As a young, active musician of around four years, New York-native Leuca has a variety of influences: from worship, to soul and hip hop. For September’s Unsigned Band Week, Leuca gives the details of his musical styling, what draws him to music, and his debut EP.
Where are you from?
Baldwin, Long Island, NY.
How long have you been an active musician and how did you get started?
I’d say I’ve been an active musician for about three to four years now. I’ve been singing all my life. I started out through church, sung in every choir and on the praise and worship team. I was also in a Christian hip-hop group called L.F.G., then sometime in 2015 I branched out and started doing my own music; now mostly singing, still some rap.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
I’d say my music is a tool for encouragement and peace. For someone who’s feeling down, I hope to do nothing but uplift them with my music and the message that’s embedded in it. In my debut EP, Soul[o], I tried to incorporate different styles of mostly neo-soul and other modern sounds to create a fusion. What I make is smooth and clean cut, with lots of vocal experimentation, harmonies, and very in-touch with those who are into musicality. My newest single, “Home” is more of an upbeat, modern-styled, commercial track that can be followed quite easily, something you’ll be able to dance to.
What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit?
My latest release is a single I put out this past July with another artist, Mike Green, called “Home.” He helped bring the song to life with intricate production and also some writing. One day when driving home, I thought of this song and immediately wrote it and came up with a progression as soon as I got home. I wanted something that was going to connect with more people, more commercial-like, while still keeping the soul roots and staying true to my sound. The next day I brought it to the studio and it was all magic from there. Surprisingly, we sat on the record for months in order to make it the best it could be. The record was featured on Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist already and has over 40,000 streams. It’s now available on all digital streaming platforms, and Mike Green and I are working on a two-part project that should be releasing soon.
I also released my debut EP, Soul[o], this past Mar. This was a huge passion project that was produced and engineered with the help of EQ IIIRDeYe.
What is your writing and recording process like?
I think it all depends. When writing I can either be in the studio with a beat playing that I write to. Or other times I can be at home playing my keyboard, and when I come up with something, such as a progression, I can start writing to that, verses and chorus.
The only places I’ve really ever recorded out of are basement studios. Just like the writing process this can be spontaneous as well. I can either bring an idea to the studio or come up with something when I get there. It usually takes me a bunch of tries to get something sounding the way I want because of how much of a perfectionist I am, as every artist should be.
What are current projects you are working on?
As stated before, I’m working on a project with artist/producer Mike Green right now, a two-part collective we look to put out, of music we’ve been working on since the beginning of 2017.
What is your favorite memory as a musician?
As of now, my favorite memory would be performing in front of a nearly sold out crowd in Rough Trade NYC, a record shop/concert venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. My friend Xavier Omar, who is also an artist of great magnitude, was having a show with another artist, Avalon Young, there and they were in need of another act. He recommended they contact me and a week before the show I got the email and the opportunity to partake in the biggest show of my life thus far. I had a full band and the crowd was really feeling my set. It was a huge confidence booster, and a reminder that anything is possible if you work hard. Since then I haven’t stopped working on my craft and it’s gotten me places I’ve never imagined myself being this quickly.
What are your goals for the future as a musician?
To say the very least, my goal is to be a full-time artist/musician and to live comfortably because of it, not having to worry about having another job while doing what I love. Music is what I love to do and is all I ever want/wanted to do. I also want to tour as much as I can within the next two-to-four years, leading up to a headlining tour of my own. I want my music to reach a point where every and anybody can listen to it, enjoy it, and take something away from it because it actually means something. Lastly, I want to make enough money to pay off all my family’s debt and put my momma in a new place [laughs].
Where can readers find your music?
My newest single, “Home,” is available on every digital streaming platform. My EP, Soul[o], is available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and SoundCloud.
For more information, follow Leuca on Twitter at twitter.com/iamleuca.
(Editorial Correction: In print the photo is credited to Emmanuel Afolabi. It is by Veronica J. Grullón.)