English singer/songwriter Leanne Robinson unveiled her debut single “Last Time (Change Your Mind)” on August 17th.
Also known as Nabulungi in the sensational musical “The Book of Mormon”, Robinson is making an outstanding performance as the lead female actor in one of the most successful musicals of all time.
The London-based singer/songwriter is now offering her original music through the debut single “Last Time (Change Your Mind)” produced by Fla.mingo.
“Music is best without rules, so I threw the rule book out the window and allowed the music to do what it felt like it needed to do. If you don’t agree, give me 3 minutes and 27 seconds to “Change Your Mind”, expresses Robinson.
“Last Time (Change Your Mind)” is now available on all major streaming platforms.
Introduce yourself. Where are you from?
I’m Leanne Robinson. Born and breed in Hackney Stoke Stokenewington. I grew up in a Jamaican household.
Then spent my teenage years in Walthamstow, but went to college in Croydon and university in Hertfordshire. I’ve always been a mover and shaker. Love to explore and be in new surroundings. I think it’s because my parents have made me travel from so young, so I’ve never been much of a home body.
What’s your story?
I’m a church girl. The week I was born my mum brought me to church. That’s where my singing was birthed if you like. That and Disney movies. My dad’s also a huge lover of music, so you could say the passion was passed down the blood line.
Some would say… if you’re a church girl, why don’t you sing and write gospel music? Well…. I have done, but at the moment it isn’t where my heart lies. I want my music to tell stories about love and life, and I don’t think gospel music allows that, and rightly so.
I went to school, performance college (The BRITS) and studied music management at uni.
My music story, I’ve tried them all…. The voice… X Factor and at times I wanted to give up and stop singing and writing when they didn’t go my way, but how can you be successful if you don’t fail…? so I keep pushing.
When did you start feeling connected to music?
From VERY early. I grew up with music 360 degrees. From church to my dad, to my sister. I didn’t choose music, it definitely chose me.
What did you grow up listening to?
Gospel and lots of it! Then when my parents weren’t loooking, I’d learn about RnB from my sister. Dru hill and Genuwine ALWAYS!
When I started to develop my own musical taste, I always gravitated to voices… Helen Baylor, Whitney Houston, Yolanda Adams, Aretha Franklin. As I got a little older I turned to Spice Girls and Destinys Child… I was always Beyonce. Lol
When did you start singing? Growing up, what were your favourite records to sing to?
CHURCH! I was part of the adult choir, by perfect default. My mum and dad would take to choir practice and I just started learning the songs and singing alone, and before you know it, I was the tiniest member in the adult choir. I remember being about 9 years old and getting a tiny robe to sing with the choir at The Barbican. That was my first taste of the stage… I was hooked!
When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?
I was at a vocal lesson with Denise Wisdom. My music mother and friend. I had been doing lessons with her for a while. She took me to my first ever studio session. I recorded a song she wrote called ‘Sending My Love’. When they hit the play back button I cried. I cried long, loud and ugly. Lol. It was like meeting myself for the first time, and I had this revelation that… Actually… I can do this… I want this… I’m GOING to do this.
Could you tell us about your first experiences in the music industry?
Well I guess I got my first taste of the underground music scenes when I did started doing solo shows. They were collective shows with comedians… singers and game shows.
I remember my first A&R meeting at Universal. It was after I did a competition I did called Retail Star. I remember thinking when I got called in for the interview…. YES! I’m in! I wasn’t in. Lol. But it was a good learning experience and started to toughen up my skin for the no’s and closed doors to come.
You have the lead female role in “The Book of Mormon.” What makes this musical so special? What are your learning from this experience, as an artist and as a person?
It’s special to me because it was my first professional job as an actor and singer, and what an honour it was to not only be the lead female but also go on the US and Canadian tour. This is such a renowned show with a 5 star reputation and they took a chance on little me. That’s pretty special.
As an artist I’m learning new techniques with my voice and building a stamina that I never knew I had. Plus, having to connect with a song every night is really helping me to connect and emote my own music on a deeper level.
You’ve just released your first single entitled “Last Time (Change Your Mind)”. What’s the story behind this record? Who wrote/produced it?
Funny the chorus was written maybe a year or 2 ago and we just put it down. Then Jevon Harding who is the co-writer said let’s revisit it. Now, being such a long time ago, it took me a little time to reconnect with the song and discover what in my life right now could fit in this situation. After some digging, I came up with verses and the rest is history. The production was done by Fla.mingo.
What do you want people to feel when listening to this record?
Whatever they want. When I make music I don’t put any expectations on people’s feelings because that’s one thing you can’t control, so there’s no point on wishing and hoping. I try not to even tell people what the songs about because I love hearing the different perspectives and the way people hear, see and feel music.
When did you start working on your original music?
Maybe about 12/13. I started trying to write songs. Wasn’t very good, and I still think I have a lot more growing to do in that area.
Who’s helping you build your sound and artist?
My management team and life.
What does it mean for you to be an artist?
An artist is a free creator of reflections. A story teller. A visionary, anything they want to be.
What keeps you motivated?
My family. My young niece and nephew. My passion for music and performing.
What defines you?
Nothing and everything. I think as human beings we are far too complex to be defined by anything. We’re constantly changing so trying to define ourselves is futile because we are one thing today and another tomorrow.
Any upcoming project?
Always. But immediately we’ve got some different versions of ’ Last Time’ to release and some other tracks we worked on during the same time.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Sharing. As people we’re selfish. Money and wealth is too high on the priority list and as a nation, we’re suffering.
What’s your purpose?
I don’t believe I have one purpose. I believe for every point of life we have a different purpose. I don’t really know what mine are but I just try to stay connected and centered spiritually to ensure I’m always walking down the right path in the right way.
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