Lea Lea

Lea Lea
Lea Lea
Lea Lea and Jack Baker
Mike Lesirge and Lea Lea
Recording with Lea Lea - Mike Lesirge, Jack Baker, Chris “Fatty” Hargreaves, Ewan Wallace

Lea Lea’s back with a fabulous earful of fierce - the anthemic single ‘Chasing Paradise’ from her EP ‘Die Pretty Vol II’. She’s playing Glastonbury Festival, has been selected as a BBC Introducing ‘Artist To Watch’, receiving radio support from BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music and attention from Noisey, AfroPunk, Red Bull Music and more for her signature pop-rock sound. When she isn’t making her own music, she is touring and writing with dance/pop-punk band Chk Chk Chk (!!!), working with members of Friendly Fires, Crystal Fighters, and writing for other projects. We talked to her about the new release, her label and more.

Gothic Luau

Lea Lea - Chasing Paradise

Lea Lea blasted her way into people’s consciousness with her thrilling voice - her debut album drew comparisons to MIA and Kelis, and put her on the BBC Introducing ‘Artist To Watch’ list. Her new single, ‘Chasing Paradise’, is taken from her upcoming EP ‘Die Pretty Vol.ll’. It’s a huge hook-laden track with vocals that will sear themselves into your ears.

Lea Lea has been honing her sound with the help of writing/record label partner Kim Garrett (Gothic Luau), producer Jack Baker (Bonobo, Alice Russell) and Chris ‘Fattybassman’ Hargreaves (Alex Claire, Submotion Orchestra). We asked her to tell us more about the new EP.

This is the powerful first single from your new EP, tell us what it’s about.

I was drinking with my songwriting partner Kim Garrett and we started daydreaming about what we’d do with the very simple notion of having a whole day off (which is pretty novel these days). It started with the simple things of what we’d eat and drink and what a day of freedom meant to us. It quickly though became a discussion about what it means to have full liberation for women. This is how ‘Chasing Paradise’ came about, it’s a song about taking the reins and seizing the day. From daily struggles to inequality, this song is a mantra of freedom. Giving two fingers to the establishment and always chasing your own personal paradise.

Lea Lea

How was the EP written and recorded?

This EP was written and recorded much like ‘Die Pretty Vol. l’. It usually starts with Kim and I drinking Tequila, talking about politics, inequality, relationships, fun nights out, what makes us piss our pants with laughter and also what brings tears to our eyes. For this EP I wanted to explore the idea of complete freedom and what it meant to me as a women and as a human. My band and I headed up to Leeds to record at the wonderful Greenmount studio. Like the first EP we kept it raw, hit record and played all takes together with minimal overdubs. I think there’s a magic about going back to basics and recording this way. With the concept of freedom being the content focus; I also wanted that to be apparent in the sound so there’s a lot of free style guitar and vocal moments to add to the psychedelia.

You’re running your own record label, what does that mean for you as an artist?

Complete freedom. I like the idea of being involved with every aspect of creativity and also business. Creating Gothic Luau meant I got to do that. The idea of working hard for years on a record just to give it away to an exec with their own business vision makes me uncomfortable. The music world is so dominated by men and I felt a responsibility to help even the score by collaborating with some amazingly talented women (Kim Garrett and Lia Nicholls) to create Gothic Luau. Pretty excited for all our upcoming projects!

What’s it been like touring with Chk Chk Chk? (!!!)

Well I get to wear hotpants, sing and dance like I’m on acid every night while on tour so I’d say it’s pretty awesome. They’re a lovely bunch that are full of wisdom and open to ideas too. Feel very honoured to perform with them and excited for our album to drop this year!

What are your plans for 2017?

The year began with launching my label Gothic Luau and we’ll be releasing the single on 17th Feb with the EP ‘Die Pretty Vol.ll’ to follow on 3rd March. My big label/EP launch is also on the 2nd March at The Old Blue Last! The rest of the year I’ll be touring my solo project as well as the new !!! album, finishing a project with Edd from Friendly Fires and also introducing an upcoming Gothic Luau fashion line. 2017 is going to be hectic!

Read more about Lea Lea’s vocals, recording process, and music gear here.