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Meet Leanne Bowes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leanne Bowes.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve been playing bass since I was twelve. I had always picked up my dad’s instruments around the house and had a knack for anything I tried in the school band, but in 2001, my dad built his own electronic drumkit and he wanted to try recording drums and bass simultaneously. He had me learn “So Lonely” by The Police. I learned it — along with almost every other song in my dad’s CD collection.

Playing bass was my passion from that moment on, but I got my degree in Marketing Communications, thinking music wasn’t a “reasonable” career at the time. For that reason, I was a hobby bassist on the side of my day job. Then, my dad passed away at age 48 in 2011. I was 22, and I quickly realized how short life is. He sat behind a desk most of his life, counting down the hours until the weekend when he’d finally be behind his drumkit, where he belonged. I quite literally “quit my day job” and hopped on my first national tour with a band called Hunter Valentine. They took me under their wing, and thanks to that experience I’ve shared the stage with Cyndi Lauper, recorded in the studio with Linda Perry, performed on NBC’s Today Show and toured internationally. I’ve been a busy professional musician ever since my first tour in 2013, hustling to make my passion my full-time career in my dad’s honor.

Please tell us about your art.
I’m a bass player. When I’m brought on to a new gig, I learn the songs as quickly and accurately as possible and show up ready to rehearse alongside the artist with whom I’m working. I’m eager to help artists put on the best show possible. If they want me to hang in the back behind the lights and play the songs note-for-note as on the album, I’m happy to do so — and by the same token, if they want me up front hamming it up and soloing, I do that too. I’m passionate about music, and I feel it’s my truth and my mission to help artists create the performance they dream about. I do the same thing with session work– I’m happy to collaborate when appropriate, or just hear an artist out and lay down precisely what they need.

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
I don’t feel that I can claim to be an expert on what it used to be like for artists, as I’ve only been on the scene for about seven years. However, I do think Social Media provides a useful platform for artists to promote their work and connect with like-minded collaborators. With the right spin, the free promotion that Social Media provides can be life-changing for an artist. In that way at least, I think it has become easier.

On any given night, there are at least one hundred things going on that a person might be interested in attending in Los Angeles. I love a cozy night in just as much as the next person, but getting out there and showing support for something you’re passionate about helps artists stay passionate, too.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Showing up to even just one show provides more support for a musician’s work than a lot of people realize. I’m constantly playing shows around Los Angeles and beyond! People can follow me on Instagram to keep an eye on where and when I’m playing internationally. There, I also post bass cover videos and a behind-the-scenes look at whatever tour I’m on at the time. My followers come from all walks of life, and many of them are not in the music industry. I like providing them with a window into this world.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Danielle Cook, VOWWS, Tina June

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