Grace Carter: What is your background and where are you based?
Leo Kalyan: I'm a singer, songwriter and producer from London, which is also where I'm based.
GC: What are your main music influences?
LK: I'm very inspired by nature, particularly the ocean. Musically I'd say some of my influences include Sade, Lauryn hill, TLC and Clams Casino.
GC: How much of yourself do you put into each song?
LK: Probably a bit too much.
GC: What is the creative process for writing and creating your music?
LK: It's always different. I'd say that a lot of my music is inspired by road trips I've taken across Europe - southern Spain, the south of France and the Greek islands. As far as making the actual songs, it really is different every time. Sometimes I'll start by programming a beat or playing some chords. Other times I get a lyric in my head, fully formed, and that's what starts the song...
GC: How would you describe your sound?
GC: What were the motivations and ideas behind your ‘Fingertips’ and ‘Full Circle’ tracks?
LK: Those are both directly about specific, real experiences. I'd say they were motivated by seeing love through the hazy lens of being intoxicated - if that makes sense... I don't like to explain my songs too literally; I prefer to let listeners create their own meanings.
GC: Can you tell us more your latest single - ‘Get Your Love’?
LK: It's a song that has actually been in the making for the past couple of years. I started producing it a long time ago, but never got round to finishing the lyrics and melody... the chords have always felt very nostalgic and dreamlike, like remembering childhood or something like that. It felt like the right song to shoot my first video for as I felt it would be a good introduction to both my sonic and visual vibes.
GC: Your website is very image-led. Can you pick out some images that you think go hand-in-hand with your music?
LK: Hmmm, that's a hard choice to make - but here you go. I've could have picked another ten out of the photos I've taken…
GC: What are your hopes and ambitions for your music?
LK: I just hope that people keep connecting with it. That's what matters most to me.
GC: Aside from yourself, which musicians do you believe we should be watching out for as 2015's top new talent?
LK: Nao, Låpsley, SG Lewis, Mura Masa, Shivum Sharma and Shy Luv.
Listen to Leo's music on SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/leokalyan
Words: Grace Carter
Image source: www.leokalyan.tumblr.com