Singer-Songwriter LEAH CAPELLE Opens Up About Her Newest Music, Her Upcoming Shows and More!
Posted On 03 Apr 2019
“Settle Down” is the latest song and video released by LA-based artist Leah Capelle. (Check it out here- https://youtu.be/_CvQfpjG-UE)
Leah states: “The official video for ‘Settle Down; was a highly creative process involving lots of different brains, and I’m so proud of how it ties into the very emotional and honest lyrical content in the song. It is by far the most vulnerable piece of art I have ever created. The visual seeks to capture the aching, helplessness, and disillusionment I felt when I wrote the song. The paint cans each wear a controlling statement that has been imposed on me, though I believe them each to be relatable across the female experience. The paint itself is a metaphor for how obscured I felt at the time – and by having both faceless figures and my own hands push the paint onto my skin, it represents the blurring and obstruction of my genuine identity in place of a person literally dripping in the expectations of others. You are not alone!”
As a songwriter and performer, Leah is constantly unveiling layers of her identity to the world, focusing mostly on women’s rights, body positivity, and an overall understanding of oneself. Inspired by early icons like Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple and weaving in styles similar to today’s buzzworthy artists like Phoebe Bridgers, boygenius, and Molly Burch, Leah has grown her fan-base to nearly 20K on Facebook independently thus far and is using her platform to make her voice (and yours) heard.
“Settle Down” is a lot slower than Leah’s previous singles which is a lot more 90s alt/rock leaning. The “Docs” video represents Leah’s struggles as an artist and as a woman, and how she is overcoming them. She said: “I wanted the visual to be powerful, but still have an air of fun and spontaneity. As a woman in the music industry, it’s so important the evaluate the expectations of what womanhood ‘should look like’ in modern society, and come together with fellow women to break those expectations down. So the video, while about coming to terms with what makes each of us unique, is also about being comfortable in our own, truest forms.”
Connect With Leah Capelle Here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeahCapelle – 19.3K likes
Learn more about Leah Capelle in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
Hi! I’m currently sitting in my studio with a cold beer and a smile on my face 🙂
Now that 2019 has started, what musical goals do you have for yourself and your music this new year? Did you make any new year’s resolutions?
I’m currently in production on my first full length record, which is the most terrifying and exciting thing to say out loud. I’m very much at the creative helm of this whole project, both musically and visually, which has been one of my primary goals for this year. My only other New Year’s Resolution was to be more delicate when I don’t feel great about myself. This is a tough one, but I’ve been trying my best 🙂
Growing up, how important has music been in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
I started playing music when I was very young and it’s been at the forefront of my life ever since. I don’t feel like I really made a concrete decision to be a musician, it just became my path. There’s actually a funny photo of me from first grade – the teachers had asked each of us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and the caption for my photo simply says, “Rockstar!!” It hasn’t been an entirely peaceful journey, though. I experience waves of doubt and insecurity every few months that leave me reeling, questioning whether or not I’ve made the right choice. But as soon as I pick up an instrument again and begin to write, those insecurities fade away – clearing the path again.
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what could you see yourself doing?
There was a brief moment when I was applying to college in which I almost diverted from music to study either Business or Philosophy. Two very different paths, I know! I’ve always loved school, and I knew that I would miss the rigor of an academic schedule if I didn’t go to university. I was uncertain about taking the time to study music from an intellectual perspective during that period, but I’m so glad that I chose to attend both Berklee College of Music and USC’s Thornton School of Music for Music Industry. I feel like I have a very well-rounded view of the field now, both from on stage and behind it. If I weren’t doing music as a songwriter and performer, I think I would be working in Artist Management or A&R on the label side. As a complete wild-card bonus answer, I’m fascinated by both astronomy and oceanography! I’ve been studying space as long as I’ve been writing music, and have been a scuba diver since I was fairly young. I would have loved to be an astronaut, I think – maybe I will be in another lifetime…
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I’m often surprised by the lyrics I write. Sometimes when I listen back to voice memos, I find myself honestly startled by the word pairings and images that come through me. When I can tap into the pure wonder of songwriting… that’s when I write my best material. I’ve recently started to view writer’s block as a welcome challenge. It used to knock me to the ground – I would feel helpless and inadequate, I would feel like a fraud. But now when writer’s block hits me, I try to at least write one verse or one melody line to get back into the habit of writing for writing’s sake. I can now usually pull myself out of the weeds after a few tries 🙂
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live now?
I’m not sure if the actual geographic location of where I grew up and where I live now has stylistically impacted my music because I’m always changing as a person. That said, when I was growing up in the Midwest, I wasn’t surrounded by very many songwriters. As soon as I moved to Boston, attended a conservatory, and was completely immersed in music 100% of the time, my songwriting became a bit more esoteric and arty. I started playing a lot more piano in that period. Then, when I moved to Los Angeles and found a tight-knit tribe of creative people across a variety of mediums, my songwriting shifted to what feels like my most authentic voice so far – a little folk, a little rock, a little pop, and always lyrically personal. I’ve been digging into my rock side over the last couple years – loving the use of distortion and effects – it feels so good!
Let’s talk about your newest single called “Settle Down.” What was the inspiration for this song? How does it compare to anything else you have previously released?
This song was written as a letter to myself back in 2017 when I was feeling very lost. I felt pushed and pulled in a few different directions, but that I couldn’t live up to the expectations set for any of them. It was really frustrating. I had a great team around me who tried their best to guide me, but their guidance ultimately made me more confused and disenfranchised with my art. The song poured out of me very quickly – a journal entry of sorts – and became a reminder that things will get better! Sonically, it teeters between blues, pop, and rock in a way that’s different from most of my other material.
How creatively involved were you with the making of the music video for “Settle Down”? What was it like making the video for it?
I was very involved with the making of the “Settle Down” video, which was incredibly empowering for me. My team and I went back and forth on the storyboard for a couple weeks before we solidified the idea, which remained fairly abstract until the day of the shoot. The interpretive nature of the video left a lot of room for creativity while we were shooting, and the ability to try new and risky ideas in real time. Making the video was both terrifying and exciting – being so exposed on camera was a huge risk. I was also physically very cold during the shoot! The paint drying on my skin literally was pulling heat from my body, so I was shaking pretty intensely between each shot. Emotionally, I was anxious about being able to carry the weight of the video all by myself for four and a half minutes. It was something I had never done before – I always had my band-mates to cut away to, or some other shots to play around with. The simplicity of this video placed my performance as the sole driving force, which was intimidating at first. I’m incredibly proud of everyone on the team for believing in our vision and working together to make the video intimate, honest, and powerful without being exploitive.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
Ahh… social media. I have a complicated relationship with it. On the one hand, I love the ability to connect with other musicians, artists, and my audience through something as simple as a comment or direct message. On the other hand, it’s hard to not get swept up in the immediate gratification of how many likes something gets, to not care about whether or not people are interacting with the media, and to find balance between my aesthetic/brand and my true identity. It is definitely a challenge for me to stay on top of it all. When I started pursuing music professionally, I focused heavily on Facebook – which is where many of my fans are still active. Now, however, I focus more on Instagram because I feel it is the best way to share new music and support art!
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
My legacy favorite artists are: CSNY, Joni Mitchell, YES, The Beatles, Steely Dan, Nirvana, Counting Crows, and Matchbox Twenty. My contemporary favorite artists are: Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, Big Red Machine,) The 1975, St. Vincent, Noah Gundersen, The Japanese House, MUNA, Pinegrove, David Ramirez… I could list probably 30 more bands/artists that I can’t get enough of – but I’ll spare you :). I would absolutely love to work with ANY of these artists!
Where can fans see you perform next? Do you have any kind of a 2019 tour scheduled yet?
I’m performing at The Moroccan Lounge on April 17th presented by Play Like A Girl, an organization that highlights female musicians. This show is going to be really special – there are five headliners – all women – instead of a few openers and one headliner. The entire night will be completely seamless with all of our sets intercut together, and I’ll be playing rhythm guitar for a few of the artists on the lineup! Tickets are on sale now if you’re based in LA and want to join us 🙂 I will also be doing some light touring this summer. I’m also headlining at The Moroccan Lounge in June before I head to the midwest to perform at Summerfest Music Festival in Milwaukee, WI, as well as shows in Chicago, Madison, and hopefully Eau Claire. I’ll be rolling out tour dates as soon as they’re confirmed, so stay tuned!
Ticket Link : https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/delivery
Facebook Link : https://www.facebook.com/events/380299179186541/
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I honestly don’t know! Every song means something different, and I can’t put a finger on what my “dream music video” would look like. As long as I continue to have the ability to do each song justice and uniquely express my artistic vision, I am happy.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what musical item would you take with you and why?
One of my acoustic guitars, for sure. I would need a tool to write emo songs about being stranded in the middle of the ocean 😉
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I would love to write some music for shows like Maniac or Haunting of Hill House. I know at first listen, those two shows might not make sense – but the way the Hill House ended with that beautiful Gregory Alan Isakov song “If I Go, I’m Goin'” inspired me to write songs that could be placed in psychological thrillers.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
That everything I write comes from the most sincere place in my being. That it’s powerful to be vulnerable, and beautiful to be strong. That even perfectionists aren’t perfect, and that people make mistakes. I hope my songs have the ability to make an impact on someone, somewhere.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
That there’s a lot of new music coming to you this year. Keep your eyes, ears, and hearts open 🙂