Interview with Leah Daniels
Shannen: So the first question I’m going to ask you is how did your love for music come to be? What led you down this path, towards doing what you’re doing now?
Leah: Well I grew up in a very musical family so I remember every family get together there was
always music happening – a jam – there were always guitars out and accordions and spoons. I
remember especially my Grandpa; he was kind of the leader of all the music and he’s a great
singer and he’d have the guitar and harmonica going. I think just from a young age because I was
surrounded by it, it kind of came naturally, then from there I just kind of started joining choirs
and started writing my own songs in high school. So that’s probably how it started.
Shannen: So it goes way back then. More recently, you released your self titled album in 2011 and you have your new album “What it Feels Like” out from 2015. How have you grown as an artist from your first album to your most current one?
Leah: I feel like I’m much more sure of myself now and I know myself a lot better. I guess that
comes with age, experience and life. Doing “What it Feels Like” was a different process
because of that; I had learned. I had done my first album so I learned from that and then the
second one I took a lot of time to really find the right songs. A lot of trips to Nashville and
writing there; worked with a couple different producers on that album to really get my sound that
I was going for; Kind of a pop, country, rock mix.
S: So since the rlease of your debut album, you’ve played a bunch of huge festivals including the CMT music festival and Boots ‘n’ Hearts, which is really cool. It seems like it’s been a whirlwind couple years for you, so how has that changed your life?
L: Well, it’s definitely been pretty amazing to go from, you know, playing small little clubs and
bars in Toronto and then to these big festivals, it’s like a dream come true. That’s always what I
had wanted to do from the time when I was a little girl. I just love performing so to get to play
these big festivals and see all these music lovers come together, it’s just contagious; like that
energy and I just want to do it more and more. It’s been amazing and I jut hope it continues to
grow and I get to do more.
S: Speaking of big shows, you hav some pretty big shows coming up, including the Canada Day celebrations in Uxbridge. Do you want to tell us a little bit about what you have coming up this year?
L: Yeah, well this year I’m actually writing right now for a new album so I’ve gone to Nashville
a couple times and I’ve been writing here in Toronto and I’ve actually got one more trip. I’m
heading out to Nashville in a couple weeks to finish that up and then from there we’ll pick the
best songs, narrow it down, which is always a challenging thing. We get the team together and
we all listen to them and we get everybody’s opinion. Then from there this summer I’m going to
be recording and hope to have a new single out by the end of the summer, so it’s an exciting
S: Very exciting.
L: Yeah, I’m excited for new music cause it’s been a little bit and I just feel like I’m excited to get
back out there.
S: Awesome, sounds like we caught you at an exciting time. While we’re on the topic of music, which song on “What it Feels Like” has the most meaning to you and why?
L: OK, the song with the most meaning.. I would probably say “Dream Without You”. That
song, it’s funny, I actually wrote it while I was in a relationship and by the time I was done
writing it I realized that maybe I shouldn’t be in the relationship anymore. I mean, it’s a beautiful
song but I guess that’s the thing; sometimes when you’re writing something you discover things
about yourself that maybe you didn’t want to admit to yourself before… so it’s a way of
expressing these hidden emotions. That’s what “Dream Without You” was and I just love the
song. There’s actually two different versions of it on my album because we did kind of an
acoustic version then a more full blown, produced version of it. I love that song.
S: That’s awesome, it’s a great song. Weird question: I read on your bio that you love to bake.
S: I was wondering what your favourite things to bake are.
L: Ohhh well I love baking. That’s such a tough question. Well obviously I like baking sweets. I
like brownies – I like doing that – and a good chocolate chip cookie; although last time I made
them they didn’t turn out that well! But that’s ok, you just try again, right? I also love cooking and
experimenting. I’m not good at really folloing instructions, so I like to add my own flare
to things, which sometimes turns out great and sometimes doesn’t.
S: Well that’s how it goes, right? I also saw that you like to read good books.
L: Oh yeah!
S: Since summer is coming up, do you have any top picks for summer reading?
L: Oh my goodness. You know what I’m reading right now is this Japanese book on cleaning. It’s
The Art of Tidying up, I think. It’s not a story book at all, but it’s on the art of cleaning up which
sounds afwul but it’s actually a good read cause I have a lot of clutter that I want ot clear out. I need
to read some good summer books. That’s kind of the thing right before summer hits, I like going to
Chapters and just pick out some light summer reading that I can read at the cottage.
S: Last question, are there any big plans coming up that you want to tell us about?
L: Big plans. Well, I’m playing Key to BALA in Muskoka on July 8 and I’m really excited for
that because I got to play it a couple years back. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there but it’s this
old historic venue and legendary people have performed there and it’s right on the water. Its this old
building and it just gets packed with people; it’s crazy. I’m excited to play that; I’m playing ith
James Barker Band so I’m really looking forward to that show and also to getting in the studio.
That’s my summer.
S: Awsome. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us.
L: No problem. Thank you!