Introducing Brody Leigh, one of the most exciting acts we currently have our eye on.
Photography by Oli Spencer
Written by Oli Spencer
Destined to be in the spotlight, Brody has been surrounded by music her whole life. Brought up in an instrumental musical family, her dad started teaching her how to play the guitar when she was seven, and she started writing her own music at about ten or eleven years old. “I just started writing music because I was always listening to it. I’ve never done anything else and I just love it.” she tells me. The soundtrack to her upbringing has a lot of Michael Jackson apparently, who her mum loves… a lot of Elvis, and a lot of Britpop. Cut to 2020, and she’s winning the New Zealand Smokefree Rockquest as half of the brother-sister duo Ben & Brody. She began turning heads by posting song snippets on Instagram and Tick Tock, building excitement around her name as a solo artist.
Since then, nineteen-year-old Brody has been exploring and fine-tuning her sound, with 2022 marking the beginning of her solo path, and her debut single ‘Sad Club’ has left a lasting impression. The emerging artist welcomes us into the sad club as she paints a picture of her first heartbreak, a time where she first felt what it is like to really miss someone. Unafraid to wear her heart on her sleeve, Brody’s angelic vocals and uniquely complex songwriting shine, all while keeping up the mystery around what could possibly come next from her. We simply cannot wait to find out.
We caught up with Brody Leigh in light of her triumphant debut single ‘Sad Club’, finding her sound, and paving a new path as a solo artist.
How are you feeling now that 'Sad Club' is out?
I feel so relieved. I'm happy it’s out, I feel like I was quite anxious leading up to it because it was a debut single, it's quite a big deal as an artist. I did feel quite a lot of pressure, but now that it’s out I feel happy because people have responded to it so well. I’m proud of the song so I just feel good!
Did the writing process come quite naturally or did you have to dig?
It definitely came naturally, I remember writing the first demo of the song in honestly like forty minutes to an hour because I was just so emotional at the piano at home. Once I took that demo to my producer and my manager, we reworked it and that process was a bit more tedious… only because we were trying to fine-tune it, and make it perfect. But the first part of the song just fell out, it was quite cool.
What was it about that put ‘Sad Club’ first?
‘Sad Club’ was definitely the most personal song I wrote throughout all of last year, it was probably like the most raw song, and one that is so true to myself. I did spend a lot of time trying to write more pop-styled songs, but they didn't really have a story… I thought for a debut single you really want to showcase yourself and be really true and honest. I feel like ‘Sad Club’ was the best fit for that kind of mold.
"I'm really happy because I’ve found a little pocket of sound I'm really confident in and excited about."
How does it feel to go solo now?
It's been a really natural, easy process. I always did my own songwriting outside of Ben and Brody, I always grew up playing the keys on my own, and writing on the guitar. It's been really nice having my own space and sound aside from Ben and Brody. It's been really enjoyable, Ben has been a part of it - he's helped me write my songs… I think that's what is special about it. He’s still super involved, but we’re just kind of doing our own thing at the moment.
What has been your favourite part about exploring your own sound?
Probably the freedom of exploring anything and not being hesitant, being super open-minded and trying different sounds, jumping into different genres. I found it quite intimidating at the start, but it was quite interesting and exciting to try something quite jazzy, or something funkier and seeing if it works or not. I'm really happy because I think I’ve found a little pocket of sound I'm really confident in and excited about. I did a 6-month development with Luna last year and in that process, I worked with quite a few producers on quite a few songs, those are the things I’m happy about.
What’s it been like working with Luna?
So good, I love Luna. My manager McKenzie has given me so many opportunities and she's put me in contact with so many amazing people that I probably wouldn't have got the chance to meet without her. It's been a huge growth experience, I look back at myself at the start of last year and so much has happened, so much has changed and I’m so grateful. Yeah, I really love working with her.
Who is your dream Kiwi collab?
I was actually thinking about this the other day and I had quite a few. It's hard cause I like a lot of different music, there's two… I’m obsessed with Paige, she's just incredible and I admire her so much, but then I also love SACHI. Their music makes me so happy, I would love to feature with them one day, that's like a big dream.
What can we expect from you next?
A bit of diversity. I'm really excited to showcase different sounds and different parts of my voice, I'm not just like a sad song kinda gal! There's some cool stuff coming, it's kind of really only the beginning, so I'm really excited.