written by Daniel Coston
Tangents Magazine, February 2017 issue
Life. Experience. Emotion, in all of its colors. It’s all there in LeAnna Eden’s music. Originally hailing from Milwaukee, WI, Eden has used her time to Charlotte to find where she is now, and to make 2017 her breakout year. Eden talked about led her to this moment, and what comes next via email.
Tangents Magazine: Do you remember when you first took an interest in music?
LeAnna Eden: I was adopted at 7 and started playing piano. I remember writing my first piano piece at 8. I was in band, I played oboe. In high school, I performed in musicals and vocal jazz choir. But I really didn’t start making music and writing just for me until I was 18 and my friend gave me my first guitar.
Tangents: How much of your parents’ record collection has influenced your tastes in music? Or did you find your influences find you, once you got older?
Eden: My adopted parents were very Christian, and I really wasn’t allowed to listen to anything besides Christian choral and classical music. But occasionally on Sundays driving to church, my adopted dad would let me listen to the oldies station. And when I hit my teens I got to listen to the alternative station. When my adopted parents and I went our separate ways when I was 16, I basically tried to play catch up and I still am.
Tangents: Your music ranges over several genres. Is that a conscious decision, or does that just happen?
Eden: It used to just happen but now it's turning into a conscious decision. I want to write music for everyone. I dream of having a song on every music chart.
Tangents: What would you say are your biggest influences as a songwriter, and guitar player?
Eden: Curtis Mayfield, Betty Davis, Corinne Bailey Rae and Valerie June.
Tangents: Contrast the music scene in Milwaukee, and the Midwest, with the music scene in Charlotte.
Eden:The Milwaukee music scene was a beautiful place to grow into being a musician. The open mics were extremely supportive and gave me the feedback and encouragement that I needed to become the performer I am today. Milwaukee taught me that if I have a vision to do anything, all I have to do is ask. Milwaukee is a close knit group of people that love and support each other. I see a lot of similarities between Milwaukee and Charlotte. Both cities have rapidly developing art communities. And a lot of my peers are finding ways to mentor and keep the music alive.
Tangents: How would you describe the scene in Charlotte, and the places that you’ve played?
Eden: I used to think that Charlotte was clicky. When I moved here 3 years ago, I would have severe anxiety about going out and playing. But once I emerged myself in the music scene, I realized how supportive it is. But support is a two-way street. Now, I have anxiety about possibly missing my friends shows.
I was lucky to have played Tremont Music Hall and Common Market before they closed. I love playing PETRA’S. I'm hosting a show there at the end of the month Jan 30th called "Session". I want to give the vocalists who don't have bands an opportunity to do their full set.
I've played the Station a handful of times. I love that bar. It feels like Milwaukee and reminds me of the bar where I first started doing Open Mic called "Frank's Power Plant”. But my all time favorite venue in Charlotte is the Visulite. I feel like they really held out a helping hand of support to my band and I.
Tangents: What has been your most memorable gigs, to date?
Eden: I opened for Emily King at The Visulite Theatre.
Tangents: What themes would you say pop up most often in your songs?
Eden: My songs are usually just observations about my surroundings however good or bad, with a sprinkle of self-deprecation and a dash of hope.
Tangents: Talk about your new band, The Garden Of.
Eden: The Garden Of is a broad term for all the artist's in my life. From musicians, to painters, to music engineers and vocalists, to the people in the crowd singing along and the energy is feeds me. But The Band the Garden Of is Zach Willard on lead guitar and James Jeffrey on drums. LeAnna Eden and The Garden Of just finished recording their first e.p. titled "11". It will be available for your ears soon.
Tangents: Finish this sentence. At the end of the day, LeAnna Eden is…
Eden: Growing and becoming.