ShoutOut LA Feature
We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Martin-Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leah, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking Anyone in a creative industry will tell you that their entire career is based on risk. As a musician, every step of the journey is paved with obstacles and there is absolutely no guarantee that you will succeed- it doesn’t matter how talented you are or how much you want it. That in itself is enough to stop people from pursuing this lifestyle and opting for something more stable and reliable that guarantees a regular paycheck and security. Without risk- I would not be where I am today. The first risk I took was when I graduated High School. I had the option to study Law and Psychology but I decided to accept the offer I had for the Bachelor of Popular Music Program at Griffith University. People thought I was crazy to turn down the opportunity to study Psychology or Law but it was my dream to be a professional musician. I knew in my heart where I needed to be. Then, in 2014 after completing both a Bachelor’s Degree and Post Graduate Degree in Music, I received an invitation to travel to Los Angeles, CA by a Management company. They wanted me to perform at a label showcase. I didn’t know anyone in the USA, I didn’t even have a band there. But on January 1st I stepped off the plane at LAX. For 6.5 years I have lived and worked in the Los Angeles music scene as well as toured Internationally with the band I formed there- Evol Walks. In October 2020, I took another risk. I was signed by a Swedish Management company who asked me to come to Stockholm, Sweden on a writing trip to complete the upcoming Evol Walks album. Despite having just returned to Australia to wait out the pandemic, I made my choice and took the risk to fly to Sweden. 3 months later and I am so incredibly happy that I stepped on that plane! I took a risk and it paid off in spades!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community? I’ve always loved music! Ever since I was a little girl I would sing, play my Nana’s organ and put on performances for my family members in the living room. When I was 11 I decided to take more concrete steps towards becoming a proper musician and asked my Mum if I could take guitar lessons. I formed my first band in high school, Lilly Rouge. I continued with this moniker through University until I made the trip to the USA in 2014 and formed my current heavy rock project, Evol Walks. Since then, I have travelled across the globe writing, recording and performing my own original music. From humble beginnings in the town of Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Australia to Los Angeles, California USA and now Stockholm, Sweden, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in rock and roll and carve out a space for myself in the Global Music Industry. It definitely hasn’t been easy although I’ve had a LOT of fun along the way! I have had moments of being very lonely and very homesick. I’ve missed out on huge events in my love one’s lives. But it has all been worth it for the experiences I’ve had, the milestones I’ve hit and the people I have met. I am especially excited as I am currently in Europe working on my brand new record. We are starting pre-production this week! I also have another huge announcement but I can’t say anything yet… but I will say, its something I have been working towards since I first picked up that guitar at 11.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to? That is so hard! There are so many amazing places to visit in Los Angeles! I think I would start by taking them for a welcome brunch at my favourite cafe ‘Met Her at a Bar’ down on La Brea and 8th. We would order the Waffle Benedict, the Truffle Fries and their AMAZING coffee! After Brunch, I would definitely take them for a drive out to Malibu for some relaxation and meditation at the Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine- that place is truly stunning! We would definitely have to head back via Venice Beach to check out Small World bookstore on the beach walk and then head to the Sunset Strip for some live music at either the Whisky, the Roxy or (my personal favourite) The Viper Room! I’m also a huge fan of Velvet Margarita on Cahuenga and Gracias Madre! IF we were talking Stockholm? I would insist we head to Two Fat Ladies Cafe on Valhallagaten for some Aussie style brunch and coffee then trek to Gamla Stan to explore the oldest part of the city. Definitely need some traditional fika at any one of the numerous coffee shops scattered throughout the area and then dinner at Garlic and Shots in Sodermalm! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout? I want to dedicate my success to the following people: My Mum- she’s always been my number one fan and supported me no matter the circumstance! My Grandma My Uncle Con (+ Nelli x) My Manager Jens Lundberg and his team at Blue Lemon Management for believing in the journey and helping me to take the next step. Brian Howes- For being a kickass producer and co-writer and being there since the very beginning. The amazing musicians in Evol Walks- Logan Nikolic, Sam Bam Koltun, Eliot Lorango and Nick Diltz. Always making the music sound incredible. Jimmy Lee- Drummer of Evol Walks but also my best friend. Always believing in the music and just being a standout human x Havok. My Dog. Because he is my heart and his cuddles and unconditional love pull me through all the tough times.
Image Credits Erica Vincent, Jack Lue, Adam Kennedy, Mathias Fau, Paulsens Photography, CEOL Photography