As part of the UNICEF x The Mic LIVE gig, we interviewed solo artist Leonora!
What’s the story behind your name? It’s just my middle name and I didn’t want to use my real name (Potter) because of the Harry Potter connotations. I also prefer one word, like Beyoncé!
When did you start performing/ when did you realise you wanted to do it professionally? I’ve always sung and written songs, but it’s actually when I decided to perform as a hobby that I started to take it more seriously. I studied music at college and it showed me it was something I was passionate about and wanted to keep doing, but not necessarily as a career.
Describe your music Dream folk! My song writing style is definitely inspired by folk and in particular, the storytelling element.
Who would you say your influences are? In terms of storytelling, I would say folk artists like Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Stylistically, I love more electronic stuff like James Blake and Grimes [Editor’s note: we took a break here to fangirl about Grimes]. I bought myself a keyboard with a drum machine and I have a secret ambition to be really edgy.
What’s the best gig you’ve been to in Nottingham? I’ve been the most impressed at Open Mics in Nottingham – I think the talent is unreal. Where I’m from in Brighton, everyone think they’re an ‘artist’ but here there is a really high standard. I love playing gigs at Langtry’s acoustic corner (https://www.facebook.com/acousticcornernotts/) and I’ve had loads of gigging opportunities in Nottingham.
What are your ambitions/music releases or live gigs? I have the material for an album’s worth of songs that I want to release. I want to find a producer and some musicians to help me on that. Other than that, I’m the GenSec for Song Writing Society in UoN which is really cool.
And finally, if you could have written any song, what would it be? Tom Waits’s song Martha because it’s wicked.
Album-wise it would definitely be John Martyn’s Solid Air because I love it.
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Photo credit Andrew Nicholls from Agony Inc.