WHIMSICAL, fragile, soft and beautiful, Leah Senior’s voice will have you mesmerised from her first note.
Growing up down the bottom of the Great Ocean Road, Leah’s upbringing definitely shaped her into the artist she is today. And through her own music searches, she has found her voice.
‘‘I’ve always wanted to be a singer or an artist,’’ she said.
‘‘I remember thinking it and writing it in my diary at 10 or 11 that I would dedicate my life to creativity. I haven’t changed too much.
‘‘I grew up singing, my mum’s a singer.
‘‘I’ve always sung. I remember a moment in primary school, I was always really shy, and then I remember being surprised by singing and how loud my voice was – like wow where did that come from?
‘‘I am definitely inspired by place.
‘‘I find those overcast coastal sea days are conducive to my writing.
‘‘Most of the music that has inspired me is from a long time ago and far away.’’
Having moved to Melbourne to pursue her career ambitions, Leah found the music scene to be welcoming, despite the assumptions often made that the music industry is a cut throat one. In 2017, Leah released her first album Pretty Faces which received widespread praise for its dreamy melodic tunes.
‘‘I think if you just keep doing what you’re doing for long enough and go to gigs and stuff you’ll find your community,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m not a trained vocalist and I kind of shy away from that because I find, sometimes, you can hear a trained voice and they all share a similar quality and I find I don’t like that.
‘‘What I like, in the voices I love, is the imperfections and the kind of natural and unique sound.’’
Much of the success Leah has found is due to her lyrics. Her folk sound compliments her words and creates layered, deep and floaty music.
‘‘I think I’ve always been driving my career and it’s come from me wanting to write,’’ she said.
‘‘I reckon you’re subconsciously taking things in and it comes out the way it wants to.
‘‘When I was little I wrote songs and in my teens I wrote a little bit but I was a bit self-conscious. I didn’t start seriously writing until I left high school.
‘‘I feel like as I get older the writing becomes harder. I don’t know if you get more critical. But I think the best songs come pretty naturally. I feel I have to dig a little deeper or work harder now with writing.
‘‘It’s always playing on my mind – these questions of self-criticisms and creativity.’’
Leah Senior will open the final day of Riverboats. Taking to the stage and on board the Pride of the Murray on Sunday, Leah will perform a whole bunch of new songs. Accompanied by her full band, Leah will perform her most recognised songs like All My Friends and Pretty Faces as well as incorporating a more stripped-back performance at times.
‘‘I can feel vulnerable, definitely. But mostly I enjoy performing and going into that world. And expressing yourself feels nice.’’
Weekend passes to the 2019 Riverboats Music Festival have now sold out with only a few day passes left.
■For details and your last chance to buy some tickets visit riverboatsmusic.com.au