Exclusive: Indie Singer-songwriter Leanna Oki

Today On What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Toronto R&B/Soul Artist Leanna Oki. Leanna just released her brand new single, “Sink“, on March 26, 2021. In August 2020, she released her debut single “HEISENBERG”. The inspiration for the song came from the main character from Breaking Bad.

1. What songs inspired you at an early age and why?

I remember being obsessed with the entire DreamGirls soundtrack including the songs “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” and “Listen“. On the car ride to school, I would sing them and belt out the high notes, even though I could barely hit them. I was captivated by the soulful and powerful vocals that conveyed so much emotion, which has inspired me to sing with passion and conviction to this day.

2. How do you use music to express yourself?

Music has allowed me to express many personal feelings and emotions that I find difficult to explain and speak about. When I write songs, I am able to share experiences I’ve been through without being fully direct, which has given me the freedom to tell my stories while maintaining a level of privacy.

3. What was it working with KR Moore on your new song, “Sink”?

It was awesome!! KR is an extremely kind and talented producer who was so supportive throughout the process and really built up my confidence in the studio. I had such a great time collaborating with him on “Sink” and he provided the creative input I needed to bring the song to life.

Toronto R&B/Soul Artist Leanna Oki to Release Brand New Single "Sink" Credit: Victor Yu
Toronto R&B/Soul Artist Leanna Oki releases brand new single “Sink”

4. You picked up the guitar in your freshman year of university. Can you tell us about some of the songs you were writing about at the time?

The first song I wrote after learning the guitar was called “Mayhem”. It is about longing for someone to reciprocate your love for them. It has a similar energy to “Creep” by Radiohead. Many of the songs I wrote during that year were related to heartbreak. It was the first time I really experienced it.

5. What sort of television series or films are you watching these days?

These days I typically watch more light-hearted shows to keep my spirits high. They include “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office“. I also recently watched the animated film “Soul“, which genuinely touched my soul. I recommend it to anyone who is struggling to find their purpose in life or thinks they only have one purpose.

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.