Sounds Against Slavery interview – Leonora

Liam caught up with one of the five acts performing at this year's Sounds Against Slavery event...

Impact Magazine and the Anti-Slavery Society are collaborating on the second iteration of Sounds Against Slavery on Thursday 15th March. Impact caught up with one of the acts, Leonora, to hear their thoughts on music and the event.

What are you most looking forward to about performing at Sounds Against Slavery?

Rough Trade is one of my favourite venues and this will be the first time I get to play there so that’s cool. I’m also looking forward to hearing the other acts play as this is the first time I will have heard most of them play. And of course, I’m looking forward to supporting the cause too! (I realise that’s three things not one…)

Why did you decide to support the cause?

My pal Josie is the president for Anti-Slavery Society and she got me involved – great gal.

How would you describe your sound?

Well, at the risk of sounding real obnoxious, I like to refer to it as a dream-folk fusion. I’m really into the story-telling style of a lot of folk and country music, but I would say my sound and vocal style is more influenced by modern alt-folk singers – I’m really into that dreamy, undulating quality.

Who are the artists that you are inspired by?

Like I said previously, I love that a lot of folk and country music tells a story, so my songwriting style is influenced by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits. However, the sound takes on characteristics of the female singers I’ve been listening to recently: Angel Olsen, Nadia Reid and Julia Jacklin.

Desert Island Disks! Name a song, an album and an artist you couldn’t live without?

This changes every week, but currently:

Song: Paul Simon – Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

Album: John Martyn – Solid Air

Artist: James Blake

How long have you been performing? What are your memories of your very first performance?

Well, I’ve been singing and songwriting (not always well) for most of my life but my first concert was when I was 12. I had laryngitis and decided to sing a very high version of Hallelujah – my parents bought a recording of it on DVD and let’s just say I never went back for a second viewing.

Do you know any of the artists that you are performing alongside at Sounds Against Slavery?

I met Julia Joyce this term in one of my uni modules and I’m friends with Shawn, who’s in her band. Dan from The Long Islands also went to my high school in West Sussex, which is pretty random.

You’re surrounded by musical opportunities here in Nottingham, what’s it like to be a singer/songwriter in this city?

I have actually been very surprised by how lively the Nottingham music scene is. I grew up playing most of my gigs and open mics in Brighton so thought Nottingham might not be as happening, but I’ve been given so many gigs and opportunities since being here and also met loads of incredible musicians. The talent level here really is unreal.

What do you have planned for the future?

I have an album’s worth of songs that I want to put out at some point, so hopefully will be looking for a producer and some musicians in the near future and releasing an EP.

Sounds Against Slavery comes to Rough Trade on Thursday 15th March, 7pm-11pm. Tickets are £5.50, and all donations go to Anti-Slavery International.

Liam Inscoe-Jones

Featured image courtesy of Alexandra Farzad.

Article images courtesy of Alexandra Farzad and the UoN Anti-Slavery Society.

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