Christian Leave Finds His Shoegaze-y Sound on “Bedache” and Upcoming EP

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Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio ![Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d19fc7015dd64149d1c7_ChristianLeaveFLAUNT.jpeg) Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio One spin of [Christian Leave](https://www.instagram.com/christi2n/?hl=en)’s music, and you’re immediately sucked in longing for more. The truly unique, one-of-a-kind recording artist can hardly be boxed into any one genre, breaking down barriers in the music industry with his own smooth, sultry voice and undeniably relatable lyrics.  The singer-songwriter-producer simply describes himself as “a kid who loves making music,” a true creative in all aspects of his life. Pulling from real life experiences, Christian was initially inspired by his own battles fitting in with society—until he discovered Vine at the age of 14 and turned his awkwardness into humor. Exploding onto the scene with his lovable personality and boy next door look, the 20-year-old began writing, producing, and recording out of his bedroom. Now, Christian returns with his most powerful track to date: “Bedache.” The record instantly ensues nostalgia, reminiscent of those good old high school days driving around town with friends and enjoying the simple things in life. _Flaunt_ caught up with Christian via Zoom to discuss his own niche sound, biggest influences, transitioning from Vine to music, the making of “Bedache,” the story behind his upcoming new project _Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head_, and more! **How would you exactly describe your sound?** Oh gosh, miscellaneous is probably the best way to describe what I got going on now. It really fluctuates between a lot of different genres. I got really inspired by a lot of different things, especially growing up. Somewhere along the way I accidentally created a very bending sound. I have some rock songs, but “Adult” for example is this more grand, orchestral sound that doesn’t really fit. It’s pop, but has a bunch of different influences. Coming up on this new project, I’d say shoegaze, alternative rock. **Just being from Tennessee, what was the household like growing up?** My parents are pastors so it was pretty cool, pretty normal. We were in the church a lot of the time. Did Tennessee influence my musical sensibilities? Not necessarily. It was more my parents in general. They really like Southern gospel, soul, oldies. That’s really what I was allowed to listen to at 14 or 15.  **Who are some of the artists you grew up to?** Ray Charles is a big one. Stevie Wonder is a big one. The Platters, The Penguins, all of those groups. Nina Simone is a big one. People like Frank Sinatra, old crooners, etc. **At what point did you realize that you could do music for a living?** When I started doing it for a living. \[laughs\] Because I was on social media before, I’d done Vine for a long time. I was being a social media influencer, that was my MO. I found a really big interest in music when I was 16, I’m like “I want to write a song.” I never tried to write my own song before that. So I put out a project thinking “if it does well, I’ll keep putting music out.” It was pretty well-received. After that, I realized that felt more rewarding and more sufficient to me than anything else.  **Talk about blowing up on Vine and what that platform did for your career.** It did a lot, I wouldn’t have what I have now without it. It was weird, Vine was a weird thing. It was the precursor to TikTok. The OG quick content, fast finality, which is a weird game to play especially when nobody else really knows what’s going on either. It was awesome. I credit a lot of my success to that.  **How did you get the name Christian Leave?** All the kids on Vine would use their first names most of the time, then for their last names do some kind of verb. I really wanted to be a part of the group, a lot of people I liked had those names. I thought “that’s what I got to do to make them think I’m cool.” **“Bedache” out now, how are you feeling?** Good, I’m surprised by the response. I'm surprised by people liking it as much as they do. I was expecting a little bit of a drawback because it’s so different, but people are super into it and that’s awesome. **What were you going through recording this one?** COVID really is the big answer. I went through a lot last year, and I’d been trying to find a sound and where I wanted to sit sonically moving forward. This was back in December of 2019, I really tried to study up and find that sound. It wasn’t coming, this year rolled along and pressure got more intense as far as social atmosphere. I had a lot of time alone, a lot of time to think, then I found shoegaze that led me into the rabbit hole. All the eclectic issues I had from the year before... because in a way I stopped living life, that’s what I had to talk about. Other than being isolated, it was more past memories.  **You’re playing the drums and guitar in the visual, what were you trying to convey?** Everything that the song’s about is on the surface of the lyrics. The feeling of it is very playful. Before I’ve done these longer, more dynamic and interesting videos. I didn’t want to take the song out of the song with the video. I wanted to reflect exactly how I made it and how it made me feel. **How often are you jamming out in your bedroom?** Everyday. Most of the time it’s in the evening. I’ll set aside an hour or 2 hours and play guitar. If I’m in the mode of making music, I’ll be in here for 6 to 7 hours. \[sighs\] It’s fun though. **Do you record at home too?** Most of the time. The process more with this project was I made the entire thing by myself, but I’d never played coach before. I made everything myself so far, as far as production and recording goes. I felt I was doing myself a disservice because there are millions of talented people out there, and a part of being a producer is looking at who could do what you want to do better. I started with bass, I’m not an amazing bass player but I can hold my own. If I have an idea, I can kind of pull it off. If I know this jazz player is going to play this bassline amazing and it’s going to bring the song to the next level, then I’m going to use that person. That’s the attitude I took. I finished the record then searched around for producers and performers who I thought could help it. We’d bring it in, sit down and have sessions. A lot of it was in my house, but a lot was in an actual studio as well. **3 things you need in the studio?** The equipment’s really all I need. Coffee, a comfortable place to sit, and a drum machine of some kind. Some instrument that I don’t know how to play. Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio ![Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d19fc7015dd64149d1bf_ChristianLeavesFLAUNT013.jpeg) Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio **What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?** I really, honestly, truly couldn’t give you that answer. It’s been such a long time, I started when I was really young so it’s hard to predict what else could’ve happened. Probably living in Texas, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. In college, maybe graduating college. **What can we expect from your next single “Your Light, Your Time”?** It’s a breakup song, or a post-breakup song. It’s super jammy, really high energy. A lot of fun to make. Very pretty melodies, very good lyrics in my opinion. It leans a lot more into the shoegaze sonic-zone. **Can you describe the shoegaze sonic-zone?** Heavy, very ethereal and thick walls of sound. Super layered guitars run through a bunch of different modulators and pedals, very dreamy. At times, very, very fake, deep sad. Super self-absorbed. A lot of those bands, not that they’re self-absorbed, but the sound itself and a lot of the topics that come through that kind of music are very sad-boy. “My girlfriend left me because I sucked as a boyfriend.” \[mimics singing\] Those kinds of things. **Best encounter you’ve had with a fan?** Honestly every time I meet someone, it’s awesome. Most of the time people come up very kindly, with more of a “oh it’s awesome that I got to see you” attitude. That feels good every time.  **What can we expect from your forthcoming EP _Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head_?** You can expect 5 songs. The EP itself is a poster of “this is where I’ve been, this is what I’ve done in the past year and a half, and this is what I’m capable of doing up until this point.” A showcase of my ability. It’s a funny story and it sounds fake, but I swear to God it’s true. If you want to think I’m a liar, it’s fine. Everyone else always has issues with this story, I don’t need to preface it this much but this is truly what happened. This is where “Bedache” started, I was in this huge period of not taking care of myself and doing anything. I had this really huge passion, huge desire to make something. I had drive, but I didn’t have any substance. I didn’t know what to talk about, what sound to make. I’d fallen into some shoegaze bands, people like Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, getting really sad and letting that absorb me. One morning I was listening to Cocteau Twins: the best, one of my favorite bands of all time. I was making breakfast. I went over to the refrigerator to grab some milk, I pulled it too hard because I had a sticky door. I hit the corner of my head on the refrigerator door. 5 seconds after being super disoriented, confused, and in pain, the name _Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head_ came to me. I realized this is what I should be writing about. My apartment’s disgusting, I haven’t gotten out of my bed in weeks. \[laughs\] Once I had the name, the topics that surround that became easier. It’s a lot of the things that stress me out, that have put me under a heat as a person. Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio ![Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472d19fc7015dd64149d1c3_ChristianLeavesFLAUNT001.jpeg) Photo Credit: Alondra Bucio **How is music an outlet for you?** It’s almost therapy in a way. I hear a lot of people say that but it’s true. It’s writing. It’s a diary, a place to put things. To me melodies, notes intertwining into beautiful chords, that releases tension for me. I listen to “As” by Stevie Wonder and I can’t help but feel happy. When I accomplish things like that on my own, it gives me peace and some sort of release. It makes me feel better about myself because I did that, I made this. **Being only 20, what goals do you have for yourself?** I’m going to build a house from scratch with my bare hands. I’m kidding. I want to make a really good album that connects to a lot of people. I want to have a long-lasting effect on someone’s emotions. I want to make a place for people to turn and relate to, have it as a staple for a moment in their lives. Also a Grammy would be cool. **What’s it going to take to get there?** A lot of work. A lot of not sleeping. **Anything else you want to let us know?** That I’m very excited for the future ahead. Brush your teeth everyday, that’s the second one. Take care of yourself, eat, when you can. That’s it, that’s all I’ve got.