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Single of the Week: Brother Leo - Hallelujah

In the space of just a handful of tracks, Brother Leo has expressed a flair for his multifaceted pop. Organically mixing electronic and live elements in previous tracks including ‘Strangers on an Island’, which was produced by Fat Boy Slim, his songs radiate with soul, drama and an alluring sense of positivity. While the productions are contemporary, the power of Brother Leo’s voice and songwriting is timeless. Yet Brother Leo’s life-affirming sonics often explore turbulent emotions, providing a ray of light for people struggling with similar problems. ‘Hallelujah’ begins with Brother Leo’s fervent vocal set to piano, a stripped-back approach that sets the tone for the impassioned song. He then builds up the production with stirring handclaps and dynamic beats, with its heavenly aura elevated with the help of the London Community Gospel Choir. “To hear them adding their magic to the song was like a spiritual experience,” notes Brother Leo. Produced by Steve Mac (Ed Sheeran, Chvrches, Years and Years) and with additional production and songwriting by Fred Gibson (Stormzy, Octavian, The xx), Brother Leo started writing ‘Hallelujah’ on the bus journey home after spending Christmas with his family. Despite immediately recognising the song’s power, it took several years for Brother Leo to give it the attention it deserved to complete it. It was started during a dark and chaotic time in his life, so it was put on the backburner to avoid digging up painful memories. “Even though I knew this song was special It took me years to finish it,” he explains. “ I guess it was too associated with painful memories that I kept avoiding it. This song has forced me to deal with a lot of stuff. It’s still a process but I really believe it has helped me.” “’Hallelujah’ is about broken illusions in a broken world,” he continues. “It’s that moment of realisation when you know you have to make peace with something that just can’t be fixed. I wouldn’t call myself religious, but this song came out almost like a prayer. It was a cry for help in a hopeless situation. In the end religion didn’t save me, but neither did the shrink or the pills that he gave me. This song gave me an escape and some kind of piece. Like so many times before, music was the answer.” Brother Leo has collaborated with Fatboy Slim, Michael Calfan, Danny Howard, Felix Jaehn and Breaking Beatzz. He’s also worked with Dan Grech (George Ezra, Lana Del Rey), Mark Ralph (Years & Years, Clean Bandit), Coffee (Dua Lipa, Rihanna) and Elof Loelv (Rihanna, Tove Lo, Tove Stryke). Brother Leo has emerged as a hot tip amongst tastemakers, with NME, Hunger, Wonderland, Idolator, tmrw and Clash highlighting him as a rising talent.


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