Paul Leion: “When You Do,” Raw Emotion, Lyrical Power and Ingenuity

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Paul Leion  is an English singer/songwriter, pianist, composer, arranger and record producer. Paul was born in Enfield, North London, to Cypriot parents. Leion recalls that by the time18 months old he was obsessed with the movie Bugsy Malone . He began piano and cello lessons at the age of 7.

In 2003, he enrolled at TVU, London College of Music and Media, where he studied Music Technology and was taught by the likes of Pip Williams (Status Quo, The Kinks). Pip referred to one of Leion’s song submissions as the “best f***ing thing he’d heard all year”. It was on this course of study that Paul’s songwriting ability was noted by his tutors and he graduated with a 1st. Following university, Paul began composing music for advertisements and short films and had several successful campaigns (including Greenpeace) run in Europe.

Paul says he has survived many things from encephalitis, bipolar disorder, chronic anxiety, addiction to prescription drugs, benzo-withdrawal and so on. 2012 saw Paul commit to recording his debut album, Bipolar. He worked on material with producer Benny D (Paloma Faith, Plan B) of Powerstudio in London, while the rest of the album is co-produced by Paul and producer/sound engineer Martin Knight. The album is set for release in November 2013, it’s a combination of pop, alternative and indie music, fusing a rich tapestry of sounds from Motown inspired to orchestral arrangements, electro/synth driven beats, to stripped back piano and vocals.

In the meantime we caught up with the “When You Do Ep/Bipolar Sampler”, containing the original edit plus 7 remixed versions of the song “When You Do”. I also heard the track entitled, “Upside Down”.

It has to be said that there are just too many machine-made, pop-orientated solo artists around these days. But one good thing about this is that it makes deserving artists like Paul Leion shine like gold. There is something in Paul’s music that is at the same time touching as it is harrowing. Some of the lyrics and the singing are so intense, that it can actually feel like Paul’s performing in the room you’re sitting in.

Songs like ‘When You Do’ and ‘Upside Down’ are emotional songs of epic proportions, harking back to the wonderful singer-songwriter days, yet with a very modern, rhythmic, urban music feel. Paul’s compositions are powerful songs held together by his piercing voice, together with strong lyrical imagery of love, loss and passion.

Far too often one has to appreciate a musician’s work either for its raw emotion or for its lyrical power and ingenuity, because finding the right mix of both is an absolute rarity. Paul Leion achieves that rarity, superbly on his debut here.

Paul’s music that can’t fail to draw you in; his melodic vocals are alluring and seductive; they induce a sense of life and wrap around you, whilst piercing you with its reverberating, haunting tones. The musical arrangements and production don’t fall far behind either, as does the instrumental work, which is spectacular; perfectly reflecting the mood Paul intends to cast on each piece.

Prepare yourself for the Bipolar album if you want to find some music that will grab you and really make you feel like there are still brilliant musicians out there; musicians writing from the heart, writing for the sake of expression, not for the sheer want of money.

Paul-Leion-profile

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