LEONA LEWIS X MODERN MUZE

Leona_Lewis_Modern_Muze

With the voice and poise of an angel, our MUZE OF THE WEEK has graced us with depth, beauty, joy, deep insight into life’s trials, and shares her vulnerability through timeless and poetic lyrics. We are thrilled to bring you an exclusive feature with Ultimate Muze, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, actress, and activist LEONA LEWIS.

Leona credits her music as her own inner strength to express her feelings as a vehicle for unleashing her own joy, love, and healing. And boy, aren’t we lucky! As I sit here listening to her powerful voice, Better in Time, one of my absolute favorite songs, I am humbled as I am reminded that even after all of the accolades, the talent, the immense beauty and grace that she carries, the most compelling part of my friend Leona, is her immensely beautiful heart. There is this palpable energy of pure love, trust, spirit, reassured calm, and humanity that truly make her the star that she is.

Leona thank you for leading by example, by shining your light so bright and for blessing us all with not only with your God given talent, but most importantly with your enormous spiritual essence.

Julie and I, as well as our #ModernMuze community are grateful for the transparency and love you poured into this interview! 

Le’t get to it! 

Photo Credit: MIKE ROSENTHAL

LEONA LEWIS X MODERN MUZE

MODERN MUZE
People turn to music for many different occasions and situations in life. In times of joy, what do you find yourself listening to and in a year like 2020, what has been your musical saving grace?
LEONA
I listen to such a broad spectrum of music and recently I’ve gravitated toward deeply soul soothing tunes like Faiths Hymn by beautiful voices, who use calming sonic landscapes and uplifting Afrobreat tunes like “energy” by Pa Salieu, which is literally my anthem for 2021! 

MODERN MUZE
Have people been reaching out to you saying your music is helping them during this time? Any specific story you care to share?
LEONA
I actually just received a message from someone who was going through a very rough time with an illness they had been suffering from whilst having to deal with the challenges of the pandemic. They told me that they had been listening to some of my music and that it had helped them. This deeply moved me because I still get to connect with people even through the uncertainty of what’s been going on in the world. It’s little moments and messages like this that help me through it too. 

MODERN MUZE
We are all coming out of a very traumatic year, how have you coped and dealt with it? 
LEONA 
Firstly I watched a whole lotta Netflix! I think I needed a little escapism and that helped for a while. I'm really grateful I had a garden and I spent lots of time sitting out reading and playing with the dogs. I wrote a lot, finished ideas I had put off for a long time. I was also able to focus energy into campaigns for Hopefield animal sanctuary in the UK and for various charities that had been hit hard by the pandemic and desperately needed help to raise funds. There were a lot of people and organizations that needed support and still do now. It put my own fears and worries into perspective. 

MODERN MUZE
What did you learn about yourself?
LEONA
I learned how interconnected we all really are. How much we all need to support one another. I learned that I’m actually a good cook when I put my mind to it and that having time to be still is important. We can busy ourselves with so much but we also need to be able to really sit with ourselves. I always knew how important my dogs were to me but I really learned how much I rely on them to get me through life! 

MODERN MUZE
How did you adjust personally and professionally during this time?
LEONA

I've always travelled a lot with my music. I would tour, perform at shows and fly between the UK and US quite often. I had to adjust to being in one place which was strange at first. I also had to adjust to not having live shows for a while which was difficult as it’s such a big part of my life. The live industry has been really devastated by the pandemic. Everyone from sound technicians to tour managers have been badly affected, and it’s been really heartbreaking to see so many people struggling to cope. I’ve had to really try not to think too far ahead as my mind wants to go into fear mode sometimes, but I find that taking things one step at a time really helps. 

MODERN MUZE
Anything you hope to keep doing once this pandemic is over?
LEONA

We’ve all figured out that there’s a lot that can be done from home so I think I’ll have more balance in my life. I don’t always have to be busy doing something but when I do, those things will be very meaningful. 

MODERN MUZE
What are you looking forward to for the rest of this year?
LEONA
I would LOVE to see live music again. I would love to go watch a movie at the cinema or see a wonderful play. I want to go to festivals again. I can’t wait for jazz fest in New Orleans, that ones my favorite! 

MODERN MUZE
A lot of what our Modern Muze platform is all about is listening to stories of our Muzes, and how they have gotten to where they are today. Who and what has made you the person you are in this moment? Anything you’ve had to overcome or learn along the way?
LEONA
I’ve had to find my voice throughout my entire life. I became quite a shy child at some point and learning to sing gave me a voice. Putting my feelings into song helped me deal with so many things that I went through in life. All of my pain and my joy could be expressed through writing music. Whether it was dealing with a broken heart, loosing loved ones, overcoming adversity and inequality within the area I grew up in or even my struggles with illness the past 6 years. There’s so much that make up who I am and how I express that in the world. I’ll always be learning and growing and I hope to keep discovering new ways to use my voice. 

MODERN MUZE
Who are some of your Modern Muzes?
LEONA
My mother, she’s always taught me to be curious about life and not settle or be defined by others opinions. Marianne Anderson, she was an amazing opera singer that played a huge role in the civil rights movement, and sadly her name isn’t as recognized as it should be. As an artist its so inspiring to see musicians that have been a part of moving humanity forward. The power of music is so immense.  
 
MODERN MUZE
We have to ask…you congratulated President Biden after the election. What was it like meeting him and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden – a very Modern Muze!
LEONA
I actually met president Biden before he was elected. I performed at an event for save the children which is an organization that helped my mother when she was a child. The president and First Lady were there and they were so warm and friendly. It was an honor to be with them. 

MODERN MUZE
Do you have a favorite quote or go-to saying?
LEONA
Literally it’s the song from frozen. When I have a problem I sing:
“Let it gooooooo, let it goooooooooo” 

 

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