Hi! Everyone,
This weeks FEATURED ARTIST OF THE WEEK is the talented musician, singer-songwriter & one half of the duo THE SECRET MAGPIES: AUTUMN DAWN LEADER
1.Please introduce yourself

My name is Autumn Dawn Leader (and, yes, that's my real name, not just a stage name); I'm a classically trained contralto vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. I was born in the U.S., but I have called the U.K. home for nearly 15 years, moving here because I fell in love with an Englishman (who, also, happily, fell in love with me). I am based in Leicestershire.

2. How did you get into music?

My mum. She was a musician and exceptional vocalist. I was literally born into a life of music. I was 4 years old when I had my first gig, singing in one of her music and storytelling shows. I knew early on that music flowed in my veins and I was bit by the performance bug. I never wanted to do anything else. It took me getting to the age of 16 before I started writing my own songs; that was a turning point. After years of being content singing other people's words, I wanted to sing my own; I needed to give voice to how I saw things and what I was feeling. 

3. What instruments do you play?

I play the piano, the acoustic guitar and the medieval 10 string lyre. I also dabble with the occasional folky woodwind.

4. Who are your influences?

I have been known to say that if Sandy Denny and Nick Drake had a love child, it would be me.  It's a pretty succinct and accurate description. But, other influences include Joni Mitchell, The Moody Blues, Simon & Garfunkel and Marillion. 

5. Tell us about your latest release

My latest single came out Friday 2nd August. I'm quite excited about it, really.  It's an acoustic track called 'Sassenach's Song'. Most of my songs deal with sorrow, grief, pain and the struggle of life, but 'Sassenach's Song' is a straight-up love song. It's inspired by the TV series 'Outlander', as well as being greatly influenced by my own epic tale of love with the aforementioned Englishman. While it will almost certainly be enjoyed by most Outlander fans, it isn't limited to lovers of the show; this song is for anyone who has faced - and overcome - impossible odds to be with the person they love. It's out worldwide in all the major digital music stores and streaming services on the 2nd, and it can be pre-saved/pre-ordered here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/autumndawnleader/sassenachs-song

6. Whats your songwriting process? 

I generally write lyrics and music simultaneously. Inspiration can come from anywhere: a book I'm reading or have read, a conversation I've had (or overheard), etc. Most of the time, my songs come from what I am going through, what I am personally feeling. It just flows out of me in a wave. It's like I'm a conduit for the songs. The inspiration hits, and I sit with one of my instruments, a pen and paper at the ready to write down whatever comes out. If needed, I then refine and tidy up whatever is on the paper.

7. Which musician/ artist would you most like to collaborate with & why?

I'd really like to collab with Steve Hogarth, the lead singer of Marillion. He's the whole package of amazing vocalist, genius lyricist and excellent musician.

8. If you were on a desert island what 3 musical gear would you take? 

Well, on a desert island, sand and salt air are going to be a problem for any instrument that I would take with me. However, I'd still risk taking my guitar, Galahad (I name all my instruments), with me. An extra set of strings, and a tuner with a long-life battery would complete the trio. Then, I'd just sit and sing until I was either rescued, or I die. 

9. Where can fans find your music (links etc)?

Oh, and in addition to being a solo artist, I am also one-half of the prog-folk duo 'The Secret Magpies'. Our music can be discovered by visiting www.thesecretmagpies.com and following the links there.

I would like to say a huge thank you to AUTUMN DAWN LEADER for taking part in FEATURED ARTIST OF TH WEEK 😃😃

Until Next Time