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Leo talks about his latest EP ‘Come Closer’ and collaborating with fellow K-pop star B.I

Read our full interview with Leo now.

By Joseph Kocharian

Debuting in 2023 under 131 Label (run by fellow K-pop idol B.I,) Leo recently released his four-track EP ‘Come Closer’ that fuses his love of both pop and R&B. The EP, that was produced by Grammy Award-winning Stereotypes, features dreamy soft vocals from Leo and has a mellow R&B sound to it. The Australian-born artist has even got B.I to feature on ‘Pretty Plzzz,’ where the pair’s smooth vocals really compliment one another. Going it alone can be daunting, but Leo is true to his name and his star-sign (born in August) and is confident among all the disciplines expected of a K-pop star, being accomplished in vocals, rapping and dancing, which he shows off in many of his music videos. It’s clear Leo’s been very considered with his comeback track, speaking to us about the evolution of his music and exploring his sound.

Can you describe the sound of ‘Come Closer’? 

‘Come Closer’ is an EP that I think doesn’t contain one specific sound. As a musician I tried to explore multiple sounds ranging from R&B even to Korean-style ballads, and finding the balance to create what I think is my sound.  

 Are there any themes you have explored in the EP? 

If I had to use one word to describe the theme of this EP, I would most associate it with the word ‘First.’ I tried creating a story with each song that interconnects with each other, starting from experiencing love for the first time and sadly heartbreak for the first time as well. This being my first “EP”, I wanted to make sure that the emotional aspect of each song created a cohesive story for everyone to listen to. 

What sound are you most excited about your fans hearing? 

I’m just really excited for them to hear all of my music. I’m grateful to be in a position where I can show my musicality as a whole but I’m particularly excited for them to hear  ‘Come Closer’ as it’s the lead single of the EP. I have some choreography with the single so I hope people will enjoy how the choreography fits with the music. 

Leo (Image provided: 131)

Do you work closely with B.I.? He just featured on Pretty Plzzz. 

I wish in the future we can work on even more actually. On this EP alone we worked on 2 songs, and it was just a great opportunity for us to bond a bit more. 

What have you learned from working and collaborating with B.I? 

I think the more I watch him and work with him the more I understand how talented he is. I was so grateful to have him participate so much on my first EP, I didn’t really expect him to be so involved, but hey I’ll take it! 

There are quite a few K-pop idols who have moved over from Australia. Are there any Aussies you would like to collaborate on with your music? If so why? 

It would be very difficult to name just one since they’re all so amazing. We’ll see what happens in the future! 

Leo (Image provided: 131)

Where would be your dream location to perform a concert? 

Would love to go everywhere, I think just being able to perform is a blessing in itself. Me being Korean-Australian,  I think it would be a toss-up between Seoul and Sydney. I’d love to perform in both cities that really represent my roots as not only an artist but as a person. 

You have said you love pop and R&B, what are your favourite songs from each genre? 

My favorite pop song these days is “What Lovers Do” by Maroon 5 & SZA, it’s a very nostalgic & feel-good song and I’ve been listening to it all the time lately. My favorite R&B song these days would have to be “Hericane” by Lucky Daye, which is a song I fell in love with on first listen. The vocals and melodies struck a chord with me right away.

Who are your musical inspirations? 

These days I’ve been listening to Lucky Daye a lot. I think he gives me the most inspiration these days. I also love Tommy Richman’s sound, I think it’s very fresh and new.