Q+A: 5 minutes with LT
With roots in folk songwriting, independent musician LT has switched genres and, to mark the occasion has changed her moniker. Formerly known as Leanne Tennant, the Unsigned Only award-winning musician is now pursuing the pop vein, continuing the precedent she set with her previously released single ‘Rollercoaster’. Free from allusions, her latest offering, a forthright single titled ‘Act Your Age’, takes us through her thinking around the topic of ageism. She is unafraid to speak her mind and make her beliefs known to the public. In one word, she is brazen.
Stream / Download: LT – ‘Act Your Age’
In our interview with her, LT discussed her musical background, her latest release, the future, and more. Read it below:
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I’ve always been drawn to the wanderers, the artists, the eccentric. It was a family I felt a part of and belonged to ever since I can remember. They were me, I was them.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
It can change with each song, however, the majority of the time the sound comes first.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
Yes! My latest single ‘Act Your Age’, which is the follow-up single to ‘Rollercoaster’. They are both collaborations with Joel Quartermain (Eskimo Joe) and Edwin White (Vance Joy). I’ve also been working with London producer/writer JHustl3 from Youth Club to write some new music, set for release a little later this year.
What’s on your current playlist?
Lily Meola, St. Vincent, Harry Styles, and Devon Cole are all getting pretty solid rotations lately.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
I love to banter with my audience. I grew up listening to folk music and used to write in that genre, so it comes naturally to have a bit of a laugh and chat. Connecting with an audience is such a special experience.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I often get ideas just hearing random sounds. I’ve brought chains into a studio before and recorded things like the flickering buzz of a neon light. My last single ‘Rollercoaster’ featured the sound of Joel shaking his car keys in his hand. It’s one of my favourite bits.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
I like to wake up early and work through some breathing and meditation exercises. I never used to do this, however, I suffer from anxiety and have discovered that doing this stuff regularly actually helps!
Once I get to the studio, we’ll generally have a chat and settle in then start tossing around some ideas and reference points. ‘Act Your Age’ was co-produced, as I love the vibe of having 3 x minds together. The range of ideas and influences that arise between you as a group are vast and can lead you in really interesting and different directions.
My producers Joel and Edwin are both musicians as well, so it’s fun watching them build the track and lay down the instrumentation, and then I will lay down the vocals once we reach a final stage.
We’ll break for some grub and let our minds sit for a while and then take a bunch of listens back.
Because I live in a different city from Joel and Edwin, we will then continue tweaking things online until we’re all happy with the final result.
Then we have a song!
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
I don’t recall there ever being a specific time in my life where I wasn’t thinking that. I’ve always known.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
A bottle of water and a glass of red.
Any emerging artists on your radar?
REN. He’s everywhere at the moment, but he’s truly one of the greats. What a mastermind.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
These days I have to make an effort for the creativity to start rolling. I’ve started getting up early when I can and writing a few pages of rambling stuff that doesn’t mean anything. I often find that once I get into a routine (as boring as that sounds), it opens up a little part of my creative brain.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I’m pretty limited, but I use Garage Band to get ideas across to people and have a couple of mics – Rhode Nt1, and also a Shure SM7b. I work off a Universal Volt interface. I need to learn how to use Pro and/or Logic, but for now, this is what sticks with my brain!
Any side projects you’re working on?
Yes – I’m working on some music with JHustl3, a London-based producer with side projects Youth Club and Pepe.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
I have changed my sound drastically since I first started. I was very much a folk/indie artist with guitar-heavy and acousticy tracks. I then started exploring the alternative sound of this genre and went quite dark for a while before discovering my love of writing pop music.
I’ve learnt a lot since writing pop music in both the writing and live performance aspects and playing to track. It’s a totally new direction and a healthy challenge for my musical brain. You should never stop learning.
Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
I have some shows to celebrate the release of ‘Act Your Age’ in Australia and also in the UK – Liverpool, Cork, and Ireland. This year I will be focusing a lot on writing as I’m keen to release an album in 2024 and play a lot more shows.
Famous last words?
Here, hold my beer.