London singer-songwriter & Producer Leo Kalyan has been busy creating his soothing wave of hazy electronic, brooding R&B and soulful downtempo house grooves that make you want to do nothing but chill out. Sometimes life can get hectic or you could just be having a bad day which is when I often use music to calm down and try to come to some sort of a centre. Leo’s music is definitely perfect for that which made attending his gig at the trendy Pickle Factory in London, a must see.
Leo’s music is said to be inspired by the ocean and with water being fluid in its form you do get the sense that his songs have a freeing feeling not bound by chasing current popular trends in music. At the start of the gig, when birds began chirping away as the sound of nature filled our ears it felt as if we were instantly transported to a musical rainforest.
Smoke funnelled out covering the stage in a mysterious mist which then revealed Leo and his three piece band ready to take the audience on a dreamy ride. Leo showcased light and shade to his songs getting the audience to groove to his danceable cuts ‘Get Your love’ and ‘Daydream’ and zone out to the relaxing ‘Finish Line’ and ‘Fingertips’.
The industrial space of The Pickle Factory gave a real intimate vibe which I prefer as an audience member as you feel more at ease to enjoy the music and also means a greater chance of seeing the artist.
His voice is calmingly smooth, slinking up to weightless falsettos with ease and at times you heard a twang of his South Asian heritage in his vocals as he was trained in Indian classical singing. This was a highlight as there are not many successful Asian artists in mainstream music so hearing the influence of Leo’s culture was bold and welcomed.
Another favourite moment came when he did a wicked refix of the Neo-Soul delight ‘On & On’ and the massive bouncy banger ‘Lean On’, which I didn’t want to end.
Although there were moments where the band were slightly too loud which prevented you from hearing Leo properly, it did make me focus on the visual aspect of his performance which was arresting.
The vast array of colourful shades of lighting that illuminated the smoke on the stage, made you happily put your phone away and just appreciate the gig.
After seeing Leo perform live for the first time, I look forward to seeing him taking the visual and vocal aspects of his performance even further.
We heard a glimpse of his future material which showcases the power in his voice in a different way and so, definitely keep an eye out for this London talent rising fast on the horizon.
You can hear more of Leo’s music here