EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Leah Capelle

Leah Capelle is a multi-talented singer/songwriter who is constantly unveiling layers of her identity to the world, focusing mostly on women’s rights, body positivity, and an overall understanding of oneself.

She’s an exciting talent and today she shares her official music video for latest release ‘Settle Down’.

So we thought it would be a great time to catch up with Leah Capelle to discuss the track further:

What inspired the story behind “Settle Down”?
“Settle Down” was written at a time when I felt very disenfranchised with my art. I had a number of mentors (primarily men), who I thought were in my court, pushing and pulling me in various artistic directions that didn’t feel authentic. The result left me sad, confused, and frustrated. This song became a letter to myself, almost a soliloquy, reminding myself that I am strong and in control of both my emotions and my creative vision. The video, then, became a visual interpretation of that story. The paint represents exterior pressures and ideas, pushed onto me by others, and eventually by my own hands. It’s a metaphor for the inner workings of my mind – a white space tainted by social standards and expectations – thrown into utter chaos as I rebel against those standards. Each paint can is labeled with a message – all actual statements that have been made to me in an effort to subliminally control me, and women as a whole. “You’re good, for a girl…” “You need to take up less space,” and “Why are you so – YOU – all the time?” are three that have stuck with me.

What was it that made you want to share the visuals at this point in time?
As a feminist, I think it’s so important to be vulnerable and strong at the same time and to take back control of our bodies – and our art. Two years into Trump’s presidency, and women’s rights have arguably regressed, not progressed. So in our current political climate, art has a much more important role than in the last decade. It provides an escape, yes, but I believe that saying something with your art makes it all the more powerful. This video is the most authentic and risky piece of art I’ve ever created, both with the political undertones and the suggested nudity. With city-wide Women’s Marches popping up all over the country in January, and March being Women’s Awareness Month, February feels like the perfect in between to release this video! [I do want to also address the controversy that arose surrounding the Women’s March on Washington this year, and some inappropriate statements made by one of the leaders. The Women’s Movement is supposed to be about inter-sectional inclusion, so any person – male or female – that cannot accept and love all people does not have my support.]

How was the writing process like for this track?
Writing this song came very quickly for me, as most of my songs do. I’m a very stream-of-consciousness writer, and I sometimes feel like I just snatch the song out of thin air. A songwriting teacher of mine recently said that the gift of a great songwriter is to let the inspiration flow through you, not to chase after it, and I couldn’t agree more. I think my most genuine, authentic songs are the ones that I don’t sit down to write. The production process was much more hands on. My producer (Jeff Bova) and I went through various revisions on this track for roughly two years before it finally clicked. We’re both incredibly proud of the way it turned out.

What are you hoping fans will take from the song?
That it’s okay to be alone. That it’s okay to be different. That it’s okay to stand up for yourself and take back your power. That it’s okay to feel stuck. And that things always get better.

How important do you feel music videos are to the success of a single these days?
Music videos provide a deeper look into the artist’s creative psyche. I can’t necessarily speak to the success of a single, but visuals are an outlet for the artist to express deeper meanings hidden in their music that might be missed upon first listen. They also provide fans another way to connect with the artist and get a better sense for the artist’s personality and vibe!

When working on new material, where do you usually look for inspiration?
I’m constantly inspired by the way life unfolds in front of me. Friendships, relationships, pain, joy, loss – all of it fuels me to write. I’m also very fortunate to have a tight-knit group of friends in Los Angeles who all have unique creative strengths, and they push me to be better every single day. I’m so grateful for them.

How would you describe your overall music style to new listeners?
My songwriting oscillates a bit, but the direction I’m heading is alternative/rock with folk and pop sensibilities baked in. The giants EP was the stepping stone from my old sound – which was more singer/songwriter pop – into a distorted, edgy yet delicate sound that features more electronic elements and experimental sounds. I’m super excited about this direction and finally feel like I’ve found my most genuine musical direction!

What else can fans expect from you in 2019?
2019 is about to be a huge year for me. I’ll be performing locally in Los Angeles all year, showcasing at the Red Gorilla Music Festival in Austin this March and at Summerfest Music Festival in June, and I’m planning to tour the Midwest this summer. I’m also making plans to tour Europe in the fall. I was recently endorsed by Breedlove Guitars, Keeley Electronics, and Sennheiser, and I’m super stoked to be working with companies that I’ve loved for so long. I’m also currently in the studio working on my first full length LP with plans to roll out the first single this spring, so stay tuned for new music!

Make sure you follow Leah on Twiter @LeahCapelle to keep up to date with all her latest music and tour news.

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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