I would love to introduce you to pop duo, Laura Leighe. Currently, they have a self-titled EP, The Laura Leighe EP, out now. Coming from Oklahoma, this is not your typical pop duo with their combination of keys player Laura Leighe Gossett’s sweet and soulful vocals and drummer Zach Dumbleton’s complex and mesmerizing retro-punk style. With their newest single “Run for You” out, Laura Leighe is breaking away from the norm with their new take on pop music.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview them (see below) and now I love them even more! ;-)
Listen to Laura Leighe: https://soundcloud.com/lauraleighe
FFM: For our readers who have never heard your music before, explain your sound in 5 words.
Laura Leighe: Retro, Pop, Dance, Soul, Electronic
FFM: If I was to turn on your iPod right now, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
1. Bruno Mars “Young Girls”
2. Justin Timberlake “Pusher Love Girl”
3. Beyonce “Love On Top”
4. Zedd ft. Ryan Tedder “Lost At Sea”
5. Drake feat. Majid Jordan – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
FFM: Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “music is what I want to do”?
Laura: Yes, I started singing at age 11, doing tons of competitions and at 14, I won the National vocal division. Shortly after, I was at a Christian concert, singing at the top of my lungs, and was so overcome with joy, I decided then, I was going to devote my life to letting my music shine a light in the world.
Zach: The moment I knew music was what I wanted to do for a living really started at the end of my senior year of high school. Prior to that I was super involved in athletics, particularly baseball and had aspirations of playing college baseball. The high school I went to was a small private high school and unfortunately could not field enough guys to have a baseball team. That was the moment when I refocused my energy and efforts and really pursued music.
Laura: Zach and I met after I moved back to Oklahoma from LA in 2011, when i needed a drummer for a concert I got to open for. We clicked musically, and had similar vision and goals. We both love making irresistible pop music that makes people dance, it’s a incredible feeling for both of us. And we knew together, we had the perfect team to create something new that could really explode! So that’s what we’ve been doing.
FFM: If you could open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?
Laura Leighe: It would be ridiculously amazing to open for Justin Timberlake.
FFM: Where do you draw your inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
Laura Leighe: The inspiration for our songs comes from my own life experiences, or sometimes those of friends. Some songs of “The Laura Leighe EP” came from my old fashioned ideals about love, and values such as waiting for boys to chase you, instead of trying to force anything yourself, such as in “Find Me.” “Lovesick Spaceship” comes from our obsession with traveling, and “Why Lie” was an awful true story that happened to me in college. I’m a hopeless romantic, so songs like “Run For You” and “Heaven” are about my then boyfriend – now husband/manager/producer Trent, who I followed to LA, and followed back home to Oklahoma. On the other hand, our upcoming single, “Next Please,” was inspired by a friend dating a guy who was not treating her right, or working hard to fight for her. He encouraged her to quit her job she loved, and was not letting her become all she’s supposed to be. I learned early on that girls have to learn to say “Next Please,” and Zach says boys do too!
I’d say our favorite part of the process is when we’ve finally found the exact hook, lyrically, and melodically, to match with the chord progression, or vise versa, and you know without a doubt, that a banger has been born. That’s a pretty exciting feeling, because it sometimes takes time to get there.
FFM: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?
Laura Leighe: Yes, playing with Neon Trees this past summer was filled with very exciting and rewarding moments. It was such a thrill seeing their level of talent, and an honor to have played for the fans. The concert was held shortly after the May 2013 Moore tornadoes, and we got to play our tribute song for the victims, “Down in the Valley,” for the first time. We announced that 100% of it’s sales would go to the Red Cross to help those affected, and were so moved when tornado victims such as junior high kids came up to us after the show with tears in their eyes, hugging us and saying, “thank you for giving the money from that song!” One kid whose family had lost everything said they were living temporarily in the tiny OU dorms, and appreciated our giving more than we know. It was truly a special night.
FFM: What makes your music unique?
Laura Leighe: I would say what makes our music so fresh is the combination of vibrant vintage sounds mixed with modern pop and electronic dance elements. “The Laura Leighe EP,” exudes 50s and 60s sounds. We went so far as purchasing the rights to use the original “Mister Sandman” sample recording by The Chordettes, added classic yet modern sounding verses, and made an all new, danceable, pop formatted track.
The same can be said of our current single, “Run For You,” and our upcoming EP, however this project contains a more 80’s and 90’s feel mixed with electronic dance sounds of the future. We use a lot of horns, keyboard sounds, lush harmonies on bgvs, chromatic vocal lines, and always powerful drum beats, so, even through experimenting with different decades on each EP, our sound is still very us the whole way through. We can’t wait to share the “Next Please” EP with you all!
FFM: What are the five things you can’t live without?
1. Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes mascara
2. Cle de Peau concealer stick
3. iPhone with google maps and headphones
4. Zumba class with friends
5. the beach…but I guess in Oklahoma I do somehow…soooo…a piano…and someday a piano on the beach.
FFM: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Laura Leighe: “Just keep swimming…” haha! But really, follow your dreams and never give up!
FFM: What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar/in the car/for karaoke?
Laura: Right now I like to belt “Young Girls” by Bruno Mars in the car, but at the bar, or in karaoke, it’d have to be “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Zach: “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
FFM: What’s next for you?
Laura Leighe: Our new single “Next Please” is scheduled for release this March, along with the music video that we just shot in LA! The “Next Please” EP will follow shortly after.
We actually plan to move back to Los Angeles sometime this summer as well, and after that, will definitely be planning more tours. We’ll keep you posted as soon as dates are set in stone!
FFM: For Laura: What do you love/respect most about Zach?
Laura: I admire and respect so many things about Zach, like his patience…even through my hormonal road-rage, he never reacts negatively…, and his boldness to be who he is no matter where we are, or who we’re talking to, but I respect most his amazingly positive attitude that always believes in huge things for us, which helps motivate us to keep working hard no matter what.
FFM: For Zach: What do you love/respect most about Laura?
Zach: I would have to say what I love most about Laura is her genuineness as a person. There is nothing fake about her in the least bit. She honestly cares about every single person she meets and would pretty much do anything for anybody. The fact that she is super talented is only a bonus to who she is as a person.
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