Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, FYIG. My name is Lea and I go by L’FREAQ. I just released my debut EP “Weird Awakenings” in October and have been playing shows in NY and LA, while making plans to play in the UK this summer.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I have a bit of a unique story. I grew up in a music studio, an incredible space that had been converted from an old school’s band room. My room was in the wings of the cafeteria, which we converted into my mom’s photography studio. There were always seriously talented musicians and artists around, and I learned a lot from them. I started gigging professionally at 16, playing jazz and bar gigs; anything I could find, really. I often couldn’t go to those same venues on my off nights as I wasn’t 21 yet. It was a great start and I met some incredible people that I still keep in touch with today.
How would you describe your musical style?
Someone recently described it as “noir pop” which I found interesting. There are elements of soul, jazz, and dark pop. I find a lot of inspiration in Portishead, Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave – anyone that’s an intense performer, really. When it comes to performance I love intensity. It helps elicit some kind of emotion that’s hard to find elsewhere.
What sets you apart from other music artists?
I have always relied on my voice, and I think it’s the thing that sets me apart the most. Sarah Vaughan has one of my favorite quotes, “when I sing, trouble can sit right on my shoulder and I won’t even notice.” That’s how I’ve always felt. Performance is a whole different level for me. Creating space and energy with a room of people is like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and we do it for the freaks. The ones who have felt lonely or misunderstood or misplaced. Those are the people that I find resonate the most with the music.
Your latest EP is called “Weird Awakenings”. What can audiences expect from this set of songs?
This EP was written about my move to New York from Arizona, and the changes I was experiencing. One song is about growing pains, another is about my mundane attitude toward working in the service industry, while another is about imposter syndrome and feeling like I wasn’t being my true self. There’s a common theme of growth, both painful and beautiful throughout, and I’ve enjoyed creating the sonic and visual storylines.
Your single “I’ve Become a Thief” is being used in a trailer for the hit show Riverdale. How does it feel to be associated with that show?
We were so excited when we found out that the song had been used in the trailer. I love seeing it breathe new meaning and drama into a visually based show, especially one so many people love.
Do you watch Riverdale at all?
I’ve never seen the show but I have friends that watch and love it. It’s been fun seeing the reaction of avid fans and their comments on the YouTube video featuring the song.
What’s the experience like for an audience at one of your live shows?
My main goal in a live show is to take the audience to a different place. I love to play with dynamics. I want someone sitting there to walk out with an emotion; whether it’s excited, playful, shocked, or bewildered. If I can take you to a different space for an hour, I’ve done my job.
What’s next for your career? Is a full-length album on the way?
I’d love to work on a full-length. Right now I’m starting work on a new set of songs, and beginning the recording process next month in LA. I’m excited to see where that takes us.
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
Do what feels right to you, and only you. So many people that I know nowadays are chasing trends. It’s easier to follow someone else’s success, but it feels so much better when you write or release something that feels fully “you.”
What’s your life like outside of music?
My life outside of music is similar to my life inside of it. It’s a constant hustle, always planning, writing, preparing, etc. It pays off when I get to hear my music in a trailer or see the audience’s reaction at a live show. That’s what I live for.
Recently I’ve been going back and forth to Australia as my mom lives there, exploring a new country and trading the cold New York winters for the warm Aussie sun. Its been a great place to start writing for my next project.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
All my socials can be found at @lfreaq. Find me on Spotify, Apple Music, and all distributors at L’FREAQ