Leah Haywood Biography
01_Passion is a word that comes up a lot in reference to new Australian singer/songwriter leah haywood. You can hear it steaming up the grooves of her knowing, superbly crafted songs, and it's definitely there in her clever lyrical dissections of love, loss and hard won experience. It's also a word that comes up a lot in conversation with the 23 year old when she talks about her remarkable journey in music.
02_Hailing from Perth, signed in Sydney and recorded in LA, Sydney and Stockholm leah is a good case in point for anyone who doubts the globalised focus of the music industry on the cusp of a new millennium. leah has an impressive number of stamps on her passport for a new artist, and a long list of musical luminaries on her CV, but you don't get the kind of travel and career opportunities she can boast without having some serious talent to begin with.
03_A formally trained pianist and vocalist, leah was first noticed by producer and songwriter Paul Begaud (Human Nature, Honeyz). Signed to Epic Records 12 months later, leah had little time to sit around revelling in the good feelings. After relocating to Sydney she began writing with Begaud and then later she jetted off to LA and Vancouver on a writing trip that would see her work with a long list of respected writers, notably Andy Goldmark (Jennifer Paige's "Crush"), Ashley Ingram (Des'ree "You Gotta Be") and Sean Hosein and Dane DeViller (98 Degrees, The Corrs).
04_Three weeks on, leah returned to Australia to commence recording the first four tracks of her debut album with Begaud. Even as tracking began, plans were made for leah to record and mix the remainder of her debut album in Stockholm, Sweden with the writing/production team behind Nordic diva Robyn ("Show Me Love"), Ulf Lindström and Johan Ekhë.
05_Not long into leah's two month stay in Stockholm the opportunity arose to meet renowned writer/producers Jörgen Elofsson and Max Martin. Out of this fortuitous gathering came the track ultimately chosen to become leah's debut release, the incredibly infectious "We Think It's Love"_written by leah and Jörgen and produced by the Cherion production team Per Magnusson and David Kreuger, who are part of the team responsible for big hits by Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys.
06_leah describes the subject matter of her debut release: `We were just strumming away on guitars, and out came the line "we think it's love" so we built the concept around that line girl breaking up with boy, going through the motions and then the journey as to how they got to that place. Lyrically it's not from personal experience, although it could be!'
Australia's newest pop diva is far from the identikit creations so often foisted upon us. More inclined to list soulful practitioners like Brandy and Eagle Eye Cherry amongst her musical inspirations than the usual chart suspects, leah haywood is a smart, passionate and above all real singer and songwriter:
07_'After people have heard me sing or listened to my recordings, I'd like them to really relate to what I'm putting out I'd like them to connect with the passion behind the songs. The thing is, they're not just songs written for the sake of a good boogie. Some of them have that groove, but I think as a whole people will pick up on the passion. I hope they go away thinking "this chick's for real!"'