I try to stay true to my music and authentically me, which seems to attract people to my sound. I’ll take all constructive criticism into consideration, but ultimately I go with my gut and what feels right for me… and people will follow. – @mleonardosongs
Listen to the Interview
Episode #324 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/05/18/episode-324-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW MEGAN LEONARDO
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
I like that a lot of independent artists are able to put their music out there there are plenty of outlets to showcase your music right now.
The Pros and cons…
Pro: it’s easy to get your stuff out there. Spotify, Apple Music… simple. However, this does saturate the market and it’s hard not to become part of the noise. You have to make yourself stand out, and there is a lot of competition.
Over coming the hurdles and pitfalls…
I try to stay true to my music and authentically me, which seems to attract people to my sound. I’ll take all constructive criticism into consideration, but ultimately I go with my gut and what feels right for me… and people will follow.
I like to be able to curate my own content and connect with fans and other musicians in a close and immediate way. It closes the many mile gap between me and my friends and fans, allowing me to share what I like when I need to.
Challenges that I’ve had to overcome…
I’m not particularly well versed with technology, and it takes me a little work to understand the platforms that I’m on. But once I get it, it becomes second hand nature.
Singles vs an album…
I really like both they both have an important place. A single is something that I feel has a sense of urgency it’s good, you love it, you’re feeling it, and you want people to hear it right now. If it’s a good example of your sound, it’s the perfect gateway to the rest of your work. An album is your full sound, it’s your heart and hard work mixed together to present your story (or stories). An album is key in building a fanbase and keeping them around.
No matter the preference, there are two basic keys: putting your work out there and talking about it. I play live whenever and wherever I can, I share videos and shows on youtube via facebook and twitter, and I talk to the people that express interest in anything that I’ve done. The single is easier to spread because the internet likes bite size pieces. That, in addition to my live shows, is what I focus on.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
Ed Sheeran. I admire his style, his ability to create so much. Harmonies, beats, melodies… His music and background really.
I find a nice balance for me personally among the music trends…
Yes, you need to stay updated on what’s happening in the music scene around you, but you have to stick with what makes you happiest and what you are best at. Be uniquely yourself, don’t be what everyone else is or you’ll just end up blending into the background.
I am most afraid of…
Burning out. I really like change and don’t love to do any one thing too long. Music has been a rare constant in my life and I hope that continues.
My personal definition of success is..
where you are happy. So I guess I’m pretty successful at the moment. I think my number 1 success story is the tour that I’ve been on. It took months of planning and syncing it with my EP release. I was lucky enough to play over 12 cities throughout the US and meet some amazing people along the way. Definitely worth all those months of planning.
My over all goal for my life & career is…
To be happy, comfortable, and still play music. I would love to get to a point where music is my one and only “job.” I put “job” in quotes because if music was how I payed my bills, it would never really feel like work.
3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal.
1) I play/learn with some of the best musicians I can find. Watching them play, I always learn something new and it really pushes me to become a better musician.
2) Sometimes I will hear a really hard song or a song way out of my genre on the radio. I’ll usually challenge myself sit down and figure out how I can make it my own just kind of as an excercise.
3) I’m naturally an introvert, which doesn’t always work when you’re a musician. That being the case, I made myself play out as much as possible until I got over my stage fright. Nowadays, I make every effort to talk to as many people as I can before and after a show. It has helped with networking, making real fans, and making some real friends too.
I live in Austin, Texas…
The music scene is amazing I have met the best musicians of my life in Austin. In fact, I liked one so much I stole him from the city to go on a national tour with me. (Rodney Overturff, everyone, check him out.) Anywhere downtown on sixth street in Austin has good music going on all the time. My personal favorites are Burnsides and The Lodge.
I love Traveling and eating. I’m from Montauk, NY, but I’ve lived in Chicago, Barcelona, Thailand, and Austin. In San Francisco last week, I got a tattoo (my first!) that says “It’s all about the journey” I think that sums it up.
I’ve loved music since I was a little kid…
I went through some rough times as a kid and needed an outlet music was a natural avenue.
Each song is a different aspect of myself…
“Like Me” is not a cry for social media fans, it’s a “Like Me”: Are you like me? Can you relate to my songs? I think these songs hit emotional notes for a lot of people. Creating it was cathartic I felt like I put a lot of myself out there and I think there has been a significant reward from that. People are responding to my music now more than ever.
I had written it a while back, but over Christmas I had seen it for the first time in a while. I was so inspired to finish it and include it on my (already finished) EP that I sent a really bad scratch track to my producer hoping we could fit it in. He felt it needed to be there, and so it became the last song I recorded for the album. I think the funniest part of the process was that the guy I initially wrote the song about, heard the song before it made it onto the EP. Best part, he loved it and had absolutely no idea it was about him.