Life Talks: Leanne & Naara on being women musicians and their new sound

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Musicians Leanne & Naara talk about finding solace and community in their fellow female musicians. Photo by SHAIRA LUNA/Courtesy of LEANNE & NAARA

“If you’re a woman in this industry, it’s hard for you… for us to go boom agad unlike men, unlike boybands na sobrang bilis ng pagma-market nila and yung fanbase nila,” says musician Naara of Leanne & Naara about her experience in the music industry so far.

The duo has been around since 2016, debuting with the single “Again,” but they were only able to release a full album in 2020. “Daybreak” was somehow a result of the break enforced by the pandemic. “We really wanted to make it special and I guess we never really had the time before pre-pandemic because we’ve always had gigs,” says Leanne.

The two have always enjoyed going around gigs though as they were able to know more female artists and create a community through the gig circuit.

“May mga street teams yung mga female artists and every year, pre-pandemic, we’d put this gig together where we all play together,” says Leanne, about how they get together with musicians such as Reese Lansangan, Clara Benin, Keiko Necesario and Niki Colet.

“These are the ways where we can actually support each other. We do collaborations with them. Everyone’s just nice and supportive. Through these gigs dun namin talaga nakilala namin yung mga female fans.”

The duo recently released a sumptuously divine remix of their track “Prayers,” with the help of King Puentespina also known as crwn. The song, lifted off their debut album “Daybreak,” takes on a more gospel tinge thanks to Puentespina’s production work layering the vocals like a choir’s.

The song’s remix is a new direction for them and the duo admitted that they have always wanted to experiment with a more pop sound.

Here, Leanne & Naara talk about being women in the music industry, finding solace and community in their fellow female musicians, and veering away from “coffee shop music.”

Interview and video by SAMANTHA LEE