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An Interview With Imagine Music Festival Royalty, Leah Culver

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After an incredible night featuring a guest artist, dancers, and an ensemble of a live band incorporated into the production of her set on Friday night at Imagine Music Festival, Glasse got the chance to sit down with artist Leah Culver to talk a little bit about her music and life. As multi-instrumentalist musician and singer, Leah’s music is her life. And what better way to celebrate it every year than at a music festival in her home city? Being her sixth year performing at Imagine Music Festival, that essentially makes her royalty. So of course, I had to ask Leah what her favorite part about this years’ performance was, to which she answered was having Jamaica Craft’s dancers and doing choreography for the first time without forgetting it. “I kinda learned something about myself… I knew I was gonna learn if I was gonna snap into it, or totally crumble, and it went well.”

Leah got involved with making music as early as the age of five, starting with singing, songwriting, and banging pots together. She shared with us her former “band” with her childhood neighbor, The Galaxy Girls. With growth, she moved onto drums, guitar, and violin which eventually paved the way for production. When asked if she thinks playing multiple instruments has helped her more as a DJ and better understand all of the sounds she answered, “Absolutely I think being a singer even helps because if you’re making up songs on the top of your head, then you can make up melodies on keys or just write it, and you know it’s the same thing. Especially its like playing guitar and singing along, you’re just creating so you get the ideas.”

As a new-wave EDM and pop artist, Leah is pushing traditional genre boundaries with the music she is making, and we love it. One of the most prominent things that stands out about Leah’s music is her singing live over the majority of her tracks when she performs, and it’s her favorite thing about performing as well. “I would say my favorite part is between singing live, and just the slammer – I mean slammer dubstep shows, and just like in the studio as well… and I think it does make it harder, but it’s worth it.” Incorporating so many elements into an individual’s music, it can either help or hinder the artist from being able to create music that showcases their signature style or sound within it. After being asked if she can see a lot of herself in her music, specifically more in the production end, Leah says, “Vocals are the human part of any song. I mean everyone has their own texture and sound and everything, but in the production end, I’m starting to more so hear my sound as it’s coming together. It takes time to figure out your sound.”

In addition, we asked Leah what her experience has been like as a female DJ in a predominately male industry. Leah began by expressing how she actually gets this question a lot. “To put it this way, it’s 2019 and men are not allowed to be as rude as they were in 2013. I mean, they are allowed, there will always be those guys, but it’s definitely less…” In a society where people project their fears onto you, comments will always be there, especially if one is killing the game, as Leah is. But as Leah puts it, it’s less about going into creating music with the mindset of focusing on being a male or female DJ, it’s just about being a DJ and better yet being a human. “Humans are born into human bodies, some have ovaries, and some don’t, I got hands to work with, I got a brain… When I go to play, I’m not thinking ‘Oh I’m a female DJ, ya know, I’m just Leah DJ’ing. Me DJ’ing, producing, and singing.”

  

 

Interview and Coverage by Gabrielle Lasater

Photography by Ana Leonard

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