The track, Nothing More, is available via:
13th December, 2018
I am looking around for new artists to look at this year...
and I am seeing what will define 2019. Before I come to look at Kelli-Leigh and what she is doing right now; I want to look at those who are stars in the making and have a definite confidence about them; sounds that have the soulfulness and R&B styles of the past days with some modern threads; getting to know the person behind the music (through social media); which way music can go this year – I will end by talking about Kelli-Leigh and what she can achieve. I have been searching for artists who have legs and those that can go a long way. Last year was pretty good in terms of new music but I still left it feeling there were fewer long-lasting artists in my mind. Maybe it is the lack of energy in the music or something missing but I was hoping 2019 would start with a bang. Although the Kelli-Leigh song I am going to feature is from later last year, I feel the songwriter is one of those names that can go a very long way. There are a few different aspects and elements that mark her out for longevity. I think music in 2019 needs to show more spirit, physicality and durability than it did in 2018. A lot of artists managed this but so many were quite slow, inward-looking and dour. I was left a little cold at times and searching for something deeper. Kelli-Leigh has her moments where she turns the light inward but you get a lot of confidence and physicality that stays in the mind. I am excited about her and feel she has a lot more to say. You get an artist who can project something extraordinary and nuanced and is not chasing the commercial dollar. She has a fantastic sense of her own self and how to bring that to the page. As opposed some artists out there, Kelli-Leigh is a bold and catchy artist who can pen these instant and original songs.
I will move on to another subject soon but I want to stay here for a bit. Kelli-Leigh has already worked with the likes of Duke Dumont and Jax Jones and has been able to fuse her voice with some great artists. It is early days for her but I have every hope she will go a long way. There is a lot of great material in her locker but I think Kelli-Leigh stands out because she has that confidence and attachment to the material. She pops from the speakers and you buy everything she is putting out. I love her ability to sparkle and to pop; to get out of the traps fast but showcase so many emotional strands. Her music might sound simple on the surface but there is a lot working away. Many songwriters come across simple and have only a limited amount of imagination and ammunition. When you listen to Kelli-Leigh, one feels this complete artist who can step into different moulds and areas and shine. At the moment, the music she is putting out mixes Electronic and R&B sounds but I know she can succeed in other genres. It would be great to think an E.P. is on its way and we get all these different sides coming out. It is complex explaining what makes a star and how one remains but I can feel it when listening to Kelli-Leigh. The fact she has such affinity for what she is singing and writing in a different way to her peers means you get an original and unique artist. I can see the songwriter carrying down the same lines as she is now but building in other genres and sounds into her mix. If you are looking for someone who can get into the blood and bounces around the memory then Kelli-Leigh is an artist you need to get behind. It may be near the start for her but there are good days ahead.
Kelli-Leigh has that star quality and confidence working well and she has a focused style that has plenty of potential. It is hard to properly define the styles Kelli-Leigh plays but you can hear some classic R&B and Soul alongside more modern Electronic. I am not a huge fan of Electronic music in general and heard a lot of it in 2018. It is nothing against the genre but I feel so many modern artists are leaning on it and it seems to be all anyone can say. Kelli-Leigh only uses brief elements and suggestions of Electronic: her main arsenal is reserved for something smoother, more dynamic and spirited. I can hear R&B from the 1990s and, when listening to her, one gets snatches of the strongest girl groups and female songwriters of the decade. I am a big fan of the 1990s and the best that came out there and Kelli-Leigh seems to evoke the best of the time. There are a lot of great female solo artists around but very few that are doing what Kelli-Leigh is. I love how, on Nothing More, she brings together the sassiest and most spirited elements of R&B and a smoother Soul; some Pop crackle and undertones of Electro. I think the mixture of new and old is a reason why she succeeds. The lyrics and themes are important and get into the head but the sonic blends really make you move. One can get a real blast of nostalgia and something classic but it all hangs around a current and fresh outer-shell. I feel, in 2019, I will move away from a lot of what I reviewed last year and embrace something fresh. Kelli-Leigh represents the best of the new breed emerging right now. She has her own identity and way of working but you can hear little bits of her influences alongside that. Another thing that captures my imagination is how she can bring people into the songs and make them feel like they are part of it.
I have been thinking about 2019 and which artists will make an impression. Last year saw a lot of great new Pop artists emerge and there was a lot happening. I look back and, when thinking about the sounds and very best, there was something missing. I feel it is hard to please everyone in music but there has been a bit of an R&B/Soul gap that I am keen to fill. Maybe others will come through but I love what Kelli-Leigh is doing and will follow her very closely. I should move on now but am impressed by what she is doing and how her music makes you feel. I can listen to a song of hers and the blood bubbles; the head spins and the imagination goes into overdrive. She can put so much into a song and leave you wanting more. That is rare to find in an artist and something that should be encouraged. Kelli-Leigh has moved out of the shadows and working with other artists to work on her own and shine. She has picked up a lot and learned from them; bringing those experiences into what she does and letting her voice reign. I can see how fully-formed she is and how hungry she is. There is something in her music that seems destined to rule the airwaves and last for a very long time. It is hard, as I say, to put a finger on it but I am very excited. The year has only just begun but I feel there are going to be some artists who shine from the outset and define what the year is about. Kelli-Leigh has high hopes and is an ambitious songwriter. What do we require from artists and what makes them last in the memory? Do we want someone who fits in with the crowd or those who stand aside? Everyone has their own mind and tastes but I think those who make a big impression in 2019 will do their own thing and not copy what is already around.
Kelli-Leigh, as I said, seems to evoke some of the best of the past but she manages to stir her own potion and do her own thing. It is not only her original sounds and mind that stands out but it is the way she connects with fans on social media. It may not seem like an important factor but I think artists need to create brilliant songs and be active on social media. So many acts from last year left me a bit cold because they were inactive on social media and were not as busy as you’d hope. I am not suggesting everyone post something every day but one wants to build a relationship with the musician. You get a bit of their personality in the music but I look to platforms like Twitter and get another sense of who the artist is. Kelli-Leigh keeps her fans updated and posts regularly. You get her latest news and what is happening with her music but you also get a sense of the woman behind the music. I feel artists are becoming less and less tangible and harder to pin down. Kelli-Leigh amazes me with her vitality, personality and charm. You get a real sense of the complete artist when you look at her social media. There is a lot more to learn about Kelli-Leigh and that will come from more music. One of the reasons I mention social media is because building that relationship with the artist is key. I felt, last year, I was less connected to musicians than I was previously. Many whose sounds I loved didn’t have much of an online presence and that left me a bit odd. Those who had a better presence left something out of the music and there were very few that seems to have both worlds working well. We have this great platform available and I feel many artists are not utilising it the way we should.
I will come to the final subject in a bit but I want to stay with social media and uniting that with the music. I am turning away a lot of requests for reviews and interviews because the artist is not on Twitter or they do not have much of an online look. I think, in order to recruit fans and resonate, one must consider the Internet and building that bond. Kelli-Leigh keeps her fans abreast and lets you into her world. You get personal details and posts; updates regarding her work and a real sense of who the artist is. Maybe the Kelli-Leigh of the music is different to that on social media but I feel like I am a lot closer to her because of her updates and information. Many accuse social media of lacking soul and relevance but, in musical terms, it is invaluable and should be considered more highly. I will end this segment but would recommend other artists take more care regarding social media and understand how important curating that relationship is. The musicians I have recalled and remembered from 2018 are those who amazed me with their music and how they took to social media. Maybe it is a personal thing but, with the raft of artists out there, the ones who stand and endure are those who can get into the heart and connect with you. I want to be won over and sold when I listen to the music but, when I seek that artist out on social media, I want to get to know the artist and see where they are headed. So many ignore the importance of keeping active on social media and being as visible as they can. Kelli-Leigh is a different artist and one who combines sensational and fresh music together with a great and fascinating online portfolio. I should move onto Nothing More and what Kelli-Leigh is all about.
The opening to Nothing More syncopates and punctuates words. We get a fresh and heavy beat that acts like a solid heartbeat. The heroine sings about this feeling being intoxicating. Rather than rush her words and present them with little thought we get this breathy and passionate delivery that takes care to pronounce every syllable. It is an arresting start that instantly hooks you in and make you think. I caught elements of Aaliyah and Toni Braxton in her voice. That is not meant to lazily compare but you get the same sort of soulfulness and sexuality that these singers projected. Both were renowned for their power and amazing tones and one gets this with Kelli-Leigh. Despite the fact she is a British artist, one hears an American influence in her music. The Electronic genre has been over-used and many artists do not utilise its full force. Kelli-Leigh uses the beats to give that heartbeat and lust and some electronic sounds to project electricity and colour. So many lazily throw together beats but the heroine is using them to highlight a song that is about surrendering to a feeling. It seems like both parties are hesitating and denying this clear feeling that is in the air. Maybe there is a reason behind the hesitation but the time for denial is over. One gets a real sense of sweat and desire. The heroine knows the man thinks about it and wants her. They have been apart and spent time alone; maybe they have found other people or been spending time reflecting. I like the way the words are delivered with punch but there is time and consideration. The pace starts to shift and you get this snaking and erotic charge. Kelli-Leigh has been spending her time in the shadows but she is ready for a change. It seems like the reality of the bond is different to the dream.
The hero feels them being together would be a mistake and the fantasy is what they are holding onto. Maybe they have tried to be a couple but they have rushed in. Maybe their personalities and desires are different and they are on separate pages. I get the feeling Kelli-Leigh is more invested and wants something longer-term. The hero might be in it for the chase and physical side; perhaps the two of them need time to cool. I have heard a lot of songs about desire and trying to overcome obstacles but none the same as this. Nothing More seems to resonate right away and its title takes on its own meaning. Perhaps all they can ever be is a concept and an apparition. The chorus sees the heroine slink and smoothly wind with the beats. When it comes to delivering her mantra, we get that syncopated and punchy delivery. It is great hearing this sweaty and alluring tongue make the words stick and resound. It is clear she wants something more than is being given and knows the man wants it to. His identity is never revealed but one feels there is a history between them. It is not revealed why they cannot be together but I think both want different things. It is said that the two of them together would be onto a loser and they would not survive. Again, there is mystery as to why they would fail and not gel. There is a clear sexual attraction but one feels the two sweethearts are on different plains. It is interesting hearing the story unfold and listening to the heroine campaign. It is quite rare to find a female artist who knows that things might be a failure but presses ahead regardless. I feel Kelli-Leigh knows there is more to this feeling than sex. She has been in the wilderness for a bit and wants to rectify this.
Maybe she is supposed to be this fantasy and comply with this unrealistic notion. I get breaths of Beyoncé when she sighs and you get the wordless vocals. I also hear bits of Kelly Rowland and, whilst it might be remiss of me to compare her to others I mean it in positive spirit. She takes aspects of classic and iconic singers but shines with her own voice. I like that blend of the original and familiar and it makes the song explode. It is an addictive and instantly memorable cut that you will be singing and remembering for a long time. The beats draw you in and, whilst they are of a similar ilk and one-dimensional, they manage to make their mark and bring the song to life. I love the composition and how you get that balance of electronic smoothness and stiff beats. Our heroine has had her say and I do wonder whether the two will ever get together. I feel they have had this connection in the past but it seems like their divisions are playing a part. They might come from different lives and it is impossible for them to be a couple. I get the sense the hero is playing hard to get a little a bit and might not believe his own words. In any case; we have this song that lays out its story and ambitions. Our heroine feels a little exhausted and wonders what she is supposed to do. You do feel sorry for her and wonder why things cannot work out. The sense I get is of this frustrated woman who knows there is potential but there is this roadblock. Nothing More is an original and fascinating take on frustrated love and trying to overcome differences. I selected this song to review because its video is out and shows a different side to the track. I urge you to watch it and see the star quality Kelli-Leigh has. I feel she will go a very long way and 2019 will be a big year for her. She has not been producing her own music for too long but is already confidence and has her own style. We do not get many artists who have the same voice, textures and magic as Kelli-Leigh. Make sure you follow her and look at what comes next. Here is an artist who seems complete already but has the potential to grow and improve. Nothing More is a fantastic and sultry offering that will get into the head and seduce the senses. Not many artists can accomplish that.
I think 2019 will be a very busy one for Kelli-Leigh. She shines with star quality and how so much working for her. Not only is she a confidence and passionate artist but the material she is producing has its own skin and energy. Nothing More is a song that has been out a little bit but you only need look at the video to see Kelli-Leigh is a star. There is something about her that gets into the brain and makes you smile. It is hard to describe her sound and what it is but there is that mixture of R&B with Electro. You get a fiery and intense sense of confidence and drive but there are soulful touches and whispers that mix alongside that. The sheer weight, physicality and emotion one gets from her music is overwhelming. I would like to see more material in 2019 and I know Kelli-Leigh will produce some incredible stuff. Maybe it will sound like the stuff she has already put out but Kelli-Leigh is always evolving and developing. I am thrilled to see where she goes from here and what she can come up with. I love what she does because it is original and hard to compare with others but you get a sense of something familiar. That might sound contradictory but it is a satisfying combination that remains in the mind. I think artists this year need to think about social media and music and making sure they are as active as possible. So many songs from 2018 walked alongside the darker and moodier side of the coin and I was left feeling somewhat empty and cold. I can understand the need to project the sense of self and truth but we need music to be more positive and lift the listener. I want to listen to artists who can get into the head and make me feel better. Kelli-Leigh can be introverted and talk about heartache but she specialises in the more seductive, passionate and uplifting side of things.
Maybe I have laboured long on this subject but I am hopeful this year will be a great one. If artists can take something from Kelli-Leigh and do their own version then I think it will be a richer and more interesting scene. It is early days so it is hard to predict which sounds will define 2019. I feel there will be a move away from straighter Pop and more depressing sounds and a more developed, colourful and physical style of music come to the fore. I will wrap things up but I am impressed by how far Kelli-Leigh has come and what she is about. There is so much that catches the eye and tongue and I am tipping her for big things. That may sound premature but there is a lot working in Kelli-Leigh’s favour. Her fanbase is rising and she has that dedicated support. The music has an instant quality and brilliance and you find yourself repeating her songs. Make sure you follow what she is doing and keeping an eye out. I feel she has an E.P. in her and there are some big gigs ahead. Organisers and promoters will be looking around for artists to fit the bill and play and I feel Kelli-Leigh has that star quality. She might not be headline-ready quite yet but this will not be the case in years to come. I have been following her for a little while and can see how she has grown and matured. I am taken back to a better time when I hear her music and it fills my senses with pleasure. I shall leave things now and round it all up. Kelli-Leigh ended 2018 with a bang and she is getting stronger with each release. Nothing More is a terrific song that has so much life and nuance. You find fresh revelation every time you play it and get a sense of who the artist is. She has the ambition to go a long way and make a big success of herself. That is only a matter of time and, if she keeps on putting material out like this, her name will be…
PHOTO CREDIT: @aidantobias
SYNONYMOUS to all.