We had a natter with Swedish vocalist LÉON to discuss her infectious single ‘Tired Of Talking’ and all things Sweden.
Her rich, smokey vocal will strike a chord in fans from the first moment hearing it, not to mention her incredibly catchy, fresh honest songs. LÉON is a rarity as a young, self-contained, and grounded artist who has such a potent, authentic musical identity. Together with her production partner Agrin Rahmani, who she met at music school, they’ve crafted a sound that is best described as ‘Future Retro.’ The singer-songwriter is also currently finishing up her debut album to be released later this year.
Firstly, for anyone that doesn’t know you, who is LÉON?
I’m a singer and songwriter born in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in a family of musicians so I’ve always had music around me since I was little. The difference between me and the rest of my family is that I chose pop, while my dad is a composer and my mom plays the cello. Last summer I put out my song Tired of Talking independently, and things just kind of took off from there.
Was music always the career goal for you? How did it start out?
I could never really see myself doing anything else than music, which is kind of crazy maybe. I started singing in a choir as a kid, and when I was 5 I started playing the cello and I kept doing that until I was 19, but I’ve always been more drawn to write pop-songs and express myself in lyrics. To play guitar and piano at home, and record in the basement. I started my own soul-band when I was around 17 to make my songs “come to life”. That’s kind of how it began!
Tired Of Talking was the first song you ever released, now it has gone on to reach over 20 million streams on Spotify! Is this something you could have ever imagined? How does it feel?
To me that’s insane. Of course I had dreams that as many as possible would hear my music, but I just didn’t know how to make people hear it. Then it just took off by itself. I thought it would end up having 1000 plays or less. So all of this is very surreal!
The track definitely holds a lot of emotions, can you tell us a bit about it?
Tired of Talking is kind of the moment where you look at the person you’re with and you just know that you’re over it. For me it’s about closure, and just having a little self-respect.
Tired Of Talking also features on the Treasure EP released last year, how does it feel having so many different fans listening from all over the world – including the huge popstar Katy Perry?
It’s amazing to see that there’s so many people responding to it. It’s just the craziest and best feeling to know that what you make is being received in such an amazing way. The Katy-thing was crazy, the fact that she’s heard my song.. That is hard to comprehend haha.
This year has been full of shows, a sold out New York gig as well as a couple in the UK and more! How would you describe the tour as a whole?
Touring is a very new experience to me, and I guess you never know if you’re gonna like it or not. But I love it. When I go back home to Stockholm I really miss it.
What is tour like with LÉON? What do you usually get up to in each city or in the van?
I wouldn’t say that I’m the craziest party-person haha. I think a lot, maybe too much sometimes. And most of the time when I travel I don’t have a lot of time to see stuff. One of the best things is if I’ve had a fun show, and then get to hang and talk shit with my band haha.
We hear an album is in the works for this Summer, what can we expect from a full length?
My album is coming this fall, and it’s almost done. There will be a mix of sounds inspired by things that I really like. I just want to make sure that I get to say what I need to say. Mainly it will be about things I’ve been through these recent years – relationships. Kind of before, during and after.
Being from Sweden, is there any artists/bands you think people should look out for?
There’s so many Swedish artists that I love! Of course there’s Robyn and Lykke Li, and then bands like First Aid Kit and Miike Snow. I listen to them a lot.
Finally, we noticed you like using emojis a lot, how would you describe this year so far in a couple emojis?
I would use the surprised little face ?, the diamond ?. And the ? haha.
Words by HQ