Interview with Alex Lleo
Midlands-based singer-songwriter Alex Lleo recently shared the fourth single from his upcoming EP Morning Heights. ‘White Water’ was inspired by his experiences in Brooklyn and is imbued with warmth and openness.
The track is about doing things for yourself, forgetting about what others think and finding spaces where you are able to reflect and grow.
It is an immersive track whose soft, acoustic melodies will pull you in immediately and you find yourself getting lost in Lleo’s vocals which are rich and full of feeling.
Recorded in Brooklyn New York, alongside producer Sahil Ansari, ‘White Water’ encapsulates the powerful and raw, live energy that can be generated by one musician in a room.
“I’ve never felt more like an artist, than when I was in Brooklyn. I’d never been anywhere that made me feel like I could do anything, and not be judged at the same time.”
“I felt like I could re-invent myself a hundred times over If I wanted too. I wanted that feeling of ultimate freedom and self expression across this song and entire EP,” says Alex.
‘White Water’ is a terrific track and we know that Morning Heights is going to be a special EP! It was a real pleasure to speak to Alex about all things music ahead of its release…
How did you first learn to play/to sing/to write?
Well I first learnt how to play guitar from some little taster lessons at primary school. I recall wanting to do violin for some reason, but the lessons were full, so my mom signed me up to guitar instead! Haha, pretty glad she did now! Singing came a little later. My dad used to work all over, and during the summer holidays I’d ride along in the van, and we’d go searching for open mics in the evening!
What music did you grow up listening to and which artists had the biggest impact on your sound?
We grew up listening to all sorts honestly, but I do remember Ben Howard’s ‘Every Kingdom’ having a pretty big impact on me during my college days!
What sets your music apart? What is unique or at least uncommon?
Hmm, I’m not sure really, I guess that’s for the listener to hopefully decide! I try not to hide behind to many tricks or frills in my production. I want the songs to breathe a little. Most of my favourite music comes from those records that feel as though you could close your eyes and be in the room witnessing this collaboration of ideas, people and their instruments.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
I guess it’s the mental freedom I suppose. The feeling that you can take any idea in any direction is pretty liberating, and when I think back, music has been an incredible vehicle for me in terms of life experience. It’s been my passport to many adventures!
What is the story behind your new track ‘White Water’?
It’s really a little self-reflection towards stereotypes inspired by a near death experience I had whilst surfing in Ireland a few years back. I gave into a bit of macho peer pressure and ended up in a pretty treacherous place. I used the experience as a kind of metaphor for standing by your gut instincts sometimes, and exploring what is means to be a man.
You are releasing the track on vinyl with Baby Woman Records. What do you love most about listening to music on vinyl?
It’s the whole ritual behind listening to vinyl. The physical process of taking it out the sleeve, arming the needle, adjusting the dials, it’s all kind of cathartic in a way. And it encourages you to listen to a record in full, as the artist intended it to be consumed. I’m a big fan!
What has the process of collaborating with Baby Woman Records been like?
It’s been a beautiful match up I think! Charlotte is such an inspiration with her work ethic, and it’s been so nice to have someone to bounce ideas around with when it comes to that long road of release plans. It can be a lonely place as a DIYer, so it’s been a magical time thus far, and I’m looking forward to seeing the label grow! Big shout out to Amy also, who has been another amazing creative outlet at Babywoman with helping pull things together!
What piece of music do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience it for the first time again?
Anything by Leif Vollebekk!
If you were a song, what would you be and why?
Maybe ‘The Weight‘ by The Band. Haha. Just cruising through life, looking for new places to hide.
What can we expect from you within the next six months? Any releases planned? Future gigs?
Gigs are on the horizon, it’s all I’m thinking about! That, and we have some new music coming later this summer!
by Eveline Vouillemin ©