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Brother Leo

After slipping away from the spotlight, the artist formally known as Ola is now Brother Leo.

With a new name, new sonics, and new collaborations with artists that match his level of artistry, Brother Leo unveils his full-length album PoP Poetry. A collection of 14 songs that feature a myriad of collaborations — like Fred Gibson, Björn Yttling, and DJ legend Fat Boy Slim — each track explores Brother Leo’s thoughts and feelings as he navigates themes of abandonment, searching, escapism, longing, and mental illness.

1883 chats with Brother Leo about the creation of PoP Poetry, what it was like making the album, and more.

How have you changed and developed as an artist between your very first release and now, with the release of PoP Poetry?

I’d say I’ve changed and developed in every way possible. Creating this album has in many ways been a “wake up call” for me. Realizing what’s really important and meaningful to me – as a human, songwriter, and artist. It’s been 5 years of extreme highs and lows but it’s been absolutely worth it.

 

How has Sweden influenced your music?

It’s a bit hard to pinpoint but I guess the Swedish pop heritage and the overall melancholic streak has influenced me quit a bit, maybe more than I know..

 

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the album?

The whole idea behind ‘Brother Leo’ and this album was to create an honest and creative space that forced me outside of my comfort zone and to really allow myself to explore without any preconditions. A place where I can let myself move freely over the hole spectrum to be able to create my own little bittersweet pop poetry. It’s been hard at times and in away an ongoing battle, but it’s one I’m willing to take. In away my inspiration was to let go.

 

Are there themes that tie the entire album together?

Listening to it now with some perspective I’d say there is.. Escapism, the search for something more or at least something different, questioning the society and myself.. betrayal.. Is themes I’d say ties the album together..

 

It’s a quite honest and open album, are you ever hesitant about exposing yourself through songwriting or is it a form of therapy for you?

No not really… I guess the only time I’ve been a bit hesitant is when I’ve used real peoples name in a context that might put them in a “bad light”.. but other than that no. And yes, making this album has basically been a 5 year long therapy session for me. This hole process has definitely develop me as a person, it’s challenged me to get to know myself on a deeper level and face some dark experiences that I’ve tried to bury somewhere deep down..

 

What do you hope people take away from PoP Poetry?

Hopefully it will take some ppl on a little trip into another reality for a minute or 2… But in the end.. If it’ll make someone out there reflect in some way or just feel something, whatever that is.. I’m happy.

 

What did you learn about yourself while writing and recording PoP Poetry?

I’d say it’s a lot.. but especially that I need to be able to let myself move freely over the whole spectrum of emotions and expressions to be as inspired as possible and not limit myself to only one genre or vibe..

 

Was there anything that you did differently while recording PoP Poetry that you hadn’t done prior?

I think the biggest difference making this album was that I really gave myself the time, freedom and space to make the album that I wanted to make. I didn’t let any deadline, label or myself put any pressure on the creative process.

 

What 3 songs would you choose to soundtrack your perfect day?

C’est Si Bon – Jane Morgan

Mercy Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye

Cobrastyle – Teddybears

 

Lastly, if you could manifest something for yourself this year, what would it be?

A trip to Nepal..

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