UK-born solo artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jenna Leigh-Raine joins us to talk through her musical background, as well as discussing her latest album ‘KRAFT’, check the album out here, and acquaint yourself with Jenna below…
How long have you been performing?
Well, I have only ever been in one band – a duo, in fact, which lasted three years. We were both into electronic music with live keyboards and drum machines. We parted and remained good friends.
My story is rather a long one afterward, as I’ve hunted to get a manager or a record deal and travelled to places like Paris, Rome, and LA, in order to secure deals. I gigged intensely. I got my first deal of sorts in Paris many years ago. The deal was more of a process of writing, recording, testing, etc. After two very long years, I wanted out. I didn’t like the area of music they were sliding me towards. I later did sign a better deal in the UK. Then signed a few more minor deals before a five-year publishing deal in 2019.
How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!
It was in Windsor, back many, many years ago. It was very memorable as my mum’s friend, who was a set designer, created a huge dropdown screen which would come down slowly with the intro music and smoke coming over, creating quite an entrance. I let a band from Eton College support me so the place was packed with girls and guys from all the public schools.
What should people expect when they check you out? How would you describe yourself?
I’m trying to think what others would say. Maybe film-like, anthemic, electronic rock. I mix up punk rock guitar and build a wall on layers of synth.
The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?
Be completely yourself. I really don’t get along with material from artists or bands who try too hard to use the same R’n’B pop beats. Luckily it doesn’t invade what I do. I can only make the music I make.
What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?
Well, right now I’m recording a follow-up album to my current release. I would love you to check out my latest album called KRAFT. I wrote and produced everything. The title track is my modern approach to rock. It has an intro that reminded me later of Guns N’ Roses ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’. But I actually played my guitar in a bass slap style with distortion which gave the sound.
What band out there at the minute do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?
Poppy – she’s visual in her music theatrics and mixes styles of rock, metal, and electronic.
Who do you feel is the next band to break out?
I must admit I don’t listen to too much music. I’m always busy recording my own. I like different bands with a strong image. Bands that have really thought about what they wear, even to how they hold their guitar.
What are your first musical memories? And what was the light bulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
I have so many early memories but I saw Gary Numan on ‘Top of the Pops’ and was transfixed at the way he stood, stared and scanned the audience – and his voice was so different and steely. It was a performance that truly inspired me.
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
Well, I had tickets to Yungblud who I think is very exciting and doing great things. I saw his record in Amoeba Hollywood the day that my 2019 album AREA went on the shelves. The British invasion was fresh and doing well in LA, as ever.
The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
I have bought a lot of vinyl and, well, I’m not going to admit to everything (ha!) but I have The Stray Cats albums who I have loved since I was small. I love rockabilly music to dark electronic music. I love anything from David Sylvian to Gary Numan and the Blade Runner soundtracks. I collect what I like and make the music I make.
Although 2020 has been a year to forget for many reasons, there has been some incredible music released; what would be your album of the year?
Ghostemane – Anti-Icon
Also look out for Numan’s new album INTRUDER, dropping in May 2021
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
I’m very active on social media and keep my official Facebook page and Instagram most up-to-date.
All my accounts can be found via the Linktree link here.