21 year old multi-instrumentalist Leo Stannard may be a new name and a fresh face to many, but you better get used to the sight of him as his collaboration with Brit Award-nominated songwriter Frances has seen him become a far more familiar face.

Stannard headlines The Harbor Hotel at The Great Escape on May 18th and GIGsoup’s Ben Bowman caught up with the man who’s ability to craft memorable pop melodies has caught the attention of award-winning actress Kate Hudson who fell in love with his voice, just like the rest of his fan base which is growing rapidly. The attention hasn’t gone to his head though as Stannard still likes to enjoy the more simple things in life such as a 99 Flake from the Ice Cream Van. He likes to ‘keep it classic’ – his words, not ours…

How does it feel to be playing The Great Escape 2017?

I can’t wait! I’ve never been before so I’m excited to see what it’s all about. Also, I’ve spent so much time in the studio recently, it’s great to get out, play some shows and play all the news songs I’ve been recording.

What do you know about the festival?

It seems like the place to be for emerging artists, I’ve wanted to do it for a while! But it’s going to be my first time so I don’t know that much about it.

What can we expect from your set at The Great Escape?

I’ve got a brand new live setup. So it’s just the two of us, but the guy I’m playing with is doing about four or five things at the same time and there’s lots of looping and triggering. Very exciting stuff. I’ll be doing some of my older tunes but lots of new stuff as well, like ‘Gravity’ my new single! I can’t wait for everyone to see it and hear it!

What do you know about the other acts playing this year and who would you like to check out?

I’m really excited to see my Sony label-mate Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, I haven’t seen him live yet so that should be great. Also, looking forward to seeing my good mates Mosa Wild because I haven’t seen those boys in a while! We’ve played lots of shows together over the years. It’s going to be great to just wander around as well, and discover new people randomly.

What is the best thing about Brighton? / Have you been to Brighton before?

I’ve been a couple of times before. I love how many creative people there are around, it creates a really nice vibe around the city. And the beach of course!

What were you doing this time last year?

I was in the studio writing all the music that I’m finally getting to record and perform live now! Songwriting has basically been my entire life for the past couple of years, so it’s great to go on tour and play the songs and do great festivals like this.

When you go to the beach what can you not go without? Sunglasses, pennies for the slot machines? A ball of some sort?

Sunglasses and headphones. The beach is the best place to listen to music.

What is the best seaside holiday you’ve been on?

I go to a place in Southern Italy called Maratea quite a lot. It’s my favourite place in the world, just the most incredible landscapes. It’s got nothing on Brighton though obviously though!

What’s your favourite thing to get from the Ice Cream Van?

99 flake, keep it classic.

What are your plans for the rest of the Summer?

I’m mainly going to be finishing off the recording of my album which is all starting to come together now. There will be a few festival appearances as well which I can’t wait for. And I’ll try and go on holiday if I’ve got any free time! Probably to Maratea.

Tickets are selling fast for The Great Escape, for more information on tickets and for the full lineup,  click the picture below.