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Leyma Interview: ‘FUCK 2020’

MSM goes BTS with Leyma for his new single ft. Niko. B, Nega Brandon and Brain Nasty: “FUCK2020”

As we approach the end of the most unexpected and turbulent year in the modern era, Luckily, Leyma, Nik. B, Nega Brandon and Brian Nasty have released FUCK2020, a song which perfectly captured the nation’s feeling of discontent. Our minds are numb, our heads are screwed, and not many words spring to mind to describe this sheer fuckery other than FUCK YOU.

The video is a home-grown production with lo-fi shots and a communal spirit which everybody is missing right now. While the lyrics offer a release of angst ‘can I get a fuck you’, they also inspire a sense of hopefulness ‘moving forward, we showing love’ with even the notes of the guitar, drums and piano singing a hopeful melody towards bigger, brighter things.

MSM meets Leyma and goes BTS to talk dreams, reflections and inspirations.

Hey Leyma! How’s it going? Have you been up to much recently?

Yeah I’m sweet... well as sweet as you can be in these times. I just started isolating the other day so I’m making some music and that, just trying to stay busy.

When did you first start making music, has your musical style developed much?

I first started making songs when I was about 15 or 16 and yes, my musical style has changed a lot! It sort of moved with how my music interests changed… from indie to R&B to hip hop, and all that’s in between. I think there’s a healthy balance in there now.

Who would you say are your musical inspirations?

This answer changes quite rapidly. But my main inspirations right now - production wise - would be Alchemist, Emil and KwolleM. Then lyrically” Knucks, Frank Ocean and Alex Turner.

I think I can guess what inspired your song FUCK2020… but can you tell us some more about the back story, are there any personal influences behind the song

Without going into too much detail - because it would take a while - this last year has probably been the hardest I’ve experienced in terms of a lot of separation and loss. But this song wasn’t supposed to be a sob story; it took on more of an uplifting tone. Looking forward, saying fuck you to the past.

What are the top three songs that you have had on repeat this year?

Can’t lie my Spotify wrapped was anticlimactic because for two months I had ‘Blonde’ on repeat (it might’ve been something to do with a break up… but I’m not sure) Three tracks for this year, would be: ‘Is It Any Wonder’ - Durand Jones and The Indications, ‘Stoned Again’ - King Krule and ‘Something Special’ - Pop Smoke.

I love the home grown vibe to the video, what was the process of producing this like during the pandemic?

Shoutout Nobody Newham (Kai Palfreman) and Neverbreakingtheinternet (Aaron Qureshi) for the video. There were some setbacks; at the only scene we shot outside, the feds pulled up after twenty minutes and locked off the shoot… but luckily we’d got everything we needed.

Clearly you Niko. B, Nega Brandon and Brian Nasty have some pretty strong family energy from the video and BTS shots, can you tell us the story behind how you guys met?

Nega Brandon and Brian Nasty and I have known each other for years through mutual friends and we’ve ended up making a lot of music together. I think we inspire each other when we work together (well I know they inspire me) and it’s just effortless. I basically met Niko B through them, so we all ended up in the studio. And FUCK2020 was one of the tracks that came out that first session.

What has 2020 taught you?

To be grateful and more thankful for what you have when it’s there.

What's the favourite lyric you have ever written?

‘Rest in peace to Fergus, I know you’re up there looking over us.’

How has this year influenced your creativity as an artist?

2020 has had a crazy influence on my creativity. I think being able to spend more time with myself was hard at the beginning but I’ve learnt to love it and being comfortable is when most ideas will bloom.

Obviously your track ‘been a minute’ is featured on the FIFA 21 playlist, do you remember the moment you found this out and how it felt?

Ahhh yeah well my manager Sof had let me know three weeks before that it was a possibility and she needed my consent to put it forward or something, but I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone because it might not happen. So after three weeks, I’d sort of given up hope. Then on the day my EP Tomorrows Almost Over dropped, I was on holiday in Croatia with my mates, Sof called me to say it was confirmed and I was just too gassed, everything went right that day.

Name three things you want to achieve in 2021?

To share more moments with loved ones. Perform live again and to just keep making music I’m proud of.

Any new projects on the scene for next year?

Always. I can’t tell you what yet, but 2021 is gonna be good haha.

As someone who is making waves in the underground scene in London, what is a piece of advice you would pass on to someone who is trying to get their music noticed?

I know this sounds like some corny advice but you just gotta spend all your time doing what you want to be good at. If you want to be an artist, any spare minute you have you gotta be drawing, same goes for music. Just don’t stop. Make music that you’re 100% proud of, and then be patient. But don’t stop.

Photo Credits: @harriet.e.vickers

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