Up Beat

Since her teenager years, British artist Leddra Chapman has been playing music. And with intense verve she has been putting in her time as an up-and-coming musician while touring in support of her first album, Telling Tails in 2009. With a number of sold out shows in England, Chapman also performed at the London Folk Festival during the summer of 2013.

Now, with time in the studio, Chapman is releasing a new album later this summer titled Fidelity & Grace. In an interview with her via email, she tells our readers what drew her to music, and what her plans are for the summer.
Jupiter Index: Tell our readers what drove you to sing, write and play music when you where younger?
Leddra Chapman: My childhood was filled with live music, there were always guitars around the house and I was singing from a very early age. When I was 12 I picked up one of my Dads guitars for the first time and it came very naturally to me to start writing. I remember thinking it was such an amazing feeling to be able to communicate my real thoughts through my songs, I lacked in confidence and always had a tough time at school, this was the first time I could have my say- it was such a buzz. I just knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.

What music most influenced you back then?
Growing up we had some great music playing in the house -- I loved Radiohead, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Counting Crows, No Doubt, Nirvana, and loads more. When I first started playing guitar it felt like I suddenly had a freedom to play some of my favourite songs, so I would sit for hours listening to my favourite records and learn them by ear!

How about now?
One of the artists I have always looked up to has been Joni Mitchell, my favourite song of all time is A Case Of You. I think she has a way with melody that no other artist can compare to, in my opinion. More recently I have been inspired by artists and bands such as Regina Spektor, Florence and the Machine, Bon Iver Haim, Grouplove and Ingrid Michaelson.

You have a new album coming out. What makes it different compared to say Telling Tales?
Telling Tales was my first album, and it will always be incredibly special to me. This new album, "Fidelity & Grace," has taken a long time to complete, but I wouldn't have it any other way -- I am so happy with each tune and all of their arrangements, there is an honesty in this album which does resemble that of Telling Tales, but Fidelity & Grace feels much more autobiographical and I cannot wait to show it to the world.

What was the song writing process like for you?
Writing is a form of therapy, when I write a song the last thing I want to be thinking about is whether or not it is commercial or album-worthy. The only thing I am thinking about is the melodies and lyrics I want to put out there, and when I write like that it's when the best songs come out. Every writing experience is different, sometimes I'll write the majority of a song in twenty minutes in my garden, and other times I'll be working with another writer and taking more time crafting the tune and production together.
Will you be touring in support of the album?
I will be touring- yes! I am hoping to do as many shows possible this year, I am playing a number of UK festivals including Boardmasters, Cornbury Festival and London Folk Festival, I am doing a welsh tour in May and a full UK tour later this year!

According to one interview you did, you said you were learning to surf. What made you take lessons and do you still surf now?
I have been supported by Quiksilver clothing, and was indeed- a Quiksilver Woman -- haha so I wanted to immerse myself in as much surf culture as possible during that period -- I adored being in the south of France writing and performing alongside doing various photo shoots for the brand, and I wanted to learn how to surf whilst I was there.... let’s just say I wasn't amazing at it... ;-)

by G. Burns