by vivrant thang
One of the great things about being a music blogger – or even a blogger in general – is that it brings all kinds of people into your circle. One of my favorite readers is from the UK and we have became fast friends and music-swapping buddies almost from the moment he first commented. I’ve discovered that some of the best music comes from overseas and he has truly put me on to some gems.
Recently, he put together his first mixtape and sent it my way. As I was grooving to his eclectic mix of soul, funk, electronica, house, and downtempo, there was one song I kept coming back to from an artist I hadn’t heard before. That automatically activated my detective skills and I set about finding out all I could about UK-based Leon King.
Before I even get to the music, I must mention how when I added Leon as a friend on Myspace, he responded back with a private note thanking me for the add and for appreciating his music. I love it when an artist is still hungry. That response, coupled with my instant affinity for his sound, got him moved to the top of my list of artists to spotlight.
Music is in Leon’s blood. His father is a musician with crates just ripe for digging. From an early age, he was exposed to artists like the incomparable Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Prince, and D’Angelo. At the tender age of 3, he was already aware of music’s effect on the soul and learned to play nursery rhymes on the piano. By the age of 5, he was playing the guitar and started professionally sitting in with other artists at 15.
Today, artists like like Bilal, Eric Roberson, Vikter Duplaix, and J*Davey are in heavy rotation on his playlists. If this is the flavor in his ear, it’s not a surprise that I was digging his style from first listen.
Listen to Digital Church
Listen to Knowingness
Although he is currently unsigned, he is grinding away on the independent scene. He told Straight No Chaser, “If you’ve done a real piece of work that stays true to you as an artist, and your deservedly happy then a major label steps in and signs you then great, you can get that large awareness and exposure, but how often does that happen? The opportunity is there to be heard but you really do have to be pro-active and make that happen, put yourself about!”
His EP will be available this year and he has already started work on two other EPs. Visit his Myspace page to hear more of his music and keep up with news about future releases. Leon King is definitely one to watch.
As always, share your thoughts about his music in the comments.