Leon Else

clip_leonelse_riverfullofliquorBritish singer/songwriter/model Leon Else is the name currently creating a huge buzz in both the music and fashion worlds. From professional actor and dancer to YouTube cover star being signed to Turn First Artists (Iggy Azalea, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora), it’s been quite the journey for Leon. He’s been named GQ’s Best Dressed Man, Zane Lowe’s Next Hype, performed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, toured with Foxes, and has just returned from Fashion Week alongside Roberto Cavalli and Steven Tyler!

We stumbled across his smooth, sultry goosebump-inducing vocals complete with incredible falsetto early last year, way before his first release ‘Protocol‘ and have never dared to look back. There’s been nothing but positive reviews and he clearly has one of those voices that will leave you begging for more that even global phenomenon Sia agrees. Add that to his risque selfies and you’ve got yourself a heartbreaker. It’s been a privilege to venture on this journey with him, so get to know him now with our exclusive interview to coincide with the release of his debut EP ‘River Full Of Liquor‘.

1) You’ve just released your debut EP ‘River Full Of Liquor’. What’s it like to have your own body of work out and were there any highlights/hardest parts?

It’s scary, it’s a relief and it’s the start. The highlights I guess are people starting to discover you and your music and liking it. The hardest parts is you writing personal stories and putting them out into the big world and you just don’t know if people will like it and you’re gonna be judged on that. They might hate it or not be bothered so that’s always scary.
2) Released under your own label, Skitzophonic Records is an interesting name for your label. Where did the idea come from?
Yes! I just wanted my own thing, something that’s mine. I’m creating this music so I wanted to have a hub for it so I created Skitzophonic, which is basically me and music. I am all over the place as a person, I am all over the place as a writer, I don’t really stick to one genre as some of you that have caught my live set will know. I live in the moment and move on from that and so does my music. With my ADHD and my music and my different personalities, Skitzophonic just summed everything about me and music up in one word. You will see 🙂 hahaha… I actually thought of it whilst in LA this year. 
3) We understand you suffer from ADHD. For those unaware, what is it and how do you overcome it? How does it affect your music and creative process?
 Ok… so Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, highs and lows, depression to name a few.  You don’t overcome it, you try to find ways to live with it. I actually am a patient at the Maudsley Hospital in London where I’m treated with medication that I take daily. This affected my music dramatically, I change a lot and very quickly. One min I’m up the next I’m down. It’s a good thing and its a bad thing. Sometimes it works in favour and other times against. Messed Up was written about it and about the thoughts I have. A very personal song.
4) You’re set to become a leading name in Men’s Fashion, have been named GQ’s best dressed, back from Fashion Week alongside some big names. It’s pretty crazy and there’s a lot happening all at once right?
Yeah it has been mad and I’m very flattered because I do love fashion. I believe music and fashion go hand in hand as they are both art forms, they are both ways to express yourself really. So for me I love it!
5) It’s a long way to come from the Margate born actor/dancer and his YouTube covers. You’re now on the same team as Ellie Goulding, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora and Laurel!
It’s a VERY long journey. I never really think about it, but when I do, I feel like I have lived twice. I used to be a professional dancer and trained and had a career as a dancer, then jumped ship to finally pursue my bigger dream. It’s nuts, I’m too young to feel this old hahaha. The journey has been a crazy roller-coaster with many highs and just as many lows, but I’m very much a forward thinking person and don’t look back often. That’s why I feel I have achieved so much across two careers so early on, with still a longer journey to go. Now being signed to Turn First Artists where they look after many successful artists, you pray that your outcome will be similar to them. There is also that pressure to live up to high standards, but I definitely see myself there, and I’m in the right hands (i hope hahahah).
6) You’re also an advocate for animal rights. Could you tell us more about that and what it means to you?
I believe we are all animals. I believe we are all equal. I believe that to abuse animals and torture them is wrong. Without animals and plants in this world, the world will die. You take humans out of this world, the world will thrive and live on. People are ignorant to that fact. Animals don’t have a voice and people take advantage of that. I think that’s wrong.
7) We’ve noticed a lot of moth references which has now been incorporated into your logo. What’s the significance?
The moth is a misunderstood butterfly. The moth represents my existence and how I feel I have grown up, and how I have been treated and misunderstood by society because I act different or have a different way of thinking from whats “normal”.  I have struggled with that, but i find comfort with the moth because I feel his story is the same. Everyone wants to catch the obvious beautiful butterfly, but the butterfly doesn’t want to be caught. The butterfly is not that different from a moth, yet a moth flies to you and people run or scream or kill it because it is perceived as ugly, horrible and not “normal” because it comes out at night. When there are moths that are more beautiful than butterflies, people just don’t want to see it cos society has them thinking in a certain way.
8) Your fanbase is rapidly growing and it wont be long before we see you selling out major venues. What do your fans mean to you and what would you tell them?
Hahahaa i hope so that would be the dream! 🙂 My fans mean everything to me. Ultimately I owe my musical existence to them because without fans you can’t have a career in music and you can’t achieve your dreams. They are everything. They are the ones that accept you no matter what, and that are behind you every step of the way come rain or shine. I will be forever grateful, so big shout out to them! 🙂
9) Could you tell us something people don’t know about you?
I can sometimes eat til I’m sick hahaha. Monday to Saturday I eat extremely clean. Then on a Sunday (#SinnerSunday) I GO TO TOWN!!! I stuff everything I can from the moment I wake until the moment I sleep hahahaha! A good few times I have eaten so much in a day I have been sick ahahaha. Then I ate more. DON’T YOU DARE JUDGE MEEEEEEE!!! 🙂
10) Lastly, whats the plan for you next and can we expect an album soon?
ermmmmmm… I am working on my debut album due 2015. Seems far away I know but IT HAS TO BE RIGHT!!! After the EP I want to start rolling out another side to me that you will see, and I also want to put another buzz track out, something different from everything that’s out, not moody and not R&B. But saying all this everyday throws new challenges and new opportunities, so lets just see what tomorrow brings…. oh and live shows, I want to do lots more! 🙂

The ‘River Full Of Liquor’ EP is now available online via Skitzophonic Records. Catch Leon live at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on Wednesday 9th July.

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