- Wed, 2009-01-07 15:33
The latest single from Ava Leigh, La La La, is out now and blends together a smooth reggae vibe with her effortless soul tinged vocals. With a love for reggae and the music of yester-year, the story of this lovely bundle of sass, vocals and style has only just begun.
Certainly one to watch in 2009, we caught up with Ava Leigh to chat about her new single, festivals, music, friends, things she likes and how she approaches her music making.
"I Like Music because… it’s very good for the soul.” Ava Leigh
ILM: Your new single La La La is out soon. Can you give us your own personal description of the tracks whole vibe?
Ava: I like to describe La La La as an 'angry' love song. Hehe! It's the scenario where the rose tinted glasses have been taken off and you finally see all the wrongs with someone, but ultimately, you still love them. Music-wise, it has an old flavour to it, especially the video, but it has a big contemporary feel to it as well.
ILM: The single is taken from your debut album, what can we expect from the album?
Ava: The album is a mixed bag of all different flavours of reggae, which is my love. That’s the beauty of reggae, there are so many different styles. There is some lovers rock, some rocksteady, a little ska and some more rootsy songs. Lyric-wise, they are all about my personal experiences or ones that have inspired me.
ILM: What did you learn throughout the process of putting your album together?
Ava: I learnt a lot about myself, about music, about the industry. The first album is always gonna be kinda hard because there are so many people you have to please! But that aside, it was also a very creative experience. I met a couple of great producers/songwriters who are now close friends, and hopefully I’Il have a larger knowledge of music production from now on!
ILM: What do you look forward to the most about playing live?
Ava: When performing live, the thing I look forward to most is the fact that you are almost giving your song away to the audience. The whole writing and studio process is cool, but you hear the song so many times you can get sick of it! When you sing it live, it belongs to everyone in the room and hopefully they like it! Also performing allows you to be more than you are, and you are able to express yourself more than you can in the studio.
ILM: Can you describe the Ava Leigh process of writing and recording?
Ava: To be honest it depends who I’m with and how I’m feeling. There are times when I'll have an awesome idea for a bassline and we'll build a track around that, other times a great song can come out in a jam and other times I can think of a great hook. It really varies. But it’s always a fun experience!
A great way for me to get inspiration and drive is to listen to some great music from yester-year, it really makes me wanna up my game. Recording is the best part for me, I have to have copious amounts of reverb in my ears to get me in the zone. I prefer recording at the end of the day as my voice tends to have a bit more grit. Also I love to get my teeth into the harmonies: I’ve been harmonising with everything I hear since the age of 9!
Lastly, the most important thing for me is getting to know the person I'm working with. There’s nothing worse than being thrown in a studio with some producer you don’t know and being told to 'write a hit song' in a day! It just doesn’t happen like that!
ILM: Who/what are your inspirations?
Ava: I love great vocalists that tell a story with their singing. I adore Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughn, Al Green, Marvin Gaye. Music wise, I’m really inspired by Jonny Nash, Bob Marley, Lee Perry, Gershwin... I love old music, I love old skool ska. I just love the crusty old sound in older records so much, so I would say on the whole that it’s old music that inspires me because that’s all I listen to! Ooo - Festivals and fields inspire me too!
ILM: What are your plans for 2009?
Ava: Plans for 2009.... continue with my career, be successful, be happy. I have a good feeling about 2009 :)
ILM: What is your earliest musical memory?
Ava: My earliest music memory is being at my nan’s house when I was very, very young. She used to have a piano there. It was probably very out of tune, but I remember my brother playing on it. He learnt by ear and is very talented.
ILM: What would be your ideal night out?
Ava: My ideal night out would be a night at the beach with my friends on a warm summer’s night, a nice fire, some good music and loving life :) Either that, or a night at the Big Chill Festival!
ILM: What’s in your CD player right now?
Ava: Right now, I’m listening to Ska Cubano and their self titled album. I recently discovered them and I think the album is awesome. It’s my two favourite styles of music, ska and Cuban: brilliant!
ILM: Out of all the gigs you have seen, which will you never forget and why?
Ava: Hmmm there are three that stick out in my mind...
- Radiohead last summer in Victoria Park was immense! It was brilliant, such a great feeling! It was also great to reminisce on the old times when I had heard their songs for the first time
- Sia in Brighton. I'd always thought she had an amazing voice, but when she performed you couldn’t take your eyes off her. Everyone left that gig wanting to know more, wanting to be her friend, and I left the gig on such a high: she’s awesome!
- The Cat Empire- Shepherd’s Bush. My favourite band in the whoooolllee world!!!!!!! I love these guys, and their live shows are awesome! It was amazing, I had such a great time and will never forget it. Imagine my surprise when they were playing at Glastonbury the year I went!!! Woop!