Listen to our exclusive interview above with folk-rock artist Leo Sawikin who spoke to Tara about recording his first solo album, ‘Row Me Away,’ songwriting influences, how he got started in music, plans for new music,
dream collaborations and more.
Fast making a name for himself as an existential folk-rock artist, it’s surprising how uplifting Leo Sawikin’s music can actually be. The third single from the full length debut album Row Me Away, ‘Born Too Late’ is a driving, energetic lamentation about feeling out of time. It may sound oxymoronic, but that’s just the kind of artist Sawikin is.
Taking cues from sporadic and seemingly unrelated moments in musical history, Leo Sawikin presents himself very much as an old soul in a young body. His music is very much inspired by this character trait, as it constantly feels simultaneously old and new, familiar and strange, content yet longing for something a little… more. Title track ‘Row Me Away’ encapsulates this perfectly with its feeling of looking for something new in an old and tired world.
The album as a whole tackles the anxieties that come with living in the modern world, feeling unsatisfied with the daily interactions which so often fade into significance when put into context of the wider picture. Never despairing, Row Me Away’s true triumph is its ability to acknowledge all of this discomfort and panic, and decide to soldier on, regardless.
It reflects this feeling that you’ve missed out on the best the world has to offer. It’s kind of like trying to figure out what you do after everything falls apart. The pandemic, which none of us expected, gives the songs more power. In the old world, we could distract ourselves with our day to day lives, but now we’re forced to stare down just how fragile everything is.
The introduction to this album cycle began with lead single ‘A Whole World Waiting’, which is a mature and measured response to always feeling like someone else has it better, that looks at the world’s problems and wonders why there is such a lack of compassion. Instead, compassion and companionship is created through his music. The title track followed. ‘Row Me Away’ was characterised by an other-worldly vibe mixed with nostalgic grunge elements from the ‘90s.
The third single from the album cycle is ‘Born Too Late’, a driving number which instantly smacks of the Beatles’ Helter Skelter as well as Bruno Mars and Sawikin’s beloved Carol King. Beautiful, fragile, soulful and spirited all at once, ‘Born Too Late’ acts as the perfect album teaser and introduction, setting up Row Me Away to be the perfect introduction to the artist who sees things as they are, but has the strength to carry on through it all anyway.
EP collaborators include American R&B singer Toni Romiti and Russ, while credits include her long-term collaborators THE INVISIBLE MEN, as well as JEFF + KEITH (Ella Mai and Camila Cabello) and producers SOS (Ty Dolla Sign and Trey Songz).
Listen to this song and more emerging artists just like this one on “Discover”, playing Sundays at 1.30 pm PT/4.30 pm ET on Channel R – Today’s Hits & Your All-Time Favorites.
Written by: Channel R