L'ART Magazine

L'ART Magazine

INTERVIEW: Introducing Leanne McCrei

September 20, 2017 | D&L



Legacy Records has a new artist on its books in the form of successful solo artist, Leanne McCrei!

Ready to kick start her solo career after starting out with her sister Shannon back in 2013, her dynamic vocals now take centre stage, as she follows her passion for Soul music. Currently working on her album, Leanne has already worked with the likes of Beverley Knight, Stooshie, Kenny Thomas, and Lemar. Plus she also featured on the Soul Seekers club mix of, ‘The Way It Is’.

With her new single officially out next month and a festival performance schedule coming up, we caught up with the rising artist to talk a new journey, career highlights to date, and more…

L’ART: You have a new single, ‘All Together Now’ coming out. How does it feel releasing music as a solo artist?

Leanne McCrei: It feels amazing to be releasing music as a solo artist and creating music that I can really connect with. As a solo artist, the music I will be releasing is from the heart with some personal experiences in there too! I am so excited to express and share this with you all!

L’ART: You started in music in a band with your sister. What made you want to pursue a solo career?

Leanne McCrei: Pursuing a solo career was a decision made by both my sister, Shannon and me. We have always loved to create and play music together ever since I was 11 and Shannon was 13 years old. Growing up we both started to like and gain inspiration from different genres of music. Shannon developed a passion for playing and producing House music, whereas I had always loved Soul. We therefore decided to pursue solo careers producing and create music that suited us best. We still always support each other at gigs and work with each other on new projects in the background. Shannon came with me to Sundown Festival and got to see one of her favourite bands perform live, which was cool!

L’ART: What differences are you experiencing as an artist now you’re flying solo?

Leanne McCrei: OMG! Flying solo is very different from being in a duo. One of the biggest differences is performing live. I had been performing live with Shannon ever since I was very young – so at first being up on stage by myself was so weird!

Another difference with flying solo is you learn so much! I had always written songs with Shannon and when I started to work and collaborate with other writers and producers I realised how different people phrase things. Everyone has their own way of doing things – from the way a song is created to the little finishing touches that help make the song. It’s all a learning curve!

L’ART: You’ve worked with some great names to date, such as Beverley Knight, and Lemar. What have been your highlights throughout the collaboration process?

Leanne McCrei: One highlight throughout the collaboration process for me was being able to support Beverley Knight and watch her perform live. Her vocals are just incredible! The energy and vibe when she was performing was thriving!

Having the opportunity to work with people who have produced some of the artists I used to admire and listen to is amazing! Some of these artists include Dina Carroll, and Aretha Franklin, who I have always looked up to for vocal inspiration. Alan Glass, and Nigel Lowis are both such talented producers, and I’d love to work them!

L’ART: What lessons did you take away from the experiences?

Leanne McCrei: From watching Beverley Knight live, I loved how she interacted with the crowd and how from the start we were all entertained! I was able to watch and learn how she owned the stage with confidence and try to incorporate that in my live performances.

L’ART: Name us some of your dream artists to collaborate with, dead or alive.

Leanne McCrei: Michael Jackson is such an amazing artist that inspired and shaped music into what it is today. I have always loved his earlier Motown records, such as, ‘Who’s Loving You’. I used to sing them all the time growing up! To be able to create music with him would be amazing!!

I love the music Bruno Mars is producing at the moment! The Funk/Soul records that he is bringing out are so, so good! I am always singing along to them in the car! I love that he is bringing back that old school feel into modern music. So to be able to collaborate with him on writing some music would be amazing too!!

L’ART: You’re currently working on your new album. How’s it going?

Leanne McCrei: The album is going well! It has really come a long way in the past few months. There is a real mixture on there! From finding love to losing it and overcoming difficult times – So I hope that there is something that everyone can relate to in the lyrics. I wanted to create something that would showcase Soul as it used to be, but also with a modern twist (if that makes sense lol). Growing up and listening to Soul as a kid, I was instantly fascinated. My parents would play Aretha, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, all these crazy talented Soul/Jazz artists, so when I found my talent, my passion I wanted to be sure to pay tribute to those who paved the way for Soul music. I hope I have. I believe music is a universal language and songs can take you back to happy or sad times, remind you of people, loved ones. Songs are stories for the Soul and I can honestly say I’ve put everything into this. I’m very excited.

L’ART: Followers can catch you live at Sundown Festival. What can onlookers look forward to?

Leanne McCrei: My new single ‘All Together Now’ has been on pre order since September 2nd and will be officially out in October! I’m pretty sure a music video will follow shortly after too!

I am also going to be releasing a second single too with a new vibe that no one has ever heard from me before! Live performances are always wild and wonderful. I like to engage the audience and meet people, I’m not one of these artists who forget where they come from and forget who helped get them there. I have a long way to go with my journey and I thank every single person that attends my shows or buys a song. I honestly would be nothing without them. I love them all x

L’ART: Where else can we catch you live this year?

Leanne McCrei: It’s been a real crazy Summer with lots of performances both in the UK and abroad promoting the single. I love being on stage and sharing my music, but we are slowing things down now to focus on interviews and sorting the album release for early next year. I will be in Northampton in December; all of my shows and everything else that’s going on is always on my social media @McCrei.

L’ART: For those who are yet to hear your new track, describe its vibe in just three words…

Leanne McCrei: Fun, funky and fabulous !!!!

Pre-order ‘All Together Now’ today and get your preview here.

Image Source: Legacy Records