Peckham based soul singer Leo Lore has unveiled new single ‘Billie’, which is the first offering from his forthcoming EP.
Having made his debut on ‘Sorrow’s Golden’ last year, Leo fuses soul, jazz and Motown, with new single ‘Billie’ boldly soundtracking his journey to self-acceptance. An ode to Billie Holiday, the track was born out of a breakup which forced Leo to confront his identity and overcome his shame in his sexuality. Turning to the legendary American jazz singer to pull him through this period of self-exploration, ‘Billie’ reflects Leo’s fondness of the old-skool which he gives a contemporary twist via his frank lyrics and punchy production. As the song progresses, Leo’s raw yet smooth vocals represent his new-found confidence as he declares ‘now I make myself feel good like I should’.
I suppose I started writing music at a really young age – just me and my guitar, and I always felt it was a kind of outlet for me and a way to express things that I found hard to talk about, the artist explains. Going onto point how [Billie] has had profound changes on how he sees himself as an artist going forward. Highlighting how in writing these lyrics has been a pretty defiant point in his own identity, and something that the artist is still learning to own and celebrate in his song writing.
Describing his music as a new take on soul, jazz and Motown; the Peckham artist feels like “there aren’t enough queer people sharing their narratives in a predominantly heterosexual industry”, which for him proves that although society has come a long way in the past few decades, it clearly hasn’t come far enough, with homophobia still prevalent and young people still lacking healthy role models. Something he is keen to help bridge to the next step.
The artist hopes people can find some comfort from his track, even though it’s a ‘breakup’ tune. According to Leo, it’s still got a self-love kinda theme; it’s about learning to feel good in your skin again, which is something that can feel out of reach when you’re at a low point, he explains. The artist opens up about having suffered from anxiety and bouts of depression since he was a teenager. He believes whilst it’s not something you can ever completely overcome, you can try to learn to manage it… “I’m still learning to undo today at the age of 26, but I’m definitely proud of how far I’ve come so far!”
Discussing social media, Leo notes how it can be a good tool for musicians to reach more people, especially at a time when gigging has been out of the questions. A helpful way to stay connected, he believes it’s important to give yourself regular breaks from it, turn off notifications and try not to get sucked into the ever-lasting scroll-athon. When it comes to advice, the artist believes it comes down to the classic perspective of making music you love and to not let anyone tell you otherwise. “It’s a proper difficult industry to stay positive in, and with opportunities that come far and few between, it’s just about honing your craft and learning to be confident and own it. Set yourself small goals and keep on track to achieve them!!” Going onto point out how his biggest challenge has been learning not to give up. Highlighting how it’s easy to feel disheartened when you release music you’ve worked hard on and nobody gives it credit. However, Leo believes it’s all part of the process, and something that has led him to keep developing as an artist and as a person. Without that reality check, he feels he would have simply stagnated.
At the present, the artist is concentrating on his new release whilst in his first year of university, which is taking up most of the aspiring artist’s time. In addition to compiling a host of new material, with the plan is to get back in the studio with his producer, Mikey Shaw (from Dub Cavern Studio) over the summer and get some more tracks ready for release.#watchthisspace