Low Leaf, the multi-instrumentalist singer, talks to Mark Werner about the simple things in life. Spoiler alert: She likes the smell of armpits.
Low Leaf is a multi-instrumentalist singer based in Los Angeles, California.
Where is Low Leaf right now?
I’m in Venice Beach, drinking a green chiara kalusha drink.
Where was Low Leaf yesterday?
Yesterday, where was I yesterday… Oh yeah, I was a lot of places yesterday. I met a bunch of new energies down by Long Beach. I picked up my boyfriend from the airport & we kicked it together. [And] after a long day, [we] came home and we watched about three firework shows in the sky.
Where will Low Leaf be tomorrow?
I will be at work! I work at a recording studio. It’s extremely inspiring to be there. I like everyone I work with. It’s a pretty historical place; a lot of amazing musicians have created in that part of Hollywood and I get to work on my material sometimes as well.
That sounds unbeatable.
Yes, I’m embracing that and I’m grateful that I have a situation where I can find a balance to find the time to create as much as I know I can and how I should be.
Awesome, how’s that drink by the way?
Let me test it out again.
Umm, it’s potent, it’s good, it’s good… enough.
Where does the name Low Leaf derive from?
It’s an ever changing creature. If you understand the way that trees grow, you can understand the [way] in which you are meant to evolve on this planet as a being with consciousness that is geared serve others and as the seasons change, you stay rooted! But you still continue to develop into your full form. A tree will never be anything but what it is. I feel that the representation of the ‘leaf’ embodies all of that in me and ‘low’ because you have to stay humble, even though it’s just a leaf it’s not that without the whole. It’s a bunch of ideas like that.
I was a big fan of the clothing brand LRG in the early 2000’s mainly because they incorporated trees onto their products. Since then, I’ve been a fan of “Trees”.
You don’t really know why, but you were drawn to that symbolism. Actually, that’s what I liked about LRG. It’s like what are they trying to say about trees? I never looked into [it] to[o] far, but it was cool that they had trees in their sh*t. But I’m still there in a sense, to keep growing, yeah.
Explain to me your aim when your making your music.
Generally, I try to make sure that my intentions are pure as to why I’m creating what I’m trying to say at the time. These days my aim is to spread something honest, spread love, awareness, and consciousness, and to spark something new to whoever may be receiving the sound. I like when music is visual and takes me to a place that I’ve never been before.
How long do you plan on making music?
Oh, until I pass on into the next form. I don’t think that I’ll ever stop. There’s not necessarily a point where I want to reach and then stop. I am working to get to a point where I can use my endeavors to help sustain myself, you know? But music is just a part of living, so I’ll creating music as I move towards the grave. It’ll all be in a different place, a different sound and I may not be making music for people necessarily. I honestly imagine myself getting old one day and making crazy, meditation, transcendental, kind of music.
When I play your music around people, quite a few of them could help but notice the different sounds throughout your music. How significant is it for you to incorporate those instruments and sounds into your material? Is that the basis of Low Leaf?
It is the foundation. I started out on the piano. Before I found Electronic music, I was writing compositions with my guitar, and playing the harp and doing singer-songwriter type things. It’s super important because that is the root of it. The electronic gives me a dimension in which I can utilize certain production curves. It adds a whole other prism that I can incorporate with my instruments. That’s like Raw Soul!
Let’s talk about your most recent project, Giga Gaia (Giga-Guy-a).
It’s mostly like beats. It’s not what I’m trying to do or what I’m trying to say. It’s more like a silly thing. I felt like that material needed to see the light of day because they were a part of my process these last couple of years while I was in college.
So, it was more like a collage? Of different pieces at different times?
Yes! Yes! Collage! Exactly! Great word to describe it.
‘Collage’ sounds absurdly cool. Collaaage…
Have you heard the alternate way to say Target as in the department store? It’s Targe’.
Yes, my mother says it like that. I thought that was just her thing, that’s funny.
So where does the name Giga-Gaia come from?
Giga represents all that of mechanical, Gaia is of the earth. An unifying sound. As I mentioned earlier I came from instrumentations and later on when I was about 18, I started making beats. I always thought there were two distinct different sides to myself in which I could express. I was always interested in bringing them together, that was the intention.
That’s an ill title!
Ahh ok. Thanks! It has 3 G’s and 3 A’s in it.
Do you mind if I go around saying Giga-Gaia?
No, go for it.
Going back to your Chrysalis EP, what was your inspiration for that project?
I spent a year and a half to two years of isolating myself from Los Angeles. I was living with my parents, I was re-evaluating my intentions of why I was making music. I thought really into meditation and trying to find myself for real. It’s called Chrysalis because I was like really in a cocoon that I created for myself and I was using my instruments to build my own wings in a sense. I was experimenting with the instruments I around me, the piano, harp, cello.
When performing live, which one of your songs do you mostly enjoy performing?
I love performing Change Your Frequency because when I perform that live I play the harp while I sing and there is actually no harp in the recorded version. But I would say I love performing Pure Love because when the sound is on point, it makes people happy!
Have you ever played overseas?
Yes! I just did last month. It was my first show outside of California. I went to the Philippines and played a festival and a show, and connected out there. And I’m a Filipina, so it was a beautiful experience for me.
It was almost like a homecoming for you then.
Yes, it felt like that. I was returning to the mother land. I was raised out here in California, so I always felt a bit disconnected with my roots, but that’s a whole other conversation.
…2 more things before you go.
Tell me one unique thing about Low Leaf aside from the 186 instruments you play?
Oh, I don’t know man.
Something unique, like can you build a sand castle?
Oh, I really like the smell of armpits.
I’m really good at rolling blunts.
Whoa, that’s a little too R-Rated for this interview. Just joking.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name GrungeCake?
I thought of something raw and sweet. GrungeCake! That sounds like a really tasty, crunch, and sweet dessert.
Aw, there’s a little boy with a shirt on that looks like a dress. I’m on Venice Beach… still sorta walking around because it’s such a beautiful day.
Yes, it is!
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