Christian Leave is Paving the Way for Bedroom Artists
Inspired by blunt force trauma, and a lot of time locked up in quarantine, Christian Leave’s Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head is an EP we just can’t leave alone (pun intended).
Christian Leave might be a young star, but that doesn’t mean he is immune to quarantine cravings. It’s kind of a funny way to start an interview, but being a midnight snacker myself I just had to ask Christian if he had a go-to pandemic bite. Of course, he did.
Christian’s late-night snack is a classic: a handful of chocolate chips, banana, and a glass of milk. The perfect boost to get you through the night or, in Christian’s case, fuel a late-night song writing binge.
At first glance, you may recognize Christian from his early days as a Vine star. He was known as a young comedian that made six-second viral videos which poked fun at annoying couples, guys obsessed with fishing, your creepy Uncle Nick, and so many more.
With the fall of Vine and rise of TikTok, Christian has harnessed the new platform (under username “fartyprincess”) to continue to make hilarious shorts. While the platform has changed, his long time fans have stuck around to watch him grow, and become the next big bedroom artist.
“It’s natural, but a little weird. It’s cool to see a prototype turn into the next big thing,” Christian said.
While Christian was making home shorts, he fell in love with Alternative Rock, like My Bloody Valentine. Inspired to pursue his passion, he began playing bass in his local church’s band, much like how John Legend and Justin Timberlake got their starts, and would later add ukulele to his list of skills. Four-strings, a great way to start, but Christian and I both agreed that guitar can be frustrating. So he did as bedroom artists do: he experimented, and put out his first snippets of music.
At 16, Christian released his debut EP Hope: A thirteen-minute acoustic heart throb that makes you consider calling up your high school crush to see if they are interested. Since its release, the album still resonates so clearly with our generation. It has racked up streams: hundreds-of-millions to be semi-exact. On the EP is Christian’s hit “Please Notice,” which will either leave you in tears or make you say, “wow, I just found my wedding song.” Also included is one of the best covers of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” a true classic.
“I think I was too young to grasp the gravity of it, but in a way, I was just like okay, let’s do the next thing. But in retrospect it’s the coolest thing ever,” Christian said about his beginnings.
And the next thing is definitely here.
On February 12th of this year, Christian dropped his EP “Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head.” An album that doesn’t actually hurt your head but will bless your ears. The 5-track EP reflects on Christian’s coming-of-age experience, with a particular focus on how last year shaped him as a young creative. Anxiety, confusion, but also self-growth, are explored in songs like “Beadache” and “Hearts Melt.” This is definitely an album that will sit you down to have a deep conversation about life in an empty parking lot at a midnight diner.
“It’s really fun. It’s the type of album you listen to by yourself in the car or while making breakfast. I want it to make people feel youthful and have some sense of connection and relatability,” Christian said.
For this journalist, it’s the perfect pairing with a glass of hot tea, (scolding please), and an open word document, ready to receive words for an article. It made me productive, what else could I ask for?
Before producing Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head, Christian moved to Los Angeles to fully pursue his musical career. Moving out of our parents’ place and into a new environment can be difficult and overwhelming, as we all know. But diving into something new–something creative–can change us for the better. After listening to the EP, I knew I had to ask Christian about how he has become a new person and artist through this journey.
“I went through a lot of emotional growth and realizing that this is a career, and it’s my passion. It’s hard to look at it as a job, but that’s what it is. I have to think things out before taking action,” Christian said.
This new EP was born at Christian’s home in LA. The five songs were yielded from stories, experiences, and events from his personal life, which were kind of just mashed together. Whether it be a breakup story from a best friend or a passing comment from a stranger, inspiration struck on every palm tree-lined street.
In combination with the song writing process, Christian revealed to me that the album is kind of an experiment with shoegaze style, a form of indie rock that uses a lot of distortion, and mixed vocals. The style originated in the United Kingdom and you can see it at work in artists like My Bloody Valentine and The Verve. While this style rings out in the album, it’s also visualized in Christian’s music video rendition of “Your Life Your Time.”
The music video is filled with LEDs, quick transitions, and features Christian in an awesome striped red sweater (definitely thrifted) with pilot goggles on his head. Filming began pre-COVID-19, and when the pandemic hit, his team was very cautious, with shooting being held in small groups.
Reflecting on “Your Life Your Time,” Christian gave me some insight about this fast-paced bop.
“It’s kind of just a breakup song, no one in particular, just a collection of people leaving my life, or myself leaving their lives,” Christian said.
Outside of music, life keeps happening for the twenty-year-old artist and it continues to show no signs of stopping. When he’s not spending hours and hours in the studio, Christian likes to unwind with a movie or write. We both agreed that it’s the perfect combo, especially accompanied by those chocolate chips and bananas he mentioned earlier. While music is his main focus right now, he’s still a multifaceted creative. Christian hopes to eventually combine his interests outside of music and write a screenplay, cartoon, or short.
I’m sure that everyone is tired of talking about the future during such an uncertain time, but as a young person, questions about the future are all you get. Especially for an artist on the rise like Christian. Even now when things are looking up, it’s hard to find footing. Still, I wanted to ask Christian a kind of difficult question:
What’s next for you?
“Hopefully a tour, hopefully an album, and hopefully feeling normal again.”
It’s a common thread, feeling hopeful. Hopeful that we will all be able to see Christian bang his head against his fridge live one day.
This also reminded me that Christian is just twenty-years-old. Even though his career has sequestered his personal life due to the exposing nature of social media, he’s still navigating the trials and tribulations of youth-hood. Moving out, living in LA, giving strangers on the internet access into his life. While his music draws inspiration from these things, there are still sides to Christian that his fans discover every time there’s a new song, a new album, and a new Instagram post. For him, being young has a whole new meaning.He left me with a thought, an undeniable truth, and a benchmark for a generation that spends its days focused on what the future holds.
“[To be young] means to be unprepared.”
Follow Christian on Instagram @christi2n, and check out his new EP “Heavy Hitting Hurts My Head” available on all streaming platforms.