Sonia Leigh Puts Her ‘Money’ Where Her Mouth Is With Debut Album on Zac Brown’s Label
For newcomer Sonia Leigh, music is all she's known. At the young age of 5, Leigh attended a Loretta Lynn concert with her father and she grasped the concept of "country music." Nearly 30 years later, Leigh is now getting her shot in the spotlight as one of the emerging stars from Zac Brown's Southern Ground Artists record label out of Atlanta, Ga. Her debut single, 'My Name Is Money,' will impact radio airwaves this summer, with her debut album to follow soon after. But for those who can't wait until then, log onto Leigh's website for a free download of 'My Name Is Money,' and get a feel for Sonia Leigh's music in our introductory interview.
What are some of your earliest memories of music growing up?
My father played guitar, so I grew up around music. He was in a band, and I was always trying to play his instruments. My grandfather and uncle played, so there was always music around our family gatherings. I think that it just started that way for me as a young person. I always wanted to play and started learning to play guitar at 10-years-old.
How did you wind up meeting Zac Brown?
His bass player John and I had done some recording together and I was in another band that used to play at Zac's restaurant, Zac's Place [in Atlanta]. There were two other girls in the band. He invited me to continue opening for him solo, and we just kind of became friends from there.
How was your experience working in the studio for your first album? Was it a pretty comfortable environment for you?
It was great! Zac produced it, so I was already comfortable working with him since we've known each other for so long. Pretty much everyone involved in the record were people who know my music, so it was a natural process. It took a while to finish because Zac was on the road in between producing the songs. He did some engineering and producing as well in Nashville, and I did some work with him at his house, which was great. He was awesome. So it was cool.
I understand you've been doing some writing with Wyatt Durrette, who obviously has huge success as a writer on numerous Zac Brown Band songs. How much writing did you do on your album?
I wrote every song on the record except for two that me and Zac co-wrote together. It shows all different aspects of my writing, I think. It's a good broad perspective of who I am as a songwriter with all the different styles that I'm into.
What is something you learned about yourself through the creative process of making your first album?
I learned a lot about adaptation. Sometimes you have to be patient for things to happen. Sometimes you think you're ready, when you're not. Things happen in their own time, when they're supposed to, and you've just got to let them. So that's something I learned from making this record, the natural progression of things.
What is something you have learned from working with Zac?
He actually pushed me vocally in the studio. He definitely made me think some different things about approaching things vocally.
Watch Behind-the-Scenes Footage of Sonia Leigh Opening for Loretta Lynn in Concert