Getting To Know – Leif Coffield
A&A – For first-time listeners, how would you describe your music and who are your influences?
Leif Coffield – My exact words to people are “ehhh it’s like a kinda poppy electronic, hip hop ehh aye not too sure, I’ll just show you” *proceeds to take out phone and show vaguely interested person a track that I hope translates well through a phone speaker*. I would say my main influences are people like Kanye West, Bon Iver, and most recently Billie Eilish, who in terms of production have brought simplicity and originality to familiarity, which is a combination I strive for. In terms of songwriting, I adore the writing style of the oldies – Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, even Don McLean, where it feels as if you’re being taken on a journey and there’s a story being told.
A&A – Has music been a major part in your life? Who do you remember listening to when you were a kid?
LC – Yeah absolutely, music has always been integral in our family and for as long as I can remember we’ve been surrounded by instruments and music in general! I remember specifically being 8 years old is and sitting on the bottom step of the stairs with my Dad’s iPod in just listening to the likes of Dire Straits – who still to this day are one of my all time favourites – and banging the bongo’s to the sweet sounds caressing my ear drums. As I got older and into my angsty teen years my love for guitars developed into liking Metal and Death Metal. Children of Bodom to be precise.
A&A – It’s a bit of a weird time we are going thought just now. How are you keeping busy and productive during the lockdown?
LC – It is indeed. After a shaky few days recently I’ve gotten myself into more of a sense of normality and structuring my day and ensuring I’m getting outside to enjoy the weather and walk around. We’re fortunate enough to live on a farm in the countryside so there’s nobody around to contaminate our dear uninfected area of recreation.
A&A – You have released a new single ‘monsta – san’. Tell us about the tune.
LC – So it started with the guitars and drums and I was keen to have a kind of chunky-chunky guitar sound and bluesy type chords. The drums followed and it only seemed polite to offer a marching type beat. The lyrics were centered around a theme of being fantasy like, alluding to a world created by a manipulative girl in where dreams go to die. Nice and cheery. The chorus I suppose is somewhat reminiscent of ‘Psychokiller’. I really love just messing around with my voice as I don’t and wouldn’t claim to be a particularly excellent singer, so I just find ways to use it like an instrument.
A&A – You lived in a caravan for a while. What were the circumstances and experience of that? Did it influence your musical output?
LC – A horrendous time. I wish it was a nice caravan but unfortunately we purchased two bedraggled, forgotten-about caravans for the mere price of 800 buck. They had clearly been subjected to a good few years of decay. We lived in them for around two years while we built our house on the same site. Insulation in these things was pretty much nonexistent so winters were extreme (with no central heating) and summers were piping hot. Air circulation? I wish! Damp and mould spores? A handful please if you don’t mind.
It did influence my musical output as I realised I had to make do with what I had, and spend as much time creating as I could. It was through this experience that I began recording regular house-hold items as I didn’t have a great deal of instruments lying around.
A&A – What is your writing and recording process?
LC – My process usually goes between either starting with an idea I’ve recorded on to my phone and then I’ll roughly have the track planned out in my head and how I want it to sound. Or sitting in front of my laptop and just tinkering with different sounds and chord progressions and moods until I stumble on something I reckon I could turn into a track. When I’m writing lyrics I tend to suss out syllabically and rhythmically where I want words and syllables to go and what tones of words I want to go where etc. Then its a matter of fleshing it out to make words fit and try convey something that’s going on!
A&A – If you could collaborate with any artist or producer who would it be and why?
LC – That’s a tough one. My first thought would be either Kanye or Max Martin. Kanye because I think he has pushed the frontier of production and arrangement in music and has a style that I don’t think is rivaled for the purpose it’s intended for. Max Martin because I’d love to get a look into his process and see just how almost everything he does turns to gold.
A&A – This is a difficult question just now but what are your plans and hopes for when we get back to normal?
LC – To just get back to the grind full swing! Work and make some $$ so that I can pump it back into my music and just give it the best chances possible of being heard by all those lovely ears out there. Nothing else really planned apart from that.
A&A – If you could pick any song to describe yourself what would it be and why?
LC – 100% without a doubt would be ‘Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend’. No reason. I don’t even listen to it. I just thought it would be a funny and quirky response and people think I’m down to earth and relatable.