Exclusive interview with Leo Sawikin in the wake of 'Row Me Away' single release

Leo Sawikin's unique brand of grungy folk-rock has been turning heads ever since the release of new single 'Row Me Away'

Fifth Element caught up with this talented singer-songwriter to find out more...

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Fifth Element PR

Congratulations on all the positive feedback you’ve been getting for your latest single ‘Row Me Away’! How does it feel to have such a personal song gaining so much praise?

It feels great! I wrote that song almost 2 years ago now so I’m very happy to get it out in the world and have people responding well to it. It’s a very different type of song than anything I’ve put out so far, in that it’s very inspired by the post-grunge era and a departure from my more old-fashioned style. It’s been a good experiment to see how people respond to this. Now I know I need to write more songs with this type of sensibility!

You strike us as quite the music nerd. Have you been using the lockdown period to expand on your listening habits? What sort of thing has been catching your ear recently?

I definitely am a music nerd, and yes, I discovered a lot of great new music this year. I’ve been really getting into Arlo Parks, Celeste, Lianne La Havas, Angel Olsen, Fleet Foxes and recently discovered some older artists like Laura Nyro, Seal, Patty Griffin, Portishead, and I listened to Crosby Stills and Nash’s first album recently which was very enlightening. I also listened to The Cranberries’ first album for the first time recently, which really really blew me away.

How are you feeling about the release of your debut solo album later on this year?

I’m super excited to be putting the album out! We completed the album a year and a half ago and the songs were all written in 2018 and 2019 so I’m very eager to finally be releasing this material. It’s going to be very emotional to finally have the album out in the world after such a long time crafting it. I’m probably more invested in this album than I’ve ever been in any of the music I’ve put out there.

What is the overarching theme of the album? How do the songs fit together to tell a story?

The album is about being in a world that’s bursting at the seams and trying to figure out how to live day by day. It’s about wondering whether it’s worth it to put in the effort and make investments when the future is so uncertain. Each song provides a different perspective on that world whether it’s wanting to escape from it, wondering how things went so wrong, making tough decisions and sacrifices for the greater good, wondering what it means to be in love when nothing in the world seems to be truly permanent or stable, and accepting that our existence in the universe is inevitably fleeting...

Finally, as we move out of lockdown towards freedom, where are you most looking forward to playing live again?

I finally played my first two shows to an audience since the pandemic this week, and it was soooo great to be performing for people again. I’m really excited to play at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side in a few weeks, that’s definitely one of my favourite rooms to play in. I'm very happy to be back there!

Stream 'Row Me Away' now, with the full length due out in October.

August 26, 2021 5:30am ET by Fifth Element PR  

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