The 21st July 2018 saw the release of Hampshire-based contemporary singer-songwriter Leon C’s debut album, ‘Please.’ With ten years of classical guitar training behind him, Leon C brings a depth of musicality to his songs that complement his poetic lyrics. Taking inspiration from numerous genres has allowed Leon to create a unique sound, and combine elements of folk, pop and classical in his songwriting. With acoustic guitar accompanied by orchestral instruments, the album as a whole introduces a mature sound in the form of cleverly crafted stories within the lyrics to each track.GIGsoup had the opportunity to talk to Leon about the album upon the day of it’s release.
Congrats on the release of your debut album, Leon! Can you pick a favourite track off the record, or is there one that has special significance to you?
My favourite song of the album is ‘The Accordion.’ It’s tough though, and ‘Babes of War’ follows a close second. But the other one that has a lot of significance is ‘Travel Man’ as that was the second single we released and is about my dad.
Can you tell us a bit about the writing and recording process?
The album was written from October 2016 to September 2017. The process was just sit down and write when I felt like it and had inspiration. All the songs had meaning – some about myself, others about the world’s current condition as well some just from a raw emotion that I didn’t understand. I started of writing it more ‘poppy.’ There were a lot of songs in process, but until about December the only song I wrote for the album was ‘Travel Man.’ Then I discovered Dylan and I found a way of writing that I found was quite unique to me and I was really proud of, so then the album sort of churned its way out with a break from writing through July and August. We did a few demo recordings in the studio at Armistice Records in Winchester with my friend and producer Ollie Robinson in July 2017. Then when I decided I wanted to record at least a few singles we went for it and recorded ‘Fists’ and ‘Travel Man’ to be released. By October of 2017 I was certain I had enough money and time for an album and so it began. We recorded all but ‘Babes of War’ and ‘Tuscaloosa’ live, to give some rawness to the record and then added instruments over the top. I write with the ideas in my head. Like each different instrument and working with Ollie helped me pick out what instruments I was thinking of. By April 2018 the recording was done and it was all mastered by June.
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You’re about to embark on a tour to support the album. What’s the most exciting part about going on the road for you?
The tour is an exciting and terrifying thing. I can’t really say what the most exciting thing is about touring because it’s my debut tour! But I am looking forward to trying new audiences, and travelling on the cheap (it’s a skill, praise what is above for 16-25 railcards) is also a highly satisfying experience so that should be fun! Oh, and also meeting new people of course, as well as seeing all the new places.
Saturday night also saw the success of Leon’s sold out album launch, taking place at The Art House in Southampton. With support from DG Poetry, Zany Word & The Starry Prophecy and Fly Away Peter, the event kicked off Leon C’s debut tour with a very promising start.
CATCH LEON C ON TOUR:
Album Launch: The Art House, Southampton 21/07
Mr Medler Folk Tales @ The Benjamin Perry Scout Hut, Bristol 25/07
Darkroom Espresso: Swindon 26/07
Flirt Cafe and Bar, Bournemouth 27/07
Castle Tap, Reading 29/07
Folking Around, Kingston 01/08
Maple Leaf Lounge Sessions @ The Talking Heads, Southampton 03/08
Jags at 119, Southsea 07/08
Ventnor Winter Gardens @ Ventnor, Isle of Wight 09/08
Elm Grove, Eastleigh 10/08
Cafe Ronak, Bristol 11/08
Clockwork Bar, Southampton 12/08
Up the Junction, Reading 15/08
The Three Monkeys @ The Art House, Southampton 17/08
The Garden Sessions @ The Railway Inn, Winchester 18/08
The Acoustic Folk Highway @ The Harrison, London 19/08
The Olive Tree Cafe, Swindon 23/08
Tap Social Movement, Oxford 24/08
The Docks Coffee House, Southampton 25/08
Victorious Festival: Strong Island Acoustic Stage, Southsea 26/08
The Maple Leaf Lounge @ The Talking Heads, Southampton 01/09
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