Born and bred in Hackney, East London, and the youngest child of Trinidadian / Italian descent, Lea Lea (pronounced “Lee Lee”) grew up surrounded, almost engulfed, by music. Her mother was an opera singer, her sister a professional vocalist, and her brother a drummer and keyboard player. In the her youth she became obsessed with the jungle and drum & bass sounds emitting from her brother’s bedroom (from which she was regularly ejected!) and Reprazent’s “Watching Windows” became somewhat of an anthem for her in her formative years.
Although Lea Lea was briefly taught to read music when a teenager, she is, in her own words, “more of a ‘by ear’ kind of girl”, and what ears they are, as in a very short space of time she found herself writing songs for artists at Def Jam and RCA, as well as performing on the same bills as Jay-Z, Roots Manuva and Little Dragon, as she honed her own sound. Finally, having been selected as “An Artist To Watch” by BBC Introducing, Lea Lea found the inspiration she was looking for, hooking up with renowned producer, and drummer for Bonobo and Alice Russell, Jack Baker.
Her collaboration with Jack, and writing partner Kim Garrett, kick started the album that you hold in your hands today. Lea and Kim travelled the USA and Mexico, and used the time to write songs, drink tequila, and immerse themselves in new discoveries and experiences, exemplified by the lead track “Wonderer”, although these were not always entirely uplifting. Their experiences of the Mexican drug war, and of the gruesome conditions many of the population are enduring, inspired the track “AK47” and also the dark, brooding feel of the album as a whole.
Lea Lea and Kim’s catchy song-writing skills, combined with Jack’s heavy, bass worrying beats, have created something quite unique. The album is full of cuts that encourage dialogue and challenge female stereotypes; it thrives on the darker side of music yet delivers with an infectious warmth, encompassing everything Lea Lea loves about music from 80s soul and rock, to today’s cutting edge electronic artists. Oh, and with a certain sense of style too – Lea Lea’s fashion sense is unique to say the least, sitting as it does (in her own words) as “somewhere between the Bride of Frankenstein and Star Trek Vulcan T’Pol” – and not only that, both her and Kim are currently working on their own fashion line as we speak! Busy girls.
Modern in style, dramatic in production – Lea Lea is our new queen of dark electronic soul.