy hook. What do you want people to take from the song?
“Oh, you do? Thank you. It’s kind of about when you’ve had a thing with someone. I think a lot of people have gone through a certain situation in a relationship. You don’t necessarily have to have been together or in a serious relationship but it’s kind of when things just go really sour and things end on bad terms. Then you see the person when you’re out. His story is different to your story about why it ended so then you can kind of play the blame game; do you know what I mean? It’s always hard to explain songs but that’s what I feel that is about. That’s what I thought about when I wrote the song but people can interpret it the way they want to.”
Can we expect a music video for ‘Sleep Deprived’ at some point?
“Well, I would love to do a video for it. My friend actually came up with this idea and she was like ‘you should do it like this’ and it’s like a really psychotic idea that she has. I was like I’m not sure if I really want to play a psychopath in the video. (laughs) Maybe, maybe not. Then I started thinking about music video ideas so maybe. I hope so.”
Are there any lyrics that you’re particularly proud of writing?
“It’s always hard to say the one that I’m most proud of but I do love the lyrics in a song that I wrote called ‘Liar.’ Just because, it’s a song that came out of nowhere when I had some trouble with writing. I kind of had writer’s block. Me and my producer were hanging in the studio and we couldn’t really get anything done. Then we changed the direction of the session and we were like ‘let’s just try something completely different.’ I was sitting in the kitchen, he was playing these chords and then ‘Liar’ came about. Yeah, I really like that song; if I can say that myself.” (laughs)
You recently released the ‘Liar’ video – was it good to go back to Sweden to film it?
“Yeah, in my case, I like working with one or two people at the same time. I tend to get very distracted when there’s a lot of people. It can be a great thing to work with a lot of people but I have worked with Ted Malmros, who directed the video, a few times and it’s nice because we actually recorded a lot of the video in my own apartment. It was just him and me; nobody else. It feels more intimate and you can be yourself.”
A lot of people certainly relate to your tracks – are there any messages from fans that have particularly warmed your heart?
“Oh wow, there’s been so many amazing people that I’ve met. When I had my show in Philly, I met two girls and they were best friends. They said they had met each other through my music for some reason; I don’t know how but they said they bonded over a song of mine and that was kind of cool. It was strange to hear but that was cool.”
From Katy Perry to LeAnn Rimes, you’ve received support from huge stars. How did you feel when you saw their tweets?
“I don’t think I really took it in because it felt too big to even think about the fact that they had heard my song. When I put out my first song on SoundCloud, I didn’t even think that anyone would hear it. So I guess I couldn’t really comprehend the fact they’d heard it but I think it’s cool. It feels like an era where people support each other a lot on social media and stuff and I think that’s awesome. It was kind of crazy to be honest.”
Your debut EP was titled ‘Treasure’ but what’s the one thing you treasure most about being a singer and performer?
“It sounds so corny when you say it but I just like to sing. I do enjoy even singing other songs as well from artists that I look up to. I just enjoy it and it just makes me feel happy. I just feel happy when I sing. It doesn’t matter if it’s my song or any other song.”
What does 2017 have in store for LÉON?
“Well, my plan now is to do this tour and then I am going to do a few festivals at the start of summer. Hopefully I’ll go on another tour again later on this year and put out an album; that’s what I want to do.”
If you could leave a message for your fans, what would you say?
“Oh God, this is hard. I have so many things that I could say. I would say that I’m forever grateful that people listen to my music. To be honest, I wouldn’t be anywhere if people didn’t discover my music on SoundCloud or Spotify. The people that listen to my music are everything. I sound so sentimental today. (laughs) I’m sorry. Thank you.”
‘Sleep Deprived’ is available here on iTunes. As mentioned in the interview, LÉON would love to release a music video for the song so hopefully one will follow shortly.
Here at CelebMix, we can’t wait to hear more of LÉON’s original material. She’s one of the most exciting rising stars on the pop scene right now and certainly one to watch out for. You can keep LÉON on your radar by following @ItsLeonLeon on Twitter.
What do you think of ‘Sleep Deprived’ by LÉON? Would you like to see a music video released for the track? Make sure you let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix!