Leah Culver Interview – IMF 2016 By Zach Lette Photos by Nhan Tran Atlanta’s Leah Culver is quickly becoming a household name in the EDM world. Her raw talent as a vocalist, latent DJ abilities, and natural compatibility with other artists has garnered support from all over the scene. We caught up with Leah at Imagine Music Festival last month to discuss her genre-bending live performances, pop-punk inspirations, and DJ dance moves. RM: It’s hard to conjure up the right words to describe your performance at this year’s Imagine Music Festival. It included a live element that set it apart from a lot of the other talent gathered that weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. To be blunt, we were blown away. Can you tell our readers about this collaboration? ntm_5485 LC: I definitely planned this one as far as wanting to bring in more live instruments. John Wilkes is my roommate (former drummer of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus), and we did Imagine last year, that’s how we met, and I just thought it would be awesome to have him again. RM: So meeting at Imagine was like…destiny. Now, you’re back at Imagine again with an even bigger production than last year, including help from IMF favorite FYER. What was that like? LC: FYER is just so awesome. I’ve played with them before and we talked about doing this at IMF 2016. They were all in. They hopped on as instrumentalists for my original tracks. As you saw, they killed it. They’re so talented. RM: It’s always amazing when instrumentalists collaborate on another artist’s song, especially when that collaborator is FYER. The first half of your set was strictly business, a true blue DJ set, but when FYER and Wilkes joined for the second half of the set, it morphed your performance into something almost Warped Tour-esque in spirit. Are you more inspired by your old interests in pop-punk, as far as vocals go, and now you’re bringing them into the EDM realm? LC: That’s absolutely what I’m doing. I’m inspired by Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco and Haley Williams from Paramore.  I like all of those older bands, but I also like Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Rihanna.   RM: So who is your favorite female vocalist? LC: (immediately) Haley Williams. It’s cool because I’ve been watching her since 2004 and her voice has just gotten so much better and better. RM: You’ve been working on new music, some of which we were lucky enough to see live at IMF 2016. Tell us about what you’ve been working on. LC: I just finished my Radiance EP and I have another 3-song release I’m planning on dropping in the fall. I played a lot of material from the Radiance EP today, it’s mostly 128 and 140 bpm. The new release will be a bit faster, 180 bpm, I realized that I like to jump around a lot. RM: I saw the dance moves behind the decks. You move more than a lot of DJs out there. You started head banging like two seconds into your first song! ntm_5547 LC: (Laughs) I should learn how to head bang properly. There has to be a method where you don’t mess up your neck. RM: At least you’re home in Atlanta where Mom can look after you. Thanks, Leah! LC: Thanks!]]]]> ]]>