IndieBandGuru reviews “The Best Damn Ride”

The art of the live concert performance seems to be slipping away sometimes. There is nothing better than seeing an artist play live with emotion and providing a full concert experience. Our latest find Charlie Leavy is a true performer and loves to get out there and play in front of a crowd. In fact her goal is to play 52 gigs in 2014.

Even more impressive, the Oxfordshire based singer/songwriter is only 17 years old. Her voice is warm and enticing and brings in influences from folk, blues, and even some country music. Just Charlie Leavy and her acoustic guitar are able to captivate an audience with upbeat songs that demand attention.

The latest offering from this young talent is The Best Damn RIde EP. The 5 track record (with 2 additional bonus live tracks) hits the mark for anyone that loves the simple energy of a girl and her guitar. The production of the record adds the other elements to take Charlie’s music to the next level of pop music. A great example is the opener “The Way Life Is” with its big background sound and studio effects to put her on center stage like she belongs. On “Tongue Tied” the production is scaled back to let the clever songwriting and guitar skills of Charlie Leavy shine through. The standout track for me is “Summer’s Day Runaway”. The catchy train rolling along drumbeat pushes the song forward as the lyrics are delivered with a sense of emotion not seen too much today. The wall of sound behind Charlie creates a full experience of music.

A full website is on the way but in the meantime you can enjoy some Charlie Leavy music at

Feature on Unsigned and Independent

Next up is an artist who has been recommended to us via our Leeds music network.

There is a level of maturity and ability to CHARLIE LEAVY that neatly elevates her music to a deserved status of appreciation, but it also displays a lot to it that defies her age in terms of how intelligently it is all pieced together.

There is a smart way that she is able to open up her songs that allows the listener feel the committed emotion that she seems to invest in each track. Those bonafide qualities come to rest and the resolve that carries across is handsomely pushed through. In doing so, she manages to set things on their way as they take flight.

The volume and texture is one that broadens the appeal as much as it does the depth in the musical display that comes through. To listen to her music is to listen to a truly great artist and her age can only indicate her potential is yet to be realised.

Tom Robinson – 6 Music review

Out there in Streaming Land there are naturally gifted singers and then there are the rest of us, and you can tell within seconds that Charlie Leavy belongs effortlessly in the first category. In the coming years she’ll be able to pick pretty much any direction she wants to and, with enough hard work, make a success of it.

The most tempting route might be to slide into becoming some kind of mid-atlantic Joss Stone soundalike, managed by some corporate Talent Agency and marketed to Mums and Dads on Radio 2 via the pluggers of some international music conglomerate. But Charlie also has the potential to be a far more interesting and authentic artist than that, with a unique English voice and viewpoint that are all her own.

Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

The Way Life Is

Ont’ Sofa Prime Studio Session

First published on 28 Nov 2013

This is the 6th track on my EP “The Best Damn Ride

Talented young singer-songwriter Charlie Leavy joined us at Prime Studios recently, and she played this cracking original track for you – hope you enjoy! Follow Charlie on Twitter here –

Like us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:

Ont’ Sofa’s mission is to bring quality musicians and artists to your ears and eyes! We are asking REAL talented musicians and artists to sit Ont’ Sofa and show the world what real music is all about!

like us on Facebook –
follow us on Twitter – @ontsofa

In conversation with Jessica Biggs from Musicvein

Charlie Leavy in conversation with Musicvein


I first heard of the talented, up and coming Charlie Leavy when I reviewed her single ‘The Way Life Is‘ for  website Chartburst.

 What captured me about this young lady was the powerful thought-evoking lyrics she wrote set against the  delicate simplistic backdrop of acoustic guitar, the youthfulness in her voice but her acute social awareness. All of  this led me to getting in touch with Charlie and here our conversation begins.

 “…Carole King, I am in love with the way she writes…”

MV: Who would you say your biggest influences are and how do you think they’ve influenced your style?

CL: My influences are mainly artists like Ed Sheeran and Carole King. Ed Sheeran because I find that our writing styles are quite similar and I love the way his lyrics are original and meaningful – no two of his songs are the same. I think I am like that, I don’t believe that any of my songs are too similar, my lyrics come from the heart or from the passion I have in something  – just like his.

With Carole King, I am in love with the way she writes, her music is incredible! Although it’s sometimes simple, I often think that’s what makes it all the more effective. I now understand (through Carole) that sometimes less is more. Before I was introduced to her music I would dream of every song of mine having all the band instruments and loads of complicated parts, but then I realised that while it’s good for some songs, often a simple song can be the one that people remember.

MV: At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a musician?

CL: I think ever since I was little I wanted to be a singer. I couldn’t play any instruments until I was 12 so I didn’t think of myself as being a musician until then. I participated in little things such as ‘Rock Club’ in my primary school – where the leaders would try to teach us about music. Then as I grew, I auditioned for all school plays because I loved singing on the stage.

Right now I play guitar, piano, bass and Ukulele. I taught myself piano at the age of 13, I had a little 3 octave keyboard from which I would learn the demo tracks by ear until I realised that I could learn my favourite songs from tutorials on Youtube and chord websites! I’ve been playing guitar since I turned 15 – my granddad gave me an electric guitar and I decided to learn. With the Uke, I’ve only been playing for about 6 months or so, I got one for my 16th birthday.

MV: How does the creative process begin for you? Do the lyrics come first or the melody?

CL: When writing it very much depends on my mood. Some days it will be the lyrics first, other days it will be the melody. I don’t sit down and go “I’m going to write a song”, usually something comes to me whether it be a tune or some lyrics as I’m going about my daily activities, then I write the song when I’m home with my guitar or piano. ‘Player 2′ was written on a walk to school. I  had the melody and a lot of the lyrics and just had to retain the information and tune until I got home and was able to work out the chords. 

“…The first time I had one of my songs played, I just squealed…”

MV: Your songs are being played on the Radio, How does that feel to you?

CL: It feels unreal! The first time I had one of my songs played, I just squealed and then sat in awe! It feels surreal because it’s hard to imagine that there are actually other people listening to what the presenter is saying about you and your song. It feels weird to know people might be sat there thinking “This is catchy” and then becoming interested in my music. I also feel very grateful that I have had the opportunity to be played.

MV: So, are you in the process of making an album?

CL: I’m not currently working on an album, I’m just writing for me and if people like what I write then that’s a very flattering bonus. I have been asked by a US based producer if I wanted to work on a 4 track EP – we’ll see how that goes.

“…Love to work with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters…”

MV: Who would you like to work with in the future?

CL: Ed Sheeran! (she says without hesitation) that would be my ideal collaboration. I would also love to work with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters – I think he would have so much great advice that I could learn from.

MV: What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

CL: I can’t pick a highlight – I’m tied between 2! It’s got be both having my song, “Summer’s Day Runaway”, played on the radio and playing at the Westfield Shopping Centre in London a few weeks ago.

When my song was played on the Mark Forrest evening show, it was broadcast on 37 radio stations across Britain and the Channel Islands. I got a message from Mark on my facebook page saying it was going to be played! Almost the whole family was sat in the living room in silence just listening. It was so cool! 

When I played at Westfield, in London, I honestly don’t think I have ever smiled as much on stage as I had then. It was probably one of my favourite performances I’ve ever done because I was just so happy. I looked into the audience and there were people smiling back at me and tapping their feet, it was such a good feeling.

“…Touring would be an amazing experience.”

MV: What are your plans for 2013?

CL: To keep writing and recording to the best of my ability and to gig more to gain exposure and valuable experience. I hope that more people find my music and like it, I dream of being able to release an album one day and maybe even tour. Touring would be an amazing experience.

To find out more about Charlie Leavy and her music visit her website

Charlie Leavy in conversation with Musicvein

Eric Wong from MVRemix interview

I stumbled upon a Soundcloud account a while back. It belonged to a prolific songwriter from the United Kingdom. Her name is Charlie. She is sixteen. I suspect she have a bit of genius about her. When I was sixteen years old, I had trouble holding major seconds in vocal harmony. I could play four chords on guitar, and my fingers were still getting raw from practice. At sixteen, Charlie has written well over fifty songs, and shows no sign of slowing down. When I last checked in with her, she informed me that in a six day period, she wrote and recorded fourteen songs. Her music can be found here.


MVRemix: How many songs have you actually written?

 Charlie Leavy: I have the lyrics to 55 of my songs on my computer but I have actually written quite a few more in the past that would bring the total up to about 65.


MVRemix: What inspired you to play music, and what inspired you to write your own music?

 Charlie Leavy: I was inspired to play music when I was very little. I loved singing at home, then I tried out for school plays in primary school and ended up getting a main part in all of them. My love for music developed on from there. I got a small 3 octave keyboard when I was about 8 and started to teach myself, and then I got a larger 6 octave keyboard at about age 11/12 which I loved. I just had a huge passion for music which made me want to learn instruments and sing.

Then for the inspiration for writing songs: I always, from a very young age, made up little songs in my head which I loved doing. Then, I wrote my first song which I named ‘Blank Canvas’ when I was 12 for one of my best friends who was really upset over a boyfriend. Song writing just progressed from there. I loved writing my first song, and singing it after so I just kept writing and I haven’t stopped to this day!


MVRemix: You mentioned you’ve played in bands before. Tell me about them. Do you write songs for those bands as well?

Charlie Leavy: I’ve been in a few bands: The Last Laughs, The Alternatives and Atlas. In the Last Laughs I was just the lead singer and we stayed together for about half a year. We played a gig at a pub and a set for St. George’s Day in the middle of my town. We also did a few school concerts, it was a fun time while it lasted! We wrote one song called ‘That Love Song’, our guitarist wrote the chords and me and our keyboard player wrote the melody and I wrote the lyrics. Then The Alternatives didn’t get nearly as far, we didn’t play anywhere, just rehearsed. And finally, the last band I was in: Atlas. We were a four piece with a lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, drummer and I was the lead singer and bassist. This band lasted the longest out of all 3, we didn’t write any songs together but we did have 2 of mine in our set: ‘Be Mine’ and ‘Hello Hello’. We played a couple of pub gigs and a small charity festival too.


MVRemix: What is your set-up?

Charlie Leavy: My set up is in my bedroom. I have a laptop which has Avid Pro Tools software on. I use the Pro Tools Audio Interface plugged into both my laptop and a Studio V3 Tube MP pre-amp. I then plug my instrument/mic into the pre-amp. I have a mic stand which the mic sits in and I also have a pop filter which I use.


MVRemix: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Charlie Leavy: I draw my inspiration from just about everything. My experiences and feelings, friends’ experiences and feelings, nature, the way people are, sleeping habits seem to be a common occurrence too. I love to take things from different angles and write about what I see in the natural world, then link it to a feeling or an experience. I also am inspired by writing with a message. Quite a few of my songs, (e.g: Good Enough and Who Are You), convey a positive message about loving yourself because you’re you and that’s something I truly believe. I think that way too many people dislike themselves and hate their differences, and that needs to stop. Uniqueness is there for a reason.


MVRemix: Tell me about your songwriting process.

Charlie Leavy: My song writing process varies significantly with each song. For the most part though, I write in my bedroom with a wordpad document open on my laptop. There are exceptions though, for instance: ‘Player 2′ was written on the way up to school and ‘Picture Of You’ was written during Form time at school in my planner. I just try to retain the melody that I’ve thought up until I get home and I can work out which chords I should play. Sometimes I write because I’ve found an interesting melody or some gorgeous chords, other times it’s because I’ve experienced/seen someone experience something that I’m inspired to write about, other times it’s simply because I thought up a few lyrics that I feel like writing a song about.


MVRemix: You’ve done most of your recordings on your own. Do you prefer the do-it-yourself method, or do you hope to find a label one of these days?

Charlie Leavy: I love recording at home. It feels like a mini project and I feel so great when I finish. However, I would definitely like to find a label in the future. I feel like with more professional recordings I could do so much more – in my room I am limited. In a studio I could add drums if I wanted or strings, etc and the tracks could be mixed a lot better since I’m still a beginner at that sort of stuff.


MVRemix: Do you see yourself studying music at the university level, or would you prefer to hit the road and tour your own material?

Charlie Leavy: I actually see myself studying Economics at university, it’s another passion of mine. Music is my ultimate passion though, so, I may study Music at university if it looks like I’m going to make it somewhere. I feel like I need something to fall back on if nothing happens for me regarding Music in the future. However, I would love to tour. If there are ears which want to listen to my voice, my voice will get there. I think touring would be incredible and so fun to do, especially because performing is one of my favourite things ever.


MVRemix: What direction do you want to take your music in the next few years?

Charlie Leavy: In the next few years I’d love to have recorded an album of professional quality in a studio. I’d love to be doing gigs a few nights a week too. I’d also love to experiment with some more collaborations. I think my some of my music will stay I the acoustic genre, but I think that some of my tracks will be a full band because that would be amazing to work on! Also, I will definitely continue to write with all sorts of influences like pop, folk, country and rock.


MVRemix: Any thoughts, comments, questions, jokes or manifestos you’d like to leave us with? 

Charlie Leavy: Yes, I’d like to say thanks for this interview! It’s been really fun to do and something which is a great piece of advice…Two little words; be you.



written by

Eric is a writer from San Francisco. Being Asian, he was forcibly inducted into classical music and choirs at a young age. So clearly, he knows what he’s talking about.

 Page 2 of 2 « 1  2