Getting To Know... Leo Wood

After an incredibly prolific 2023, which saw her turn out a wealth of broad and dynamic delights, fast-rising artist Leo Wood recently returned to deliver her mesmerising new single 'Venus'.

Accompanied by a stunning live video, shot in Morocco’s Paradise Valley, 'Venus' makes for an incredibly rich and absorbing listen. With her spellbinding vocal performance spread across a euphoric electronic production, she continues to shine as one of the more exciting names on the rise right now.

So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and what has been inspiring her most lately.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

I played a few instruments growing up but the first that I fully fell for was the piano, where I was suddenly able to express so much more. I found it hard and didn’t practise as much as I should but once I could hold down chords, I had what I needed to start writing songs and I dived straight in.

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

I was brought up around folk within the family and then at school, we had a great music department that opened all our eyes to the soul kings and queens of the 60’s & 70’s. I was massively inspired by this growing up and a lot of my old singer-songwriter compositions are grounded in the sounds of this era. I still have this root showing up in a lot of my current music, less obvious and it evolved but I love cracking out a big soul hook every other song.

What was the first album you remember owning?

It was actually really random - I picked up an album in Totnes market called ‘Classical Graffiti’ which was famous classical pieces played in a MOR rock-dance style - kinda cool. It's the first album I bought myself. I do remember having the Spice Girls tape as a little girl, not sure it was mine though… I probably kept nicking it from my sister.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

Hard. I wish I’d written Respect by Aretha Franklin!

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

My process is pretty much the same each time these days. Often I’m topling or like to start with an idea that already has some production level behind it. Say it’s a toppling (when someone sends you their production demo and you write the vocal). If I like the tune, I’ll often listen once, put it aside and get logic set up. I pull the track in new to an audio channel and won’t listen again until I’m ready to record my first scat, improv, idea jam. I’ve found a few times that the melodies in the first run can hit it right where I want it, so for me, its very important to record that first vibe. Other than that, no not really - it's on the computer and I’ve written songs in loads of weird places. As long as I’m comfortable in a place where I can make a little noise then I’m happy.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

I often find I listen to music unrelated to what I’m writing. I feel this year has started with a few rediscoveries, I think because a mate asked me for my top 5 albums and it got me listening back a few years so: Fat Freddies Drop, Easy Star All Stars, Vintage Culture, Little Dragon, Kylie, Eli and Fur to name a few.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

In a world where I’m totally ready and have a flawless killer set behind me with and epic light show (hopefully not too far off) - I’d like to open for someone like JUNGLE. Build the audience through a few genres and settle into a feel good, bouncy dance rave with catchy soul vocals. Or Chase and Status and back out my DnB bangers! Otherwise, artists that I can see myself vibing with: Little Dragon, Peggy Gou, Hannah Wants, Bonobo, DRAMA.

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

When people take the time to reach out with a really heart felt message about why your music means something to them. How something you’ve written has become the song of their moment, helped them through a dark time, brought them a little bit of joy. Love it.

And what is the most frustrating part?

Trying to figure out the world of social media- when you want to write tunes (all the time) but have to also find your voice online in a way that suits you so you can reach people who might love what you’re doing. There’s such an appetite for music and I wonder whether we’re all over creating and great songs are getting lost on the ether as we flick through.

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

I have 2. Don’t take a no from a label to mean your music isn’t good enough. Send out to a few until you find people that absolutely love what you’re doing. And, if you still can’t find a label who realises how great it is, self release it! Other people aren’t always right!

And my second - if it's 95% it’s good enough. If you sit and sit on tunes hoping for that final 5% you wont release anything. Learn when to compromise and when not to.


Leo Wood's new single 'Venus' is available to stream now. Watch the new live video for it in the player below.