Who is Leeuw? A blend of sexy citrus, electro, dream pop that swirls around your eardrum in an ever caressing way. Dark Beauty Music finds hidden musical treasures buried deep within the sands of sound. We invite you to discover with us…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where do you reside now?
I was born in Upland Ca, I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga Ca, and currently I live in Sherman Oaks. So basically in suburbia.
You are part Indonesian, tell us more about that part of your life:
My mother is half Indonesian and half Dutch. The culture has been a huge influence on my upbringing.. I mean I can go on and on about my crazy family parties when distant cousins fly in from Amsterdam and Java, how we stuff ourselves with satay and cendol, and dance to IndoRock all night long. But the strongest influence of all is from my Dutch/Indo side is from my Opa (Dutch for grandfather) who played in bands his whole life back in Holland and here in the states. I grew up watching him play the guitar and learned my first chord on his old electric First Act. He would turn to me and say “stay out of trouble!” in his thick dutch accent, obviously he knows his granddaughter well.
And yes, he still says this to me. Music was never pressed upon me, rather I found it myself with a few helpful leads, one of them being from my Opa. My roots and culture mean so much to me.. even my name Leeuw that I have chose to go by is Dutch for “lion”, and is sort of a persona I shelter behind. I’m super insecure when I’m on stage and have been for forever. I thought about this name, which is tied to my roots, my family, and my soul. It’s a name I want, and hope to live up to. A name that when I’m on stage I’m able to express and share my inner lion with everyone and vise-versa.
I noticed you bought a century old piano, where do you do the majority of your song writing?
I did! I bought it for dirt cheap in Long Beach at a thrift store. I’m in love with it, it has been through a lot over it’s years, and so have I. So when we write, I know it has a huge influence on what comes out. I mainly write on the piano. I started first with guitar for years and moved to piano a few years later. I’m still learning a lot but writing is everything second nature me. I tend to ramble and ramble in general..and I find it super stimulating and challenging to write a song with minimal words… with pretty much like 20 chapters of emotions hidden under the surface. I over explain and over analyze everything, but music is where I’m able to say the most with the least.
Tell us what instruments you play?
Guitar, piano, ukulele, and the shaker :)
You dive into the sound of dreamy, electro dream pop. How did you start working in this musical direction?
I guess I started to work in this musical direction a long long time ago… in my head. I would go on garage band and make simple beats and sing vocal loops. I’d also blast Simon Green (Bonobo) in my room and sing/play my own melodies on the piano to his whole album. I ended up linking with Wolves who helped me create the dream world and experience I hope people feel in waters.
I’m feeling your song ‘Waters’ which has the flavor of Future Bass mixed with Retro Downtempo. How did you come about working with the producer ‘Wolves’?
I knew Wolves for a few years before and always loved his work. At the time we first met, I wasn’t at all clear with myself with which direction I wanted to take. I was kind of all over the place musically and emotionally. We linked up earlier this year and worked on a song and really loved the work flow. From there we wrote a few more tunes until we came up with waters.
Are you going to continue in this sonic direction?
Yes, for now I want to stay consistent but I wont make any promises… I love new influences and again -I’m kinda all over the place. For the most part I’ll continue in this sonic direction, but maybe with a few twists. Waters is pretty dramatic and quite an experience, I love to make some super laid back dreamy tunes too.
What’s in your Ipod?
Right now…. Glass Animals, James Blake, Vallis Alps, Gallant, Leo Kalyan, Jaymes Young, Kevin Garret, Drake, Beach House, Daughter, Grimes, Purity Ring, Post Malone, Rome Fortune, Tei Shi, “peaceful piano for studying” playlist, Odesza and Jeff Buckley who will solely forever have a spot in my playlists. For basically forever and ever- till the end. The end.
What does music mean to you?
Music means growth. It’s a place to go and its never ending. It will always make us strive to learn more, feel more, and be more. It is a language that everyone can speak. You feel with music. You just know with music. It is in music where I believe that passion is truly infinite. I want to always shape and develop alongside of this friend, a friend who could never leave me, and friend I could never leave. It’s one of the only things in my life, other than my family and my spiritual health, that I trust, love, and live for.
I see you like to skate, how long have you been skateboarding?
Oh no- you just had to ask that!! Hate to brake it to you but I’m a fake. My good friend Chase (who is actually the photographer who took my photos for my website) is a skater and got me out on a board a few weeks ago. I love it and definitely want my own board real soon. My birthday is coming up this month so if anybody wants a lead.
Describe your personal style to our readers:
My personal style is simple, natural, but with a minimal edge. My good friend always explains my style like I’m a 4 year old girl who gets to dress herself for the first time. Basically mismatched random items that I blindly throw together. I really love dark colors with light/bright accents. I’m slowly growing to hate super tight stuff so I wear a lot of over sized tees and a snap back is for sure a must. I’m the chick who shares her clothes with her boyfriend. Nothing too flashy or superficial and it has to be super comfortable.
What’s coming up next in your musical world?
The future holds more writing, collaborations, and I’m working on something that will be released within the next few weeks which I’m working on with a close friend that I’m beyond super stoked for.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
A good friend of mine always says he has a “dark mind, with a bright soul”. Dark beauty is along those lines for me. You have a heavy exterior yet deep down inside that darkness is a beauty and innocence that is hidden for only those worthy enough of see, feel, and hold. Dark beauty is a rare gem that we all must search far within ourselves to be ale to find.
Some Photos by Chase R. Mccurdy and Dallas Skye