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Leo Kalyan talks us through his debut album, The Edge, in our intimate Zubrówka listening session at The Hospital Club.

We’ve already sat down with the likes of Barney Artist and Tobi Sunmola for our intimate Zubrówka Bison Grass Vodka listening sessions, and for our latest get-together, we hear from British-Pakistani dream-pop icon, Leo Kalyan.

“There’s a massive friction between my cultural identity and my sexuality.” Kalyan told us when we spoke to him for the Autumn 2018 issue of Notion, and his session at the Hospital Club was a celebration of both those things. Attended by the likes of MNEK, Olly Alexander and openly-gay whistleblower Chris Wylie, Kalyan guided us through his eclectic and roaring debut album, The Edge, which dropped just a few days ago. It’s emotive, sensitive but it packs a punch, and highlights Kalyan as one of the the UK’s most promising new musicians.


After a conversation about queer islam and embracing his identity as a ‘queer brown boy’, Kalyan invited gender-fluid Raheem Mir on-stage to showcase some traditional indian dancing, who served up some awe-inspiring spinning. There was also an animated spoken work performance from Amani Saeed, who gave an emotive and impassioned performance. Afterwards, Kalyan explained the meaning behind The Edge, saying that he imagined himself being taken to the top of a building and taking himself to the edge. 

The session ended with Kalyan making his way through a long line of fans, who were all keen to speak to him about their experiences of being islamic and queer, highlighting the influence on his community. Żubrówka once again provided the drinks for the event, offering up their signature Bison Grass and Apple Juice cocktails for people to enjoy throughout the event. Keep an eye out for a next session, which is with the incredible Kara Marni.


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