Interview with Kayleigh Leith

Interview with Kayleigh Leith

by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Christian Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Kayleigh Leith:  I am very simple and down to earth. I like to think I am a very nice person too, although when people lie to me, or take advantage of me, that can change I play country pop music, and write about everything that sits in my mind for a few days, then I know it’s worth writing about. My main influences include Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Sugarland. I guess you can say my style of music fits in there somewhere

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Kayleigh Leith:  Well I always say today I am further than I was yesterday and tomorrow I will be further than I am today, so each step I take, I get closer. This year I finished up on the final touches on my debut album that will be released on October 28th!!! I wanted to make sure everything on the album was going to sound exactly how I planned it to be, so I took my time, and now I can say I am 100% happy with the outcome, I can’t wait to send my {babies} out into the world I am now playing my songs with a full band, that includes Pedal Steel, violin, dobro, mandoline. So you get that nice country twist in every song. My single Stand Up Straight will come out first week of October. We shot the video last week and it was so much fun!! I signed a distribution deal with Suburban Records and my music will be available on Itunes worlwide. Physical copies are available in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. We are also going to look into physical distribuiton for other countries.

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?

Kayleigh Leith:  My debut album will be released October 28th, and I hope it does fantastic! A little positive thinking goes a long way

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

Kayleigh Leith:  The name of my album is Miles Away. I moved to the Netherlands 6 years ago with my Dutch husband. We lived in the USA for several years and my husband decided he wanted to move back to the Netherlands, and I loved the country during visits so figured I’d give it a shot. I left my whole family and all my friends behind. I left everything I knew, and started in a place I didn’t know anything about. I choose Miles Away because sometimes I feel so far away from my family and friends even though the Netherlands is my Home. So it’s about that stuggle of leaving someone behind. No matter where you go, you always leave someone you love behind. And that will always be a struggle for so many of us.

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Kayleigh Leith:  Yes, I write or co-write all my own songs. I must be part of the process. I love challenges and always striving to write a better song than the last.

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).

Kayleigh Leith:  Well I always listened to Adult contemporary artists, like Jewel, Sarah Mclachlan, Sheryl Crow. The country part came about from Taylor Swift I must say. I heard her first album and was so excited to think country could sound so awesome, and not just some gal or guy strumming on their guitar crying about their dog, hahaha. I started listening to alot of artists in the modern country scene like Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Sugarland, The Band Perry, Nickelcreek and many others and I felt so connected. I’ve always been someone who appreciates the truth, and to me, that is the best way to write, the truth, what you really think. To me, that’s country, 3 chords and the truth. So genuine and honest. Wearing your heart totally on your sleeve never felt so right.

Lamitschka:  What do you feel is special about your song „Stand Up Straight“ that makes people want to hear it?

Kayleigh Leith:  My single will be released first week of October and will hopefully be on national radio. My demos and the new single is already being played by the country stations here in Holland but I would also like to crossover to the pop scene. The single is called Stand Up Straight and it’s about saying No instead of Yes all the time. I think people feel so relieved when they just say No and stand up for themselves. Celebrating who you are and not what other people want you to be. I think people will want to hear that because a lot of people feel this way. We are always trying to please everyone and sometimes we feel like saying enough is enough!

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Kayleigh Leith:  I am a sucker for slow songs with loads of emotions. I tend to always write that way too. When I need inspiration to write a rocking song I tend to think, co-write anyone? Just to get some ideas passing back and forth.

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?

Kayleigh Leith:  I would have to say Miles Away. It is a ballad on the album and as mentioned it’s the name of the album. That song really means a lot to me. Being in my new home away from home. Home always being my roots where I am from, my home now being where my heart is. That constant struggle of trying to make it all work, wishing I could be with all my loved ones at once, but as we all know, that’s not how it is in the real world.

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?

Kayleigh Leith:  I was on stage back in July and it was a hot summer night and we really played a great show I thought. A man came up to me after the show very emotional telling me how much my song Miles Away made him think about his mother in Italy and how he had come to the venue to meet up with friends to go to a soccer game and then ended up cancelling his plans to go out because he wanted to stay and hear me sing. He told me I sang the words he felt, and for me that’s doing my job as an artist.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Kayleigh Leith:  I am very inspired by Jewel. We all know Jewel from her album Pieces of You in 1994. The moment I heard her I felt something. This truth that I so much appreciated in music. Wasn’t always pretty either. That’s that raw emotion I always loved about her. Growing up I wasn’t really allowed to listen to the radio, and my dad thought MTV was a bad influence, so he blocked it. It went from channel 35 to 37. MTV was on channel 36 and we never were allowed to watch. My brother managed to find a way to get it on, but we were afraid to get caught, so we left it alone. I sang in church with my dad, and we would sing at family parties too. I was always a singer since I could remember. Then I started writing songs and a whole new world opened up for me.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?

Kayleigh Leith:  I honestly think everyone who is doing something is doing something right. The truth is, we all have a different music preference than the next person, and there is something out there for everyone. Anyone who is making music and inspiring someone is someone who is doing something right in my opionion, regardless if I like their style music or not. I see it as an evolving platform. We all start somewhere, and at one point it all pays off.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s music industry?

Kayleigh Leith:  Since I am a woman who appreciates honestly I would say the music industry can be a very black and white place. I am one who tends to enjoy the greys in between. I think a lot of artists get so caught up in titles given to them by the music industry that they lose who and what they are really about. I am an indie artist and I have to say, it’s not a bad place. I enjoy my freedom as artist.

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Kayleigh Leith:  Well the music industry is a tough business like any other business. If I had the chance to change something I would say one word: compassion. Being an artist is not an easy job. The truth is you become a product, and a product has to produce in order to make money. The artist also has to write { hit songs}, but with all the stress how can one write genuine songs? At the end of the day we are all people who feel the same thing. A little compassion goes a long way, business or not.

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite activity?

Kayleigh Leith:  I love interacting with fans. After all fans are the reasons you are where you are in the first place. They support you, are loyal, sing your songs back to you and overall they make you feel good.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

Kayleigh Leith:  Singing brought me here. Even if I would fight it, and deny it, it would push it’s way through. I wake up thinking, if I could reach the whole world at once and they would all listen, what would I say. I want to leave a mark!

Lamitschka:  What’s unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?

Kayleigh Leith:  This question is always a hard one and people immediately try so hard to be different from everyone else by thinking really really hard of one thing. The truth is we are all the same. We are all trying to put our best out there and do our best. I still say being you and only you will set you a part from everyone else. As much as we are all the same, we all have different little quirks that make us special. So I would say, just being me.

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Kayleigh Leith:  I love to do yoga and also take my mountain bike out for a ride. I also love to hang out with my little dog Sidney. He is so human it’s crazy!

Lamitschka:  What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?

Kayleigh Leith:  When people let you down. Sometimes people promise you so many things and have so many plans, but they never come through. I expect people to be honest with me and up front. No one has to tell me anything. I would rather someone say nothing at all, than to give me a pocket full of broken promises.

Lamitschka:  What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?

Kayleigh Leith: We play a nice variety of songs for everyone; young and old alike. I play intimate pop/country songs as an acoustic set with a violin, mandoline, dobro and some pedal steel, guitar. We also play with a full band and the songs will get you singing along and most likely stick in your head at night

Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?

Kayleigh Leith:  Yes! You can find me at there you can find tour info, news, pictures of gigs/general pics/music/links to website of my favorite people/things and anything else that has to do with what I am up to. Or you check my facebook and please leave me a message, would love to hear from you!!!

Kayleigh Leith:  Thanks for all your support and love!

Lamitschka:  Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?

Kayleigh Leith:  I was playing an acousttic show and a lot of my good friends came to that one. During one of my faster songs I noticed my shirt starting to fall down, I could see the faces of all my friends standing in the front row arguing who should come save me, lol. I managed to pull it up quickly and my guitar tech ran over during the song and duct taped the back part of the shirt to well uh..myself. My friends were like, great, we come to see you sing and strip, hahaha Almost a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction 😉

Christian Lamitschka ( )

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