The NYC-based newcomer wants us all to live our best lives this summer, soundtracked by her debut EP “Impulse”.
Leah Kate has always dreamed of making music. Since spending her childhood pelting along to Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears albums, singing has been her space for self-expression – an escape from the pressures of school, corporate jobs and life in LA.
Then, after years of recording music with her brother at home, attracting the attention of various New York DJs but not having the confidence or resources to quit her day job, Leah walked into a club at the age of 23 to hear one of her songs playing and decided she wouldn’t compromise any more.
Today, she’s released the culmination of over a year’s hard work on her debut EP “Impulse”. Celebrating living life freely, owning her mistakes and chasing her dream, the six-track record documents her life, relationships and self-discovery in NYC.
We caught up with Leah to find out more about the project, her journey so far, and why she wants to inspire us all to embrace our best selves.
Hi Leah! Can you tell us when you first got into music?
I remember seeing 1800 commercials as a three-year-old to order Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera albums. I vividly remember the feeling I would get and the smile that would take over my face, because I knew one day I would do the same. I always told myself “one day”. It was just a matter of time and when I would gain the proper confidence.
What artists have inspired you over the years?
Growing up I listened to gross amounts of Christina Aguilera on repeat. She probably taught me how to sing and do cool vocal riffs. I loved Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Fergie, Katy Perry, Amy Winehouse, Patti Smith, Britney Spears. As I got a bit older I started to start to love dance music. David Guetta was my whole life… Once I snuck up onto his stage in Cannes and danced the night away until the morning!
How would you describe your own sound?
My music is sexy. It’s fun. It’s pop music, but fused with dark dance elements. My lyrics are honest and vulnerable and relatable – they’re self-empowering, and inspire listeners to go out and get what they want and to be in touch with their feelings. I want to inspire people to not be afraid. Although I am a pop artist, I have different styles of pop in all of my songs: some are super electronic and upbeat and others have dark and sad elements.
What inspires your lyrics?
I am very vulnerable and honest – in my lyrics, you know what’s up in my life and I’m not afraid to share it. I want people to relate.
When did you move to NYC? Has the city influenced your music and creativity?
I moved to NYC when I was 23. I was under so much pressure in LA to be someone that I wasn’t. I worked a corporate job and was so lost. Music was burning inside of me, but I was hindered by my surroundings and pressures. When I moved to NYC it was the first real freedom I’ve had as an adult. I had an apartment in the west village and was experiencing life as a young girl in NYC… It was absolutely crazy; I guess I could say I lost my mind for a second. The party scene was heavy and my friends and I were a bunch of nutcases! I made a lot of mistakes and did a lot of things I regret but I had to lose my self to find myself and figure out who I am and who I want to be. This in turn really impacted my creativity and a lot of my writing.
So your new EP is just dropped… How long have you been working on it and how does it feel to have the songs out in the world?
Over a year. It is kind of mind-blowing to me that I have reached this point – I always thought I would be to afraid to go out and do this. A year and a half ago, I was sitting in my therapist’s office depressed and unsure how to go about my life. I knew I wanted music but I was too scared to put myself out there and go for it. I am really proud of my progress and that I was able to overcome this.
What themes does it cover?
The title of my EP is ‘Impulse’. I am super impulsive! living in NYC I did a lot of growing. I made an abundant amount of mistakes and learned from them. Every song stems back from an impulse I had that typically resulted in a massive mistake, wake-up call, or growing experience.
My tracks range in topics: “Girl on Girl” is about an experience I had getting cyber bullied over Instagram, and my want for girls to lift each other up not be mean to one another. “WTF” takes a listener through my thought process and mental state after getting ghosted by a love interest. “BFF” touches on my experience of how a best friend can be your worst enemy when you don’t even know it. “So Good” was inspired by my love for chasing guys who are horrible for me. It is so much fun and so bad for you at the same time… “Do what I wanna do” is my anthem. I love to do what I want, sometimes it backfires, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s intended to inspire others to go out and not be afraid and do what their heart is telling them.
How do you want people to feel when they listen to it?
Self-empowered. Rebellious. Sexy. Badass. Good!
Can we look forward to any live shows soon?
Yes! I’m performing at Soho House New York on 16 July and the We Found New Music showcase in LA at Madame Siam on 30 July.
What’s the big plan for your career? What do you want your legacy to be?
I want to inspire people to do everything they want and to never hold back. I want to be global and sell out stadiums and tour for the rest of my life. I want to promote a positive lifestyle and growth and love, always. Most importantly, I want to create music that inspires people to be their best self.