- Words Yasmine Dankwah
- Photography Kiran Gidda
Punctuated with a mixture of insecurity and acceptance, London boy Leyma reminds us that summer days inevitably darken and drift away.
East-London born and bred artist LEYMA, returns with a brand new single and video ‘Cuppa’ from his recently released sophomore EP ‘L O N G D A Y S’ and stars as our latest Internet Crush.
A product of the lo-fi DIY generation, LEYMA conveys a self-sufficient mastery, which is reflected in his sound, one that is a seamless hybrid of indie, hip-hop and R&B. This hybridity continues into his vocals; comfortably teetering between singing and speaking, the rapper’s authorial and magnetic voice, is an aspect of his artistry that keeps us coming back for more.
Inspired by London and the everyday, LEYMA’s ‘L O N G D A Y S’ explores the highs and lows over the period of a long summer’s day. ‘Cuppa’, is a single that is more sombre and less hopeful in tone. Keeping up with his conversational and confessional approach, the star invites us into a world of softly spoken streams of consciousness, bringing the likes of Marga and JK onboard, but still manages to keep us at a distance. This is a testament to LEYMA’s direction and his ability to create a vibrantly mellow aesthetic, whilst capturing an overwhelming sense of disconnection and intoxication among the rapper and his peers. The night ends with a nonchalant and fatigued tolerance in response to everything slowly spiralling out of control.
If you’re interested in more of the rising star’s “most honest piece of work to date”, well you’re IN luck because he’ll be headlining Camden Assembly on Friday 8th November – so grab your tix now and check out the interview with the blossoming star below.
Are you looking forward to having your next body of work out in the world?
I’m gassed. It’s been ready for a long time now, well happy for everyone to hear it you know?
What was your creative process like when it comes to making music?
It depends on the day and that but usually I start with the instrumental and the beat. Luckily I’ve got two banging guitarists, Harry and Louis who laid the progressions down on the tracks. From there I build up the drums and structure, then lyrics last.
Who would some of your dream collaborators be?
Kevin Parker, and Tyler the Creator. Both these artists are unreal producers too, so I feel like getting in the studio with them would just open my view of the process, and we’d make some beautiful sounds.
How did you first get started within music?
I’ve always been surrounded by music and I used to write songs as soon I got bar chords on the guitar, must’ve been 8 or 9. But I never saw music as a feasible career. I always thought you needed so much money and equipment to record and release. Until my mate Parko, when we were 16, showed me Logic and how he recorded guitar and vocals straight into his laptop. Which just blew my mind, and I fell in love with it. I got a job in a supermarket and saved up for a Mac and a mic and started really making music there.
What is some advice you would give to your younger self?
Not to care what people think of you. I was very impressionable of people I respected as a kid, but looking back I was led down the worst paths I could’ve been. Just to look sick or fit in.
What has been one of the highlights of your year so far?
First sold-out show. That was just mad. All I have to say haha.
What else can we expect to come from Leyma?
I’m always writing you know, new music is sitting here for your ear holes. I got another London date, November 8th Camden Assembly. We got a lot planned for that one. And we’ll see what happens in the next six months?
If you could choose one, what is one album that you could only listen to?
Hard question, probably Rubber Soul.
Any advice you have been given that has stayed with you?
Shampoo every three days, condition every day.
What is one fact people may not know about you?
When I was 4 I was eating a penguin biscuit and a bee flew in my mouth and stung the inside of my lip. There’s a picture of me looking sorry for myself somewhere.