October Rose – a duo made up of Leanne Weiss and Derek Allan, who connected over social media whilst they were still pursuing solo careers – is currently making huge waves in the country music scene. The country music genre is currently one of the fastest growing genres and October Rose is certainly making some serious inroads to making themselves a household name.
They released their debut EP All In a couple of months ago, featuring their debut single “Heartbreak Song” as well as four other tracks. The EP takes country-pop elements and incorporates a rockier edge, staying true to Leanne and Derek’s country roots.
You can watch the official lyric video for “Heartbreak Song” from October Rose below:
Leanne and Derek recently took time out of their busy schedule to chat with us about their debut EP All In, their experiences opening for artists including Russell Dickerson and their plans for the rest of 2018.
1. Firstly, can you tell us what made you both want to pursue a career in music?
Derek: I actually never thought about pursuing a career in music until a few years ago. For me, it was all gradual and started with songwriting. I wrote a song and wanted people to hear it so I went out and played it live. People liked what I was doing and asked me to perform at gigs so I started booking shows and releasing more of my music. Then I figured I might as well try to make some money so I started selling music and booking paying shows. When I met Leanne I was at a point where I was ready to take that to the next level.
Leanne: When I was little, I loved singing and writing songs. When I was in college I joined a wedding band and started performing, songwriting, and recording professionally. It wasn’t until 2013 that I was determined to make my dreams come true. After some divine intervention, I was able to record my first EP, set some wheels in motion, and starting performing out. Now, with Derek, we are pursuing our careers together, so it’s awesome!
2. Growing up, who were your musical inspirations?
Leanne: I grew up idolizing great female vocalists like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Faith Hill, and Barbra Streisand. Also, I have a musical theatre background and enjoyed listening to show tunes!
Derek: Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Journey, Black Label Society.
3. You recently released your debut EP All In. Can you tell us about the process behind making the EP and what part you enjoyed most (writing, recording etc.)?
We both love the songwriting process and crafting new songs. This whole thing really started with us writing one song that was going to be one of our solo releases and morphed into us forming a duo. Once we started pumping out songs in our writing sessions and people were liking our harmonies we knew it was the right move to move forward with an EP. At first, we had three songs ready to record going into the studio and by the end of our session we left with six songs written and recorded. It’s awesome to see what we do with just our vocals and an acoustic guitar get translated into a full production. The studio can be stressful at times but working with Chris Badami at Portrait Studios really made the process flow! He is a talented producer and a great drummer too!
4. Do you each have a favourite song from the EP?
Leanne: “Heartbreak Song” is special because it’s the first song we ever wrote together and our first radio single. While I love all of our songs, I do love “Bonfire!”
5. Have you any plans to release a full album?
We are so busy promoting “All In” but have already started writing songs for the next album. We have no concrete plans to release a full album yet.
6. How would you describe your musical sound to any new listeners?
Leanne: It’s country pop with a rock edge.
Derek: Lady Antebellum on steroids :-)
7. You have opened for artists such as Sara Evans, Drew Baldridge and Russell Dickerson. Can you tell us a bit about those experiences?
We’ve had some great experiences so far. Opening for Drew Baldridge was our full band debut as October Rose. Drew is a great guy so the show was high energy and a lot of fun! Last summer, we played for a packed house at the Jersey Shore for Russell Dickerson.
8. If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be and why?
We’d love a jam session with Rascal Flatts. They have great melodies and harmonies and would probably be fun to hang with and write some tunes.
9. If you could pick one moment that stands out from your career so far, what would it be?
The best moment so far was hearing our first single “Heartbreak Song” on the radio as we were driving in upstate New York.
10. What plans have you got for the rest of 2018?
In addition to touring and playing shows, we plan on releasing one or two songs to radio, shoot music videos, and promote our debut EP.
11. Finally, have you got a message for your fans?
Thank you for supporting us and helping us build momentum! We have a lot more great things in store so stay with tuned!
Thank you so much to Leanne and Derek for taking the time to chat with us.
October Rose fans, we have some exciting news for you! In August, the duo will be performing alongside country duo High Valley in New Jersey. Tickets are available here for $20, however, we can exclusively offer a LIMITED amount of FREE tickets – all you have to do is RSVP to [email protected]. The performance is part of Jenks Country Wednesdays and will take place in Jenks Club at Jenks Pavilion, 300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasure Beach, NJ.
To keep up to date with the latest from October Rose, you can follow the duo on social media.