Leesha-Z ft. Esme Lark – Sail Away [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words.

Dreamy, honest, immersive

What is the story behind your new song “Sail Away”?

Luiza says: Sail Away was written in the summer, when we were all longing for a change of scenery after such a long COVID lockdown. I was dreaming about that lovely feeling when you step off a plane in a foreign country , and the air is hot and balmy, the trees are different and everything is telling you you’re somewhere refreshingly far away. That led to daydreaming about the lush, indulgent feeling of floating on the water without a care in the world…. so far removed from what life was actually like during lockdown in London- especially the home schooling!!!! So, it’s a song about escaping for a moment to have some “me” time, and how it’s not because you’re disregarding everyone else, but because you’re allowing yourself to prioritize yourself every once in a while.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

Elisha says: I love it! There are so many great musicians out there that have so much to offer in terms of experience and perspective. I have gained so much from working with others. Songwriting has never seemed to be a lonely process for me because sometimes I prefer the solitude to dig deep inside, and then when I can share what I come up with, I experience a connection with the one I’ve shared it with.

Luiza says: As a saxophonist, I perform in a lot of bands and groups and I LOVE that, but it’s never my own music. Writing these songs has opened up a creative outlet that I hadn’t nourished for a long time, and I’m not going to stop!

What do you enjoy most? Writing music or performing your music live?

Elisha says: I much prefer writing music. I’m shy to perform.

Luiza says: Probably the best place I have been lucky enough to perform in has been the Royal Albert Hall in London, and also the famous jazz club Ronnie Scott’s was a big tick on my bucket list.

What would be your dream performance venue?

Elisha says: My dream performance venue would be if you were to set up a grand piano in a garden, under the shade of a tree, near water, and have the audience far enough away that I don’t notice them.

Luiza says: A dream venue would probably be a cool stadium gig- but our songs being sung!!!

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Elisha says: Not everyone is going to love you, or like you. But those who do are special, so treasure them and forget the ones who don’t.

Luiza says: “Don’t expect anything to land in your lap.” My mum has been a huge inspiration to me, in terms of work ethic and never ever giving up, and rolling with the punches. She’s also made sure my sisters and I have always been very grateful for any opportunity and experience that has presented itself. Something I live by, and am constantly drilling into my son is “never be responsible for ruining anyone’s day.”

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

Elisha says: As a Canadian piano player, I quickly became a huge fan of Diana Krall. She performed at the Jubilee in Calgary. She walked out on stage in a pretty dress, bent down to pick up her earring that she had lost during rehearsal, sat down at the piano, set the earring on the edge of the piano, and then started playing. She didn’t stop once. No intermission, no breaks. She just played all the way through her set, as I sat there with my jaw in my lap. She was amazing. Plus she had the coolest merch I’ve ever purchased from an artist.

Luiza says: I thought Foo Fighters at Wembley was amazing, and I got free tickets once to Madonna’s show in Wembley arena, which was inspiring in terms of sheer inventiveness and stage presence. But in all honestly, the best ever show was probably my first ever big stadium gig at 17, when I saw Bon Jovi, supported by Van Halen. The combination of my mad crush on Jon Bon Jovi (!!) and love of the band, plus it being my first mega gig, blew my mind and was a formative music loving experience.

Thank you!

Follow Elisha Rae Haldorson

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