Interview with Leigh Holmes

Occupation: Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Band Leader.

Born: Wales, grew up in Malta.

Age: 25

Living: Kercem, Gozo.

 

How did you start with music? 

I left school at 16 to “make love and play music”. School had nothing to offer me. I suffered at school from bullying. Music was my salvation and my safe haven. I had to learn not to be a victim any more. At 16 I started to play a steel string guitar. My roots were in Punk Rock which morphed into Reggae. My influences were in reggae, ska and funk.

Your career so far…? 

I played in the band Dolls for Idols, then set up my own reggae band Irie Flow. (Irie in Jamaican language means Good Vibes). I mixed reggae and ska with calypso, and drum and bass beats. I have played at Earth Garden main stage; Ta Fra Ben jamming and La Grotta, Gozo; also at Connect Africa (One Radio show); birthday party at Peace Lab; and Hal Far last summer, where I was the director of music bringing together African and European musicians for the free concert.

…and your current projects? 

I am writing a musical. All the songs have super conscious, positive and uplifting lyrics. I am recording my first solo album too with the help of different producers and musicians to create the soundscapes that are continuously playing in my head. I also play live using a loop pedal where I play a phrase on the guitar, which is looped, then I add a bass line, then a beat box or use any surrounding objects as percussion. When the backing track has been created I sing and solo on top.

Who are the musicians you admire? 

Six60 from New Zealand; Madeon, a French producer; an electro-swing inspired duo, Goldfish, from South Africa; and Caravan Palace (listen to their song Bambous).

What are your other interests?

I love extreme sports, climbing and cycling in nature. Gozo is a wonderful place to enjoy all of that. I am also organising healthy food workshops. My ambition is to heal people with food and music, because food and music healed me.

Can you mention other people who inspire you?

Dr Wayne Dyer – “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

David Wolfe – an amazing nutritional motivator.