For one of music.co.uk’s first 2010 interviews, Lauren catches up with Leddra Chapman, who’s had an amazing 2009 releasing a single and album, supporting Roachford on tour, and gaining the support of Terry Wogan. Not bad for a new singer-songwriter from Essex is it?!
Hi, welcome to music.co.uk, great to be interviewing you again. It’s been an interesting few years for you; how do you reflect on them, and how you’ve grown as an artist?
The last few years have been hard work but amazing. Working with other writers and producers has given me so much inspiration, and my style has grown and obviously matured from when I was 15 and first doing interviews! There is nothing I would change, and each pathway brought me my debut album that I am so proud of.
How important is it as a songwriter to find the right people to work/collaborate with and what advice would you give on this for new people starting out?
It’s been important for me to find people that I really click with musically. I knew when I first worked with Peter Vetesse that I would want him to produce my album, I was lucky he said yes! To get to that point I would advise anyone starting out that if you get the opportunity, to write and spend time in the studio with lots of different people. Even if at first you might not want to, you have nothing to lose, and much to gain from the experience.
Are you still slipping the odd unique cover version into your live set? If so what are your favourites at the moment?
Yes I am! I still perform Jamie T’s Sheila, and most recently with my band I have been covering Time To Pretend by MGMT!
What should we all know about Quiksilver Women’s Fashion?
Well firstly, the clothes are truly amazing! www.quiksilver-women.com. The line is aimed at creative and independent woman- I love wearing them! Quiksilver Women have also chosen ambassadors who are independent and creative, and the support they have given me has been absolutely overwhelming.
What’s it been like performing in Europe for Quiksilver, is it any different from Britain, and how has your music been received?
It has been truly amazing to travel and perform my music to different audiences! Last time I played in France, I spoke French to the audience, and it went down really well! It was a real buzz! The French crowds are really fun to play to, but there’s nothing like playing to your home crowd!
I believe there are two other singing talents also promoting Quiksilver, what should we know about them?
The two other ambassadors are very unique and talented; both Ellie Lawson and Charlotte O’Connor are ones to watch out for!
As your album is called ‘Telling Tales’, we were wondering what your favourite tales/stories were when you were younger?
I loved Beauty and the Beast when I was little, and also the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill! But my very favourite book was called Poor Old Teddy and I still have it!!
What can we expect from the album, and what are your plans for after its release?
You can expect honest lyrics and stories, each song with its individual style, but at the same time all flowing together nicely I think! My first single ‘Story’ has received support from the lovely people at Radio 2, and I hope that continues with the album- there are also some planned TV performances- I’ll keep you posted!
As you’ve been described as quintessentially English, music.co.uk is wondering what you’re favourite British/English things are?
British sense of humour is the best! And Roast Dinner, and of course a good cup of tea and biscuits!
Music.co.uk just like everyone else, has things that would get us on our soapbox, but what would get you on your soapbox/in the mood for a good rant?
Hmm…I’m not sure, I tend not to rant…but the London tubes during rush hour get me pretty wound up!
If you were designing your ideal gig venue, what would it be like?
Wow, good question! Firstly I would make sure the stage is raised, with fairy lights and candles around to create an intimate atmosphere, and I would make sure entry was always free for a listening audience.
Have you got any other creative talents or special skills in general aside from music?
I have always had a huge love for art, especially painting, and sketching with pastels. I still dabble when I get time.
How is the surfing going? And have you been tempted by any other water sports yet?
I have had a few lessons, but lets just say I’m not a natural haha! The sea doesn’t seem to like me very much, I have been caught under many a wave lol, but it’s still great fun!
Finally do you have a message for all the music.co.uk readers that will be hearing about you soon?
Thanks to Music.co.uk for all your support, I hope the readers enjoy the album, and if you like the music come to a gig soon and say hello!
Leddra’s album ‘Telling Tales’ is available now from all good download sites. Also just announced, appearances on ‘This Morning’ for ITV, a Radio 2 Session, and a tour supporting Hamel in February. For more information visit www.myspace.com/leddrachapman.