curated | léon

There is no artist like LÉON. The Swedish singer-songwriter has a knack for creating spellbinding songs, weaving together intricate sonics with vulnerable and intimate lyrics. Since her self-titled debut album back in 2019, she’s gone from strength to strength — crafting a discography that is as dynamic as she is. Now, with the release of “Dirt,” her latest single, she’s more herself than ever. Describing it as a “breath of fresh air” to write, she tapped into a world of colour and freedom — mirroring the same space her head has been over the last year or so.

“Dirt” is all about desire and leaning into what you really want,” she says. “I was at a place where I felt a bit stuck, and I was searching for something different, so I really leaned into that for this song. This is also the second song I’m releasing completely independently under my own label (LÉON Recordings), which is equally exciting as it is scary. I co-produced it with my dear friend Henrick Nicholson, and I just really can’t wait for people to hear it. I hope people dance to it, put it on while they are driving in their cars.”

To celebrate the release of “Dirt,” LÉON unveils her Schön! curated selection, including the track she wishes she wrote, who she’d want to play her in a film, and more. 

Hey LÉON, what are you up to right now?

Right now I’m laying on my couch in front of the TV. But in the bigger picture — I’m currently working on new music that’s coming out next year. 

If someone asked you what your origin story was, how would you describe it? 

I grew up in Stockholm with a family of musicians. Mom, dad and a big sister. Since my mom plays the cello I picked that up early on too. But I was always more drawn to singing and expressing myself in writing my own little songs. I went to a school where we had choir practice almost every day and that’s where I met many of the friends I would end up at the same high school with. Pretty soon I started a band there and that’s how I got my first real experience of performing my own songs.

Then, kind of by accident, when I was out of school and was working at a coffee shop, I heard of a place where you could study songwriting and production. Once I got there I met a producer, Agrin Rahmani. He was the first producer I’d ever worked with. The two of us ended up making a couple of songs and we’d go to see labels in Stockholm, but it wasn’t as easy as we had hoped it would be to get a deal. So I ended up releasing my first song ’Tired of Talking’ on SoundCloud. Two weeks later I was on my way to the States, which is nuts to think about now. 

Describe your style in 3 words.

Sloppy-occasionally-chic? Haha.

What is the most precious thing in your wardrobe?

I’d probably say my vintage Dolce Gabbana tee with a Campbell’s tomato soup print on it. Worn-out with holes in the armpits but I love it.

Which living person do you most admire? 

Robyn is definitely one of them. 

What was the last book you read?

The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

If you could play at any venue, which one would it be?

It would have to be Madison Square Garden.

Where are you happiest?

When I’m with friends, on stage and when I’m at my parents’ summer house. 

Ideal 3-course meal?

Breadbasket with garlic butter, truffle pasta, lemon ice cream.

Who would play you in the story of your life?

I don’t know.. Florence Pugh? I love her.

What’s one song that you’d like to listen to the first time again?

“Good Vibrations” – the Beach Boys

An underrated song/artist you love?

“Sweet Love” – Augustine

The track that describes your coming-of-age story?

“What Ever Happened?” – The Strokes

An album that you’d put in a time capsule?

“Lovers Rock” – Sade

A lyric that you love and the song it’s from?

“Close your eyes and clone yourself, build your heart an army, to defend your innocence while you do everything wrong” from “The Age of Worry” by John Mayer

A track that reminds you of a happy moment?

“Be Sweet” – Japanese Breakfast 

A song that you discovered recently that you love?

“The Downtown Lights” – Hats. I’ve been living under a rock.

Best record to get you out of a funk? 

“Spice World” – Spice Girls

What’s the last song you searched for on Spotify?

“Oas” by a Swedish band called Dina Ögon.

A song you wish you wrote?

It wouldn’t have hurt to have written “God Only Knows.”

Dirt is out now.

photography. Natalie Sakstrup
words. Kelsey Barnes

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