RI Lockdown Lives | Kelli-Leigh

With news of another lockdown hitting us, it’s easy to feel like gigs and shows are a thing of the past but they’re not! This winter, we’re bringing the heat to your nights in with the UK’s best emerging acts, the talented artists that are bubbling under the surface waiting to make 2021 their year. Tune in to our weekly Instagram lives and discover your next favourite performer. Stick to your bubbles, pour some bubbles and check out who’s bubbling up on the music scene! 

Each week we’ll be introducing you to one of our ‘ones to watch’ so you can get to know the people behind the tunes. First up, it’s Kelli-Leigh (@kellileighuk), the South London girl with a soulful pop sound...

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hey River Island! I’m an artist, songwriter and label-owner from South London. 

Describe your sound.

I call my sound Anthemic Pop, soulful chords with big choruses. 

When did you start making music? 

I started making music when I was a kid really, but properly when I was a teenager. My parents gave me their 4-track tape machine and I’d sit at my keyboard writing songs and layering vocals for hours, creating my own mix tapes of songs and ideas. 

You’ve toured with the likes of Adele and Jessie J, what was that like?

It was incredible to see what goes into making a huge tour work, the tightness of the team, the work ethic of the artist and management and how that filters down to everyone from the band to the crew. Seeing those incredible venues fill up night after night with crowds singing back the artist’s songs… That was so inspiring!

How would you describe your personal style? 

I like to be comfy and classy. I love a high-waisted trouser or skirt with a cute tee or crop top, or maybe some great jeans with an oversized jumper for the studio, then a high-waist flare and tight top and boots for dinner. It’s all about the waist for me.

What are your passions outside of music?

I’ve really got into sailing with my partner. I just got my competent crew certificate this year. It blows my mind as a South London girl! I did not expect to find myself on a yacht learning to tack, understanding wind direction and points of sail. I am seriously good at keeping ropes tidy ha! It’s been so great for my brain learning a completely new skill that is totally non-music related.

Who’s in your bubble? 

My partner, Aidan, who is a producer, our friends that live close by and my sister and her partner. I feel like you really need to keep in touch with friends and family this year. It’s very easy to feel down and alone when actually we’re all going through this rollercoaster of emotion together. 

How are you socialising in today’s world? 

Lots of phone calls and socially-distanced pub visits. And we’ve had a few meals with friends when things eased up which is great. Good food and good company are the best! 

How are you going to bubble up in 2021? 

2021 is gonna be a big year of releases for me. I’ve got my next 3 singles lined up and a few collaborations I’m excited to drop! I feel like next year will be the extension of growth for my solo project. I just had the mix back for the next single and it bangs! Very excited! Also my first real life show will be euphoric, I swear. I think we’re all ready for 2021, I definitely am.

Get ready for your big night in...