Carissa Leigh is not a name you know yet, but you will. The Calgary-native brings a world of dynamic mixtures of life experiences to her music, wanting to bring something to the scene that has yet been heard with a sultry voice and personality to match. The multi-talented Leigh, whom has also careered as a professional photographer in NYC, was bit by the music bug at a very early age: she spent her youth listening to her father’s rock ‘n roll records and her grandfather’s country catalog. But it was seeing a female heavyweight in action that really was a turning moment for her life –
“I saw Shania Twain in concert when I was in high school and I knew I wanted to perform after watching her on stage. She just had such stage presence.”
Traveling over 2,000 miles for a dream is a risk but it’s paying off well for Leigh, as she relocated herself and young daughter to Nashville in 2013. She is already making noise on the local music scene in such a short time, catching the attention of some of the town’s leading songwriters and producers. She has hit the studio with everybody from Tone Def [Santana, Michelle Branch] to Brian White [Trace Adkins, Rascal Flatts] and Clay Mills [Darius Rucker]:
“I want to make an album that sounds like Lynyrd Skynyrd had a baby with Dolly Parton,” says Carissa. “It’s country with a little bit of rock and pop. It’s everything that I love.” And her songwriting comes from her heart: “Everything I write is from personal experience; either my own or someone close to me. “Losing You” was tough to write, Brian [White] and I struggled for the first hour or so to figure out where the song was going. Once I opened myself up to being vulnerable, it came together easily. “Man Enough” was the opposite, so easy to write! It is particularly relevant during this time of year with county fairs, rodeos, and CMA Fest, anywhere you might find those bar stool cowboys.”
Currently songwriting with JT Hodges and others, Carissa is making sure to stay herself during the creative process.
“I am trying to blend my influences of country and southern rock with what’s going on in country music right now. I think it’s important to have your own sound and I’m getting closer to nailing mine down.”
Her 2014 lead-off single “Bad Boy” shows that sound, speaking to a universal desire; with its slick guitar twang and unforgettable refrain, she talks about the one thing every girl wants.
“A girl says she wants a nice guy, but she doesn’t really want a nice guy. Every girl wants to date a bad boy, and all guys want to be the bad boy too!”
You can watch the video for her new single “Bad Boy” below, and listen to tracks from “The Blackbird EP” at www.carissaleigh.com and also on Spotify. Make sure to swing by and follow her on Twitter as well. Making such strides in such a short time, it will not be long before Carissa will be a household name