THE fantastic Tom Leeb…
has been explaining the story behind his latest single, Are We Too Late, and discussing his E.P., Tom Leeb. I ask the songwriter which artists have influenced him and whether there are a few albums that mean a lot to him – Leeb talks about his plans going forward.
I wanted to know whether he has a favourite memory from his career so far and which sounds he grew up around; why he decided to follow Folk and which rising artists we need to keep an eye out for – he ends the interview by selecting a great song.
Hi, Tom. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s been great. It’s had seven days and seven nights - just how I planned it!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I am a Pop-Folk singer-songwriter from France.
The video for Are We Too Late is out. What was it like creating that? Is it true you went out to Normandy to film it?
Filming this music video is the consecration of a lot of things…making it all happen; from writing the melody, to writing the words and making it sound original; true, sincere. Once you have all that, you then need images that elevates the music. Normandy was the right place for it.
Are you surprised by the success of the song and how many people have responded to it?!
Yes, very much so! I believe there is an audience for me out there in the world, but never have I thought it would be that big already, a few months after its release. I am feeling blessed!
Your eponymous E.P. is out. What sort of themes inspired the music on? Do you have a favourite cut from the collection?
The usual brokenhearted man that puts words over music. Joking! But, not joking. I had one love and one heartbreak; both of them two (lots of) six songs - my E.P.
How did you start in music? Were you raised around a lot of music?
My dad is a Jazz fan and has tons of C.D.s at his house and he used to play them a lot whilst I was growing up. From a young age, I was fed with music so I feel like I’ve always had it in my blood. I started music as a drummer and then, later, first picked up a guitar in N.Y.C. - where I was studying - in 2009.
Is there something about Folk music that attracted you? How come you took that direction?
I was blown away by a John Mayer performance back in my dorm room in 2009. It was a live version of the song, In Your Atmosphere, from the live album, Where the Light Is. Straight away, I knew this was the genre I wanted to explore with my own music!
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I am more of a day-by-day kind of guy. I don’t usually look too far in to the future but I understand you’re interested in knowing my ambition. Well. My E.P. is the first honest piece of my life. I want to share it with people so that they can connect with the lyrics and/or the melody - that’s my goal for today, tomorrow and the end of 2018.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
New York, 2011 I’m playing at an open mic night called The Underground; my girlfriend is here, with her phone out and getting it all on tape. There were musicians on stage in case a singer didn't play an instrument - or wanted to play a cover song - but I had my own instrument and didn’t want to play a cover.
I started singing solo; first verse, first chorus. Halfway through the song, all the musicians got it and joined me on second verse, as if it was all rehearsed. I’ll always remember the feeling of having a band joining me.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
John Mayer - Continuum
The first album that inspired me in all ways.
Coldplay - Ghost Stories
Unreal. So deep and so melodious.
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Incredible musician and songwriter. This album is so singular.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
My friend and fellow Folk singer Hugo Barriol. He’s got something in his sound. Look him up!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I am myself a new artist coming through, so I’m still learning everyday. I’d still tell my fellow artists to never stop dreaming and dream bigger. But, on top of all that, work. Hard. Practice every day for hours. Go from good, to very good to even better. Don’t ever compare. Do your thing.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
I’m based in France for now. But, soon enough, I’ll be touring in Europe!
IN THIS PHOTO: Melissa Bon
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I don’t really: music is my therapy, my job but also my chill time.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Matt Corby - Wrong Man
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PHOTO CREDIT: @nicolasburlot