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Raised and based in Los Angeles, pop artist Leah Kate releases her new single “bad idea” on May 15. We chatted to her about that and more…

L.A. WEEKLY: When did you start writing and recording, and when did you realize it could be a career?

LEAH KATE: I started singing at an extremely young age, I think around 5. My brother and I started recording and writing in our room on GarageBand when I was 10 and he was 7. The first song we did together was called “after party”. It was a love song and I wish I could remember who hurt me and inspired it at that age [laughs]. When I was 13, I started researching the producers of artists I liked (Katy Perry, Nelly Furtado, etc.) and would send horrible voice notes with my melody ideas attached to see if they wanted to work with me. I always wanted it to be a career and knew it would be the career for me well before adulthood, but it took a while to gain the courage to follow the dream and consider it my main gig.

Describe your sound…

My sound is definitely in the pop lane. It’s feel-good, funky and upbeat, with truthful and dark lyrics that will make you want to dance and cry at the same time.

Tell us about “bad idea” — what is the song about? And how did you put the video together?

“bad idea” was inspired by a love interest I had in the past. I knew very well that if I continued to pursue him it would probably end terribly. Hence the title “bad idea” … it draws light to making something that may be a bad choice and reminds me that you don’t always have to take stuff so seriously. Regardless of knowing it was wrong for me, I liked him and didn’t want to stop pursuing whatever it was. The goal of the song is for my listeners to not feel alone when they know or feel something may be a “bad idea,” and is a reminder to follow your hearts. Just go for it anyway! The video was made from BTS clips during a photoshoot I had for my album art and just shooting random stuff around the house! I had to do it myself while in quarantine, and taught myself how to turn it around as a lyric video. It was fun. 

How have you been coping with the lockdown? How are you staying busy?

I’ve been staying super busy during lockdown. I enrolled myself in an online Berklee College of Music lyric strategy class which has been awesome. I’ve been doing a lot of that, writing a ton, spending time with family, baking way too much for my own good, and exercising a lot. Lockdown has given me a huge appreciation for the little things and although what’s happening in the world right now is heartbreaking, I was able to find a little joy during this time.

What do you have planned for after the lockdown is lifted?

I can’t wait to get back in the studio with my friends and collaborators. I can’t wait to see my friends. And I can’t wait to perform live again and go on tour.

Listen to Leah Kate on Soundcloud.