Interview: French pop-rock artist Léa Vitiello

Léa Vitiello has just started her second year in Popular Music Performance – Vocals at music college BIMM London. Even if she only moved to the city in 2017, she has already released an EP (June 2018), Damage, launched an official video and played a couple intimate gigs at The Finborough Arms and Fiddler’s Elbow. This pop-rock mademoiselle is going places.

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Léa is originally from Lyon (France) and fans have been comparing her style with British art-rock trio London Grammar. She enjoys living in London because of the substantial gig opportunities and the great music appreciation that the city boasts.

Defector: How long have you been going as an artist?

Léa: I started playing the piano when I was five, guitar and singing came when I was fifteen. Songwriting at the age of fourteen. But the first tangible thing that assured me I had become an artist was my Damage EP – June the 6th 2018.

D: Can you tell us a bit more about the creative and recording process of Damage?

L: At the beginning, I started out only by myself; recording acoustic demos. Afterwards, I worked with Mackenzie [singer/songwriter also from BIMM], who helped me with the lyrics. As he is a native, he allowed me to find some fancy vocabulary. For the arrangement and production, I had the pleasure of working with Arzhproduction, which was a fantastic experience as he is French and also a BIMM colleague. It’s easier to explain music in your own language.

D:  Your first official video is a very solid piece of work. How was it like working with Evercom Studio Cinema?

L: The director of Evercom is an acquaintance of one of my mom’s friends. I sent him the EP and it inspired him enough to join the project. I wanted the first video to be in my hometown, so it was filmed in Lyon. He used drones and specialist equipment. It was very impressive.

[Watch the official video for ‘Damage’]

D: What is the degree you are studying like?

L: We perform in front of the whole class quite often. The interesting bit is we don’t only learn how to sing properly, we have other modules regarding music technology which teach us how to use pads, pedals, effects, etc. It’s harder than anything I’ve studied before. It makes me challenge myself so I can find my own unique sound.

D: What is the last concert you have been to lately?

L: Tash Sultana at O2 Academy Brixton. She is an indie-pop multi-instrumentalist with some reggae and psychedelic vibes. She played the Academy for three nights in a row, from the 20th to the 22nd of September. Visually it was a cool show, and very interesting rhythmically. She plays ten instruments.

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Australian one-person band Tash Sultana

D: What have you learned from the music industry in London so far?

L: Surround yourself with professional people: songwriters, producers, managers… But serious people. You have to be very careful, there are many unreliable ‘professionals’. It is hard to tell who is going to be undependable at first, you just have to have a sixth sense and watch out. Also, go to gigs all the time. And network in a friendly way!

[Follow Léa on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify]

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