Leah Kate Encourages You to Ditch Those Unwanted Exes with Her New Single "Boyfriend" [Q&A]
They say the best revenge is to show them how much better your life is after they've left. Leah Kate's energetic new single "Boyfriend" is a prime example of that message. A bubbly narration of an ex resurfacing when you already moved on, the track highlights bright, bouncy beats and seductive yet sassy vocals. This highly empowering anthem motivates others to not fall into the trap of recycling exes because it feels comfortable.
The playful pop artist exudes a charismatic swagger with her "IDGAF" attitude. Kate is known for upbeat music that provides a 90s feel while also remaining current and fresh. She knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it. At 14, she was emailing producers of major labels in hopes they would produce her voice memos. Within her bold offerings, you can sense that fierce dedication and drive. Ones to Watch interviewed the singer, discussing her new release, getting over an ex, and more.
Ones to Watch: Your latest empowering anthem "Boyfriend" reminds us that when you break up with someone, it is usually for a reason and there is no need to go back to an ex. What inspired this concept for the tune?
Leah Kate: I was sitting in my studio thinking about how it's way harder to write a good 'F*** you' song when you are in a relationship and have an amazing boyfriend (and I love a good 'F you' song to a guy who mistreats me…there was always so much inspo to draw from different guys I was dating when I was single.) It happened that recently an ex came running back and begging for me back once he found out about my new boyfriend, so then I wrote this “too late” anthem that I wanted to send the lyrics to him immediately after. They will DEF hear it and know. Single or not, it's not good in my opinion to “recycle” exes, and once they are over, they usually don't work out for a reason so best to keep it this way. This is meant to be an anthem to an ex saying it's too late and not to call again.
The song's vibrant electro soundscapes pair seamlessly with your smooth vocals. How was this masterful release constructed?
I wrote it in my bed over zoom with my co-writer and when I wrote the first lyric, “ I got a boyfriend now,” I instantly was like…umm ok this is my favorite song ever. haha. I hadn't even written the rest of the song yet. When I finished it, it still was. I then sent it to my producer in Australia, Louis Schoorl, to do the production.
What are your best tips for moving on from an ex and breaking old habits?
Block/ ignore/ don't talk to him/her / don't stalk him just remove every ounce of him/her from your thoughts or listen to boyfriend. It's supposed to be an anthem to make you feel powerful and strong while in that process of moving on / ignoring an ex.
Your playful pop music oozes with a radiant self-assurance. What do you attribute your bold confidence to?
Thank you! I think growing up I was told no so many times between being in school and from people in the industry that one day I decided I wasn't going to take no as an answer any more and just own everything I do. I used to be insecure about the music I made and what I would put out, but my mindset just absolutely did a full turnaround and shifted. You only live one life so may as well make the most out of it, don't care what others think or say, and own it!
I understand that you are your own manager, creative director, A&R, label head, artist, and marketing strategist. How are you able to balance so many roles?
I do so much it gets so hectic, but I know that putting in hard work usually ends up with the results you want to see. So, with that mentality I've learned to just do a lot always. I know the hard work will pay off and I like to be involved in every aspect of my career- whether it's an online article or what my backup dancers are doing on stage.
You have been singing and writing songs since the age of 12. What first sparked your love of music?
My family has always worked in radio, so I was around so many genres of music starting at such a young age. I started singing before I could speak and was dead set on having a career selling out stadium tours by the time I was three or four. I remember my first ever love for music sparked from a Christina Aguilera 1800 CD commercial and I was like yep that will be me.
Your offerings are so honest and personal. What has allowed you to be so vulnerable within your tracks?
I used to be so shy it was crazy; I wouldn't even speak in class. I was terrified of what people would think of me and what I had to say. I think a few years ago something switched in me and I refused to be like that anymore. After years of holding so much in, now all I want to do is be TOO honest to the point where people are like “woah.” My most honest song “Fuck up the friendship” was so literal that it told the story word by word, and that was my first song to really explode the way that it did. I think it was because people can relate to the honesty and vulnerability behind the tracks.
Your music has been known to meld retro with contemporary. Who are some artists that inspire you the most?
Growing up I listened to tons of Bon Iver and Joni Mitchell and always appreciated them so much from a songwriter perspective, such amazing songwriters and whether I'm making a crazy pop song or a chill ballad the lyrics have to matter to me. Growing up, I loved Outcast, Madonna, David Bowie, Gwen Stefani, No Doubt, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera who all helped shape my sound into what it is today. More modern influences range from Dua Lipa, to Fletcher, to 1975. I have so many favs.
What does the future look like for Leah Kate?
Selling out stadium tours!