Lotta Lindgren is a singer and songwriter from Stockholm, Sweden. Music was introduced to her from an early age, attributable to the fact that her mother is a cellist and her father a composer and conductor. Beginning with the cello, Lindgren discovered her love of music and decided to take it into her own hands. Instead of following her parents’ footsteps and going for classical music, Lindgren decided to explore writing her own music and entering the music industry from a different angle, ultimately creating LÉON.
From the beginning of her career she stood out with her voice — raspy yet uniquely soothing with an R&B tone to it.The best description of her voice is Amy Winehouse meets Adele meets Stevie Nicks. From pop to acoustic to R&B, Lindgren has a tendency to effortlessly alter her vocal tone to complement the style and sound of the song — something many artists fail to achieve. Even just her first single, “Tired of Talking,” got immediate praise from critics and artists, such as Katy Perry. When she performs, the audience automatically feeds off of her addictive energy as she dances across the stage.
Washington Square News: Hi, nice to meet you! So, your stage name is LÉON. What is your first name, Lotta?
LÉON: It’s Lotta, yes! You’re the first to get that.
WSN: You have an EP out, and you’re working on an album now, right?
LÉON: Yes, I have two EPs out. There’s a third one coming, but I’m still working on my actual full-length album.
WSN: What direction do you see yourself going with these projects?
LÉON: I’m trying to find the silver lining at the moment. I’m exploring a lot of different sounds. It’s fun because I’m really taking my time to experiment in the studio, and I really want to push myself. So, I’m still on the search for that specific sound, but I think I’m going to keep going in that soulful, raw direction.
WSN: Would you consider looking to go more in the pop direction? Like “Tired of Talking”, which I saw that Katy Perry even expressed praise for!
LÉON: Oh my God, yeah, that was two years ago! It’s weird that that was two years ago. Yeah, that’s very pop. I didn’t even realize that until afterwards when people told me. It’s hard because I don’t want to label everything I do because I just tend to go with what I’m feeling in the moment.
WSN: Do you think your sound will go more in that pop direction?
LÉON: I think it’s going to be a combination of both. I feel like there are so many different things I want to say in different ways and with different sounds, so it’ll be a sort of mix. I have so many songs from two years ago because I get so attached to a lot of material and then they just end up laying on my computer. So, maybe some of those songs will come out next.
WSN: What’s your songwriting process?
LÉON: I feel like when it comes to lyrics and topics, I tend to sit and write some stuff down, like if I’m in a car or a train or an airplane. If not, I’m usually sitting in the studio with a producer by a piano because I feel like when you’re sitting by a piano or a guitar, that’s when you actually find the emotion. I feel that, from past experiences, if you’re going through a production first and then you’re trying to write on top of that, it’s harder for me to find the emotion. I like to start from scratch with just piano.
WSN: Do you play piano?
WSN: Do you play any other instruments?
LÉON: I play guitar and I used to play cello. My mom plays the cello. My mom, uncle and aunt all played classical music. There’s a lot of us, but I kind of went in another direction. Me and my mom used to play a lot of cello.
WSN: Is that where your love for music came from?
LÉON: I think so because it was always around. It’s weird because I never really saw myself doing anything else. I actually tried to come up with something. I was like, “What would I do?,” but it was always around so it came really natural to me.
WSN: When did you decide that you wanted to go in a different direction than the rest of your family?
LÉON: I was always very supported of making my own music. I think both of my parents really liked the fact that I was writing from a really early age. I listened to a lot of pop growing up so I tried to bring that [into my songwriting]. Even if I hadn’t been in love, I tried to write love songs from a very early age. Strange now that I’m looking back at it, singing about heartbreak [back then].
WSN: What do you have in store for the future?
LÉON: I’m super excited because my new single, “I Believe In Us,” actually came out today. I’m very excited about that because I’ve been waiting a few months to put it out. It feels like a song that’s one of my favorites so far that I’ve written. And then I have the EP coming and the tour’s coming up. I’m going on tour in two weeks. I’m doing 20 cities in North America. I’m very excited about the future, it’s very fun.
Email Dyanna Fleites-Cruz at [email protected]