What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
A fusion of Soul Pop and R&B
Give us a little bio about you.
Leo Napier is an American soul singer and blues pianist born to British parents. His vocal range and sharp, witty lyrics are deeply rooted in classic soul and R&B fused with Pop. During his short time in New York he became part of a burgeoning EDM underground scene, which led to collaborations with pioneering DJ/Producers Gramatik and Griz. Through the cultivation of these relationships, Leo brought several songs to each project; ultimately landing the lead singles on their 2015 and 2016 releases respectively. ‘A Fine Way to Die’ co-written and featuring Leo Napier was the lead single off Griz’s latest release ‘Say It Out Loud’, garnering millions streams to-date. In March of 2016, Gramatik released his full-length album ‘Epigram’, which includes the single “Native Son” featuring Leo and Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon. Leo is finally stepping into the spotlight as solo artist, lending a fresh and inimitable sound to the new wave in British singer-songwriter talent.
Are you a signed?
Yes – to Instant Records
You are releasing your new single ‘Dime’ on the 21st Oc 16, whats the meaning behind?
A ‘Dime’ is a 10 in the States. It’s about a girl I legitimately thought was a 10/10. Turns out there is no such thing.
Tell us more about the writing process.
These days I have to force myself to write. It didn’t used to be that way. But now it’s a full time job, which means I’m constantly searching for inspiration and once I’ve found that, then I need to find motivation. But in the end, it’s always worth it.
You also have a video coming out, what can you tell us about it?
Yes. I’m very excited about it. I was so stoked that Pandemonia agreed to star in it. She’s the embodiment of celebrity and idealised femininity a sort aarchetype of pop myth and reality.Funny how it works out. I wrote the song about what I thought was the perfect girl but it took a latex version of the perfect girl to show me that the original girl wasn’t perfect at all!
have you an EP or Album in the works?
It’s a singles world we’re living in. We’ll be focusing on putting out tracks frequently. An EP may be released later in 2017.
Do you have any gigs in the works?
Doing one on the 9th Nov at The Spice of Life. 2017 will be a busy year on the live front.
Will we see an tour at the end of this year or next year?
Not this year.
What made you go in to music?
At the time I felt it was about all I was good at, so I decided to jump in feet first. I was about 20 at the time and wasn’t going to College. I needed an outlet for my creativity. I started off playing piano in my Father’s band. We played locally around Santa Barbara County, that’s in Southern California. Eventually, after I’d started singing and writing music, I ended up taking the band over…then it was the Leo Napier Band!
Do you have any festivals you will be playing this year?
Festival season is virtually over, so nope not this year.
Do you play any instruments?
Piano and a bit of guitar.
Who are your influences?
Ray Charles, The Beatles, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, Bruno Mars, Oasis…the list goes on.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I really don’t know where it comes from. Every once in a while something gets beamed down to me from beyond and I’m compelled to record it.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Touring with my band and entertaining people all over the world.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
These days I spend way too much time staring into a computer screen. Aside from that, I like to walk the city. Right now I’m in London. It’s a nice place to walk. Lots of characters in this town.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
I used to listen to a lot of Ray Charles right before I started writing and singing myself. So that was inevitably the style that I fell into when I started playing. I remember wanting to learn ‘Let’s Get Stoned’ first. I asked my Dad to show me the changes on the piano. After I learned those chords, I started writing my own stuff in the same style. A lot of soul, gospel and blues.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
‘The song comes first’. My Dad said that, and I’ve learned that he was right. If you don’t write great songs then you won’t go anywhere. It’s all about the song!
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Work hard and get as good as you can. But it’s not really my place to give advice at this point, I still have a lot to learn.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?