Fool’s Gold Rising Star Leaf Talks About The Kylie Cover Controversy
Atlanta-via-New York rapper Leaf perfectly embodies the qualities possessed by the “slash” generation. She writes and produces her own music, directs and creatively orchestrates her music videos, and spends time designing her MBM clothing line. While some say that a jack of all trades is a master of none, such is not the case for the twenty-year-old up and comer, whose aggressive, biting lyrics pair with delicate vocals for a body of work that’s remarkably unique and engrossing. As if that weren’t enough, her style is nothing short of iconic, clear through the recent Steven Klein photo shoot featuring Kylie Jenner in a getup strikingly similar to one of Leaf’s. We spoke to the artist. Check out or talk with the newcomer below, and listen to her mixtape here.
How old were you when you got started in music, and why did you start?
I started recording my music and putting it online at about fourteen, but I’ve been singing and writing music since I was six. I’ve always loved making music; it was never a decision more a part of me.
If your music were any type of drug, drink, or food, what would it be?
If my music were a drink it’d probably be red wine, if it were a drug it’d probably be weed or lean, and if it were a food it’d be creme brûlée or something else that was decadent and rich in flavor.
How does sexuality play into your music, or the music industry at large?
I think that how I live life sexually is how I sexually express myself in music. I try to be as real as possible without being too crude. The music industry doesn’t effect my music too widely. Of course there is “marketable” and “unmarketable” music but I just prefer to create art.
Who are some other female artists that you idolize?
Gwen Stefani, Janet Jackson, Aaliyah, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga. Honestly there are so many queens out there who inspire me.
What do you think makes you stand out from your peers?
I feel like I’m creating my own lane or possibly bringing back a lane that hasn’t been touched in a minute with dark R&b and ethereal vocals. I also feel like I am speaking for female entrepreneurs and all business-minded empowered females.
Do you think people expect you to make a certain type of music because of your race, gender, background, etc.?
I think people are always expecting something regardless of what you put your heart into.
Where were you born and raised and where do you currently live?
I was born and raised in New York City. I currently reside in “The A” or Atlanta.
When do you think you became an adult as opposed to a kid?
I really don’t even know if I’m an adult yet or ever will be. I just have more responsibilities.
What’s something about your background or life that you think people would find shocking?
I think my whole background and life is pretty shocking. I am a very private person. However I come from jazz legacy, my great grandfather is Jackie McLean who was a famous saxophone player who lived in New York and Hartford, CT.
What themes do you find yourself working with when writing lyrics?
I always write from life experience. I want people to feel where I’m coming from.
What is it like performing live for you?
It’s always nervewracking the first minute or 2, but then I black out and zone. From there, it’s just an experience.
When you’re getting dressed in the morning, what’s your inspiration? What do you wear a lot of?
Mia Wallace is always an inspiration. I love black. I also love retro, anything 50s/60s/70s.
Any thoughts on Kylie Jenner pulling a strikingly similar look to you recently?
I feel as if art is art and everyone is entitled to their artistic inspiration. I’m just glad to inspire people. I feel like there has been multiple times this year I have inspired other celebrities across the board. It just makes me feel like I’m closer to where I want to be. Regardless of if she knows about me directly or it was someone who creative directed it for her. I feel like great minds think alike.
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