Leon Else - It's a Beautiful World
We met up with Leon Else on the streets of Hollywood for an interview and quick photo-shoot. Leon instantly held a warm demeanor, genuine tone, and a certain honesty about him. With music made to tell his story of mental health as well as life - working to be an advocate for others, especially those struggling with mental health. Leon is an artist who comes from an authentic and beautiful space of wanting to make the world better in the way he knows best. Below we talk with Leon all about his new single Beautiful World, empowerment, and authenticity.
Talent: Leon Else @Leonelse
Photo: Weslee Kate @Wesleekatecreative
Who are you?
I am Leon Else, I am a singer songwriter from England and a mental health advocate.
I feel like music found me, I think I've always been inspired by music. Music was very healing for me, I think with all the things I went through as a child, I found solace in music. So it was something that I was just drawn too
What's the story behind Beautiful World?
Beautiful World is based on my pre-diagnostic of bipolar - in a world where I was very confused, felt very lost, and didn’t understand why these things were happening. Walking around like I was about to snap, i’d say things that I couldn’t take back, and not understanding why I was reacting the way I was. In the chorus of Beautiful World the lyrics go “I know it’s a beautiful world I just can’t see it right now.” I was trying to reaffirm to myself that there are things to live for, to wake up everyday for, and sometimes I can’t see them but that doesn't mean they aren't there. It was to remind myself that feelings and emotions are constantly changing like the sky. The grey comes in sometimes but the blue sky is always there.
What does authenticity mean to you?
I think just being yourself and being unapologetic about that. I think we spend so much of our time curating ourselves that actually I believe that not many people are themselves. I feel I was one of those, I curated had an air of mystery about myself, wrote songs where you where not too sure who I was, and em I think people see that. I think some of the most successful people in the entertainment world are people you can really relate too who are just being who they truly are on stage, press, wherever.
What does vulnerability mean to you?
I think it means… Out of your comfort zone, being honest, and speaking up about things that are affecting you. It puts you in situations where maybe your uneasy or don’t know what someones going to say. But I think it’s about living your truth and sticking to it.
How do you practice self love/ mental health?
I mean it's hard, it’s an everyday battle, nobody is going to wave a magic wand and wallah you are all better. I think no matter how hard we try to work on ourselves there will always be an element of self doubt and not necessarily loving yourself. But I think we're all going to have moments of those feelings. I think it’s about being mindful and just trying to catch yourself being negative. Then when situations happen just working to be your own champion inside - and being like no your going to be ok you're going to be ok. It’s kind of like being the adult to your inner child in a since you know? I think everyone has those insecurities, whether they admit them or not. I think that's what makes us human.
Favorite late night snack?
I try not to eat late night snacks... But, if I do I love having this Trader Joe's warm up cookie you put in the oven. Making that with the Cookie Butter ice cream... Oh my god, that’s good, that's really good. I wouldn’t have it every night, but I definitely have it like once a week. Normally while watching Game of Thrones, but that's over now so...
Where in the world are you happiest?
I don’t think it matters where you are in the world. I think it matters where you are in your head. I have had friends who have left London because of things that have happened, but its like no it's not the place that makes you feel that, it’s your mindset. I think there's people in the world that are in some of the most poor conditions that are so happy. I think there are people in the most exquisite conditions in the world that are miserable. So I think it’s a mindset, if you really think about the question it’s all dependent on your mind set. You can be happy anywhere.
What does empowerment mean to you?
I think again it’s just being your own champion, trusting your own instincts. I think as long as you're always try to come from a loving place you shouldn't doubt yourself. We don’t always get it right, we are all human, we all fuck up, that’s normal but as long as you learn it’s OK. I think empowerment is accepting everything that comes with it. If it goes wrong, if it all goes right, whatever, I just think you have to go that's cool, and moving on while coming from a place of love and living your truth. Being yourself, that's empowerment. Not living to someone else's standards, that's empowerment.
More music, more press, sharing my story through my music as a pair as I think there is more to music than just the music. So working on that and more performances. But in general, taking each day as it comes i’m not too focused on the future. I used to live in the future too much before, it terrified me, and I would make stupid decisions because i’d be trying to second guess everything. Now I'm just working on getting through each day, week, whatever, and adapting to whatever life throws at me.