Hi Lele, we appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today. Tell us about your journey in music so far.
Music has always been a part of my life. My mother says I was whistling in the womb. I think that is in part because my parents are very much into music, singing, and dancing. I began dance and piano lessons by age four, grew up singing in chorus class and the jazz pop vocal ensemble at my high school while being captain and choreographer for the dance team. I was always very much into pop radio, concerts, and culture. I always knew I wanted to be a singer when I grew up but I didn’t realize I would actually pursue music business until I was finishing up college at Virginia Tech. After being influenced by watching some of Lady Gaga’s acoustic piano radio performances on youtube, I seriously began pursuing songwriting and performing covers. I went to open mics, collaborated with other musicians, and funded my recordings independently. I kicked off my musical career performing in piano bars and music venues and moved from the east coast to the west coast in pursuit of entertaining audiences locally and internationally and turned it into my full-time work and dedication.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road to where you are now? If not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The support of my family, friends, and community has helped pave my road to success. I would say some of my challenges have been due to injury and minor health conditions which I learned to battle and heal. More recently, the pandemic challenged me to not only stay positive but also find ways to continue to be creative while in lock down. I think making my living performing live most nights for many hours challenges me to set aside time to songwrite, pursue recording, and work on my artistry and other aspects of the business. Being an independent artist in itself is a constant challenge and I’m always looking for new ways to grow. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I’m “enjoying the ride” (from my song Tonight is Here – Bliss Kingdom album LP1)!
We hear you have some new music coming up! Tell us a little about what we have to look forward to!
I’m very excited to announce that I will be releasing my 3rd LP “Can’t Stop Now” along with several music videos. I have been working with Eric Zayne on this collection of songs since 2017 and it has been amazing to bring these songs to life together. I believe the quality of the music is better than anything I’ve released thus far.
What were you like growing up? How has your background shaped the music you’re making today?
I have always been outgoing, bubbly, social, and bright. My mom taught me to read before I was five and I spent time journaling and writing stories. When I’d go out to restaurants with my parents as a kid I would go around and visit all of the tables and talk with everyone. I was influenced by different cultures from a young age. I learned Spanish from my Bolivian babysitter, I also grew up around deaf culture and learned American Sign Language, and studied Hebrew. Being an only child, not only did I have the privilege of taking private dance and piano lessons but I think it also allowed me to spend more time on my own being independent playing and listening to music and entertaining myself. I always wished I had siblings and am lucky to have some brotherly and sisterly figures in my life, highly value my friendships and bonds with cousins and extended family.
What artists are inspiring the music you’re making right now?
I am very much into classic piano pop rock soul and music from the 70s and 80s even though it was before my time. From Carole King to Elton John and Stevie Nicks I am inspired by timeless music with real instrumentation. I continue to get inspired by any artist that plays piano. I love studying documentaries, movies, and concerts from artists that have inspired historical movements in time and most recently have watched films on Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. A new song on my upcoming album titled “Smile” has a quirky feel of the band Fun meets Regina Spektor and Queen. In the studio we (Zayne and I) have been layering vocals on vocals for a huge choir-like sound which I absolutely love. What inspires me most as a writer and artist is sitting down at a piano in a quiet place alone with paper and pencil to write and compose solo. Then I like to take my compositions to collaborate in the studio.
Thanks for speaking with us today! Where can we check out your music and find you online?
www.lelerose.com <includes links to spotify, youtube, soundcloud, social media and my music is on all major online retailers such as apple music and amazon
@leleondakeys on Instagram
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