From Dallas to Los Angeles, the R&B/Soul Artist and Singer/Songwriter Leslie Austin shares a personal story with her recent single, "Burned." Gearing up to release her upcoming debut EP, Leslie Austin wanted to share the project's first single to give us a taste of her latest works.
As the pandemic hit and Leslie Austin was low on income, she high-tailed it back to Dallas's home town, leaving her belongings behind.
With a goal in mind to continue creating and recording music throughout the pandemic, Leslie Austin felt inspired back home and created her debut EP while also releasing the highly-anticipated single, "Burned."
The powerful single, "Burned," shares the age-old tale of infidelity and the sting it leaves behind. Leslie Austin felt inspired to write this single after experiencing a similar situation with someone she thought was a soulmate. We can hear an empowered, spiteful, and sassy Leslie Austin sings her soulful vocals over the song's retro instrumentation and silky-smooth grooves.
Listening to "Burned," the song opens with a heavy R&B/Soul atmosphere through the low groaning saxophone, warm drum patterns, a gripping bass lick, and whopping piano melodies. As Leslie Austin begins pouring her powerhouse vocals over the track, she tells an unfortunately relatable story, as she sings of the bittersweet truth and the burn it leaves.
We feel this heavy sense of nostalgia through the song's sultry and groovy instrumentals, giving us a taste of R&B's prime through the organic instrumental medley. Not to mention a blistering electric guitar solo to lead the song out, the entire instrumental is truly impeccable.
Leslie Austin is haunting our days, and seemingly the soul who did her wrong with the release of her powerful single, "Burned," as she spills her truth despite the lies she's discovered.
We love the power that the entirety of your single "Burned" delivers. Why did you want to write such an empowering song that touches on the realities of infidelity?
I actually wrote this song a few years ago when I was in the ‘angry stage’ of processing what this guy did to me. But I held off on recording it for a while because I wasn’t sure if the lyrics were too angry/bitter considering that I usually try to keep things pretty positive. But for me personally, art is an expression of emotion, experience, feelings, personality, and processing. There's no right or wrong. It's not meant to only be 'positive' or only one thing...at least not for me. More than anything I want my music to be real and authentic while hopefully giving people hope and healing along the way. This song came easier to me than many have, and I've been singing it live for years before I finally laid the track down. I'm so happy to have finally put it out there, and I know there are so many people who can relate to being totally deceived and 'burned' by someone you thought was the love of your life. Yet here we are...still standing and better for it. We must mention how gripping and groovy the instrumentals are within your single "Burned." What inspired this soulful, broad, and powerful sonic route?
Thanks! I love soulful grooves...that's my thing. And venturing away some from the production styles of my last three tracks, I wanted this one to be totally authentic, not only in lyrics and musicality but in the way it was produced. I wanted all real instruments and nothing over-manufactured to please the so-called 'radio experts'. Real songs, real experiences, real pain, and real instruments. So everything you hear on this track is a real instrument played by a real musician, and all the vocals (lead & background) are me. We even made one of the background beat sounds by shaking a box of tambourines. Could you bring us into your songwriting process for "Burned?" How were you able to mentally place yourself back in a past relationship to write your empowering message?
Well as I said, I wrote this a few years ago not long after I experienced it. So while I had moved past some of the intense and shocking initial pain, I was in the angry stage and could more easily write about it without feeling stuck in my sadness. I sat down with one of my songwriting partners and told him the type of piano melody I was looking for, and he started to play. Then I heard the vocal melody over it in my head and recorded what he was playing on my phone. A day or two after that I jumped on a plane, listened to the recording, and had the whole song written by the time I landed. This one was meant to be written and basically wrote itself. Did you have any help when recording the instrumentals for your single "Burned?" How did you achieve such exhilarating and sultry instrumentals?
Oh yes, it takes a village lol. Unfortunately, my piano and guitar skills are pretty limited, so I always use excellent musicians and producers to help bring my songs to life. I had actually driven from LA back to my hometown of Dallas during the pandemic while leaving my belongings in storage out there (they're still there). While in Dallas I decided to record with some local producers I'd heard about over the years, Beau Bedford and Jeff Saenz of Modern Electric Sound Recorders. Between those two, Jason Burt's engineering, Chris Ray helping arrange (and co-writing the song with me), and all of the talented musicians who played on it, we definitely brought it to life. Speaking of the musicians, I'd like to shout out Lunar Rae on drums, Chris Ray on piano/arranging/songwriting, David Hartmann & Charley Wiles on guitar, Jacob Smith on bass, Jonathan Mones on sax, Jordan Carr on trumpet, and mastering by Gene Grimaldi. They all killed it. What has been keeping you inspired in 2020? What will we see from you in 2021?
As for 2020, the fact that I still found a way to record some of my new music in the middle of a pandemic after losing all sources of income and driving across the country... makes me pretty proud. I haven't let living out of the suitcase for these last 10 months be an excuse to stop trying to move forward in some way. I've tried to keep things progressing, appreciate having less, and continue working towards my goals...even though it's been a super weird and difficult year for many of us. As for 2021? I don't want to say too much, but I know this is a life-changing year for me. I know that God has started opening doors and confirming everything I'm meant to do, and I plan to continue walking through them. While I was created to do music and love doing it, I also know it's for a bigger purpose and not just about me. On a practical level, you'll be hearing more new music from me (hopefully a full EP or album), music videos, and much more. Thankful to be alive, to be doing what I love, and hoping to improve other people's lives along the way.