To be described as “a Filipina with a global sound” should put any lady under pressure. At least in the local music scene, there’s usually a group of tried-and-tested male-dominated recording experts that’s behind the sound of most solo female acts.
For some reason, many of them just appear in the recording studio when it’s time for them to sing their songs already arranged.
Count Lesha, a singer-songwriter, and producer herself, out of that seemingly long-standing tradition. She has gained popularity for being DIY-type and fully independent. That she does it herself and knows the sound she wants to embrace makes her legitimate in the perception of talents abroad that collaborating with them appears like second nature to her career.
“I’ve been preparing my whole life for this,” she said with her heart beating in some cool tempo, “I’ve always wanted to represent the Philippines globally ever since I began performing and competing. I can’t wait for that moment to arrive and for the universe to hand me that opportunity.”
Last Friday, Lesha’s latest single, actually a track off her debut album Sun Moon Rising, came out in all its electropop splendor. It’s called Twin Flames, and listening to it puts you in another place, likely in a beautiful far-off country as reflected in her collaboration with Lewis Maxwell from United Kingdom and Bahrain-based music producer Ghauri.
The song’s startling section appears in its pre-chorus that says, “Our connection’s so magnetic and I feel it/ It’s the way we move/ We push & pull and I can’t help but think of how we set the mood.”
Let Lewis, her songwriting collaborator, describe how Lesha connects with someone in a different time zone.
“The first three hours of the call” he recalled, “me and Lesha spoke just about everything. It looks like we’re so far apart but when in fact we’re not. We just wrote together and then things just happened like we didn’t really have to try too hard.”
As you can expect from a hit YouTuber who has won both international and local music-related competitions, Lesha’s been productive amidst the pandemic, having released seven songs since the world locked down. Last August, the release of the cute pop title track, wherein she sexily asks someone’s name, number, and sign, made her unstoppable as she puts out the album’s content one by one practically every month.
To emphasize her growing reputation overseas, she has joined the prestigious British music distribution company AWAL. It is said that “not all artists can get accepted because AWAL only selects artists with a trajectory and notable milestones.” She recalled, “I went through an application process and after five days, I got an acceptance email from the team!”
She added, “AWAL empowers independent artists by giving them full control and ownership over their work.”
The thrill remains up in the air until all songs included on her album, which really showcases her capacity as producer-songwriter, are dropped in digital stores.