Artist Interview: Theresa Leoniy
Tell us about yourself and your music
My passion for music developed at an early age. I am blessed to have inherited my vocal ability from my mother. Besides being a nurturing and loving mother, she had a beautiful voice and we harmonized well together. I enjoy singing traditional country ballads. I grew up listening to Patsy Cline, and I loved her. The late Russell Faith who wrote “Somewhere in your Heart” for Frank Sinatra and the movie score to “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” was my vocal coach in the early days. My current music arranger is Nancy Sofka. I sang on Q93 radio in Houston, Texas and won the opportunity to sing for the producers of “America’s Got Talent” for season four. I got as far as the executive producers of the show. I was a finalist in the “Best Singer in Texas” contest and performed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Houston, Texas. I also won “The World’s Greatest Karaoke Singer” in the women’s division for Houston, Texas and received a trophy. I won the Akademia Music Award for the pop song “Never Play the Fool” on September 15, 2015 which is a great honor.
Talk to us more about your latest release
I have released a demo CD of cover songs that has been received very well. I recorded an original song “Never Play the Fool” with a video that is listed on my website, Reverbnation.com, and Number1Music.com. The music video was filmed in Tampa Florida and can be seen on YouTube.
I also have several other music videos on YouTube (a few I wish were not there, LOL.) I filmed two shortly after a spinal surgery and my eyes looked heavy lidded.
I wrote the lyrics to “I Just Want to Love Him” which is a country love ballad that I wrote to my husband. I collaborated with Ramie James to add a haunting steel guitar melody to the piece. The song is still in the production stages.
What inspired you to write this release?
I wanted to record an upbeat song that differed from my traditional country recordings. It is well received and, it was fun recording it and making the music video in Tampa, Florida.
I did not write this release. It was written by The Men Incharge Entertainment, LLC (Addie Cruz.) I was contacted by them to record this.
Any plans to release a video?
I enjoyed filming a professional music video, and it was my first. It took many hours to film and, my husband is walking and talking on his cell phone. This segment was so short that I almost missed it. I had an absolute blast filming my first music video.
Any plans to hit the road?
I am recovering from extensive spinal surgery. After my physical therapy is complete, my plans are to return to singing with a vengeance.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I do not have a brand. I am not wearing dresses made of meat or popping out of eggs. I get on stage and sing my heart out. I more often than not, get rousing applause and standing ovations. I am promoting myself on the internet and, from local performances. I am my manager with assistance from my husband.
Who have you been listening to lately?
We just finished with the Christmas season. So, to be honest with what I have been listening to lately, I would have to say Christmas Music!
I listen to all genres of music. I prefer the older traditional country singers. Patsy Cline, of course. Reba McEntire, Wynonna Judd, Carrie Underwood, Leann Rimes, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand. I enjoy Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. The names of the artists are too long to list.
Tell us about your passions
The alarm clock gets me out of bed in the morning, for sure! I am a night owl, so I tend to want to sleep late in the morning. I have other hobbies besides singing. I enjoy writing poetry, and I won a poetry contest where they published one of my poems I would have to dig out the book. I did that a long time ago. One of my passions is crocheting for relaxation. The gorgeous Vanna White from “Wheel of Fortune” is an avid crocheter and, I joined her. To think that with a ball of yarn, I can create so many beautiful things. Many of my crochet items won blue ribbons at state fairs!
What else is happening next in your world?
I mentioned a little earlier that I am recovering from extensive spinal surgery. I hope to start physical therapy soon. After the treatment is complete, I am going on a cruise with my husband for our wedding anniversary.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Theresa!
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