5 Minutes with Leon Sapphire: The new 'Groove King' on Malaysia's music scene
Quick fire questions
Breakups are hard and messy, and no one knows that better than Leon Sapphire. His latest track, 'Young Love' explores the feelings of resentment and affection following a big split; put simply, it's “a song for everyone who just can’t get over it”. The single's release comes ahead of the launch of his very first EP, Oh Yes!, and if the track is anything to go by, it's one to watch out for.
To learn a little more about the artist behind the persona and his musical process, read on!
Where does the stage name 'Leon Sapphire' come from?
"I got scammed on Club Penguin by a guy with this name and I’m devoting the next six years of my life to finding him."
Your latest single, 'Young Love', has a really gripping beat that underscores it—how did you settle on it?
"A dear friend and creator in Singapore, Chris—also known as FAUXE— who is a Singaporean music producer, worked with me a year prior to this release, and he felt the songs as much as I did. When we fell perfectly in the pocket, we knew."
The lyrics explore the residual sentiment and bitterness that lingers after a relationship has come and gone—what inspired them?
"There’s a whole bunch of dummies that inspire this track (laughs)… but it’s also the things I see around me."
What was the most difficult thing about writing 'Young Love'?
"I had lofty ideals when I was writing the song by myself but after that, it’s important to leave your ego at the studio door and just have fun, y’know?"
Do you compose each of your tracks single-handedly?
"No! We would not be here if not for the talented guys that stuck around with me, from keyboards, bass, drums to horns; on the track, we have Sylvia Wong on the electric keyboard, Icco Noel on the bass guitar, and John Thomas on the drums. I’m glad to be a part of the scene, cause nothing beats playing live—that’s definitely where I get the ideas for sections."
Your first EP, Oh Yes!, is coming out soon. What can listeners look forward to thematically and musically with the new release?
"This EP is gonna be something… else. It’s the whole point—to evolve, to break off, to separate. I humbly hope that I am able to provide that."
What are you hoping to bring to Malaysia's growing music scene?
"Nothing but love and inspiration, if not for music. I cry when I think about the music scene but I still don’t know why."
You got your musical start in church—any plans to make a return?
"I don’t play in church anymore—I tried but it was a lot for me in terms of commitment. Shout out to Full Gospel Academy KL and Kingdom City, though!"
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