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SPOTLIGHT ON LEADR

LEADR's new single Hi, I'm Human is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and more.

Image: Stella Chyun


Vietnamese-American musician LEADR recently unveiled his new single, Hi, I'm Human. Spreading a message of unity and love, the ethereal track is a response to power constructs.


The musician is currently working on his forthcoming full-length album, documenting the personal culmination of his musical journey whilst exploring the tropes of heartbreak, purpose, spiritual exploration, and growing up as a member of the LGBTQI+ community.


LEADR has sold-out shows across Los Angeles, performing at The Peppermint Club, The Mint, and The Study, and also supporting UK pop artist Bright Light Bright Light at The Satellite. Furthering his quest to help support LGBTQ and at-risk youth, LEADR was performed at the 2019 Models of Pride Conference, a series commissioned by the Los Angeles LGBT Center.


Hi, I'm Human is out now! Read our interview with LEADR below.



Could you tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey, and your background in music?


It began early on when MTV would play only music videos. I would try to copy and memorize the songs. In high school, I joined the choir and then in college, I taught myself to produce my own music.

Your track Hi, I’m Human speaks to some of the wider social issues in the world, can you tell us a bit about the importance of voicing these truths through your music?


It’s important as an artist to be truthful and honest in your own art. I wanted to use my own platform and make a difference in the world. Hi, I’m Human is my message of bringing unity and love.


How did the song develop and evolve throughout writing and recording the song?


I wrote this song last year in my bedroom with my writing partner, Joey Myron. I usually produce my own music and wanted to try something different. I’ve heard Arlo Parks on my Spotify and knew I wanted to work with Gianluca Buccellati, her producer. We hit it off and he helped me craft this masterpiece.


The visual that accompanies your beautiful vocals is so poignant. Can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind the development of the video clip and how involved were you in conceptualizing the visual?


I’m a very visual person and when I created the song, I knew what I wanted the video to feel like. I wanted to show my vulnerable side and go through Sigmund Freud’s three levels of the mind. The imagery then goes in a loop and each step becomes worse with slurs and blood until I go into my inner child work. Towards the end the video, you see myself washing the hate away. I want to thank my director, Nima Firouzan, and my whole creative team for bringing my vision to life!



Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs?


Most of the time, I would produce a beat and then I create the melodies. From there, I start the writing process.


Things have changed in the world over the past year, how do you feel you worked in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, did you encounter any challenges, or did it perhaps allow you the time and space to explore a whole new sphere within your creative world?


It was such a shock for everyone and I never thought in my life this will ever happen. I was in the middle of performing and releasing new material. I had to cancel my shows. On the flip side, I did a lot of healing work on myself and learned to be more present.


What can we expect from your upcoming LP?

My most vulnerable work yet and I’m working on something innovative visually for one of my songs off the LP.


Who or what are your influences when writing new music? What inspires you?


As of now, I’m inspired by Billie Eilish and I’ve been listening to a lot of 60’s music. I’m tapping into that territory too.


If you could describe your sound to someone who was about to press play on Hi, I’m Human, how would you describe it?

It def has a 90’s throwback mix with my signature ethereal vocals.


With everything that’s been happening in the world touring has changed, what are your 2021 touring plans, what can fans expect from a live show, and is there a chance we’ll see you performing in Australia anytime soon?

I would love to tour Australia and the rest of the world but it’s hard to tell now since we are still in a pandemic. I have some streaming events booked to keep myself going.


RAPID FIRE

Biggest influences?

Billie Eilish, Troye Sivan, Benee

Dream collaboration?

Billie Eilish

Album that has had the most impact on you?

Madonna - Ray of Light

How do you define your musical style in 3 words?

Indie, Pop, Ethereal

A release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?

All my songs from my LP

If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?

Call Me By Your Name



Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?

Hooverphonic - Blue Wonder Power Milk

Last concert you went to?

Bonobo

If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?

LEADR spice

Guilty music pleasure?

BTS, NCT

If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?

Troye Sivan and Billie Eilish

What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?

Be present

The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

Listening to No Doubt - "Don’t Speak"