Fly your L’Freaq Flag High
Lea Capelli is a rising diva, a vocalist of remarkable skill and depth. She has a vocal range to challenge Annie Lennox, and go up against the intensity of Lady GaGa. A member of the LGBTQ+ community, loud and proud, she is all that and more. She goes by L’Freaq and believe me, she lives up to that title. Her artistic visuals are just as stunning as her vocal talent.
She has just released an EP called “Show Girl”, and is currently doing a residency in Las Vegas. She is a great deal to take in. As a teenager she performed with ABBA, but, that is a different world than what she gives us. “Long Live L’Freaq”
When listening to her new EP, prepare to get knocked over, you have been warned. Here are some excerpts from the interview.
Jeremy Hinks: Hi Leah, welcome, glad to get back with you on the new work. “Show Girl”, you told me it was coming last we talked, and I’ll just tell you this is the music you were born to make.
L’Freaq: Yes thank you, there was a lot of work that went into this, I am glad it finally came out.
JH: Well, like we talked last time, “Weird Awakenings” and I loved it, but this one, I think the instinct readers will appreciate the sultry side of you. BUT, This goes back to the last interview we did, and I saw on the camera what I thought was a horse whip on the wall behind you. And I asked you if that’s what it was, and you were not surprised that I was even asking that. But then you looked and said, “Oh, no that’s just a lanyard with my keys hanging there.” Then that was where the whole conversation went. So, like your previous work was a “Dark Jazz” that I would have imagined in the Baz Lurhman version of the Ethan Hawk version of “Great Expectations” (totally obscure, but that’s what it did for me). You had some Sade in there. Especially “Moonlight”.
LF: Moonlight, that was my favorite song on “Weird Awakenings” and it still gets lots of love from people. I wrote that song about peoples expectations of me, and me skirting those expectations, and being that person that is almost untouchable in some weird futuristic way. Almost like a Sci Fi kind of song. Each song on that record was like an over glamorized version of what I was going through.
JH: But then does that have anything to do with the cover photo (of her all tied up)?
LF: Yea, that was symbolic of begin bound by societies expectations, all tied up in the Shibari ropes. And in the video you see me cutting myself loose and then falling into my own arms. Being symbolic of you being your own savior.
JH: Yeah, that was where it all went into that completely different direction. Then we got into the Puritans, and their BDSM purification torture to rid themselves of sexual urges. Then you said “I’d go get purified a lot man.”
LF: Well, I mean, it sounds like something that is not terrible. (laughing) Somehow people kept going back. I would have been burned at the stake as a witch. Just don’t know what others are into.
JH: So, on “Weird Awakenings” I hadn’t seen the videos, I just heard the music, but you explained that It was about dialing down the confusion and realizing that you are bisexual. Bring that to the surface.
LF: That video was my first foray into even talking about it. It was never a hard “coming out” thing, I was just softly putting out things that resonated with my sexuality, that I thought may resonate with people that felt that way. So I made that video about my first experience I had dating a woman. My best friend played her in the video, and we shot over 3 days and smoked a bunch.
JH: So the song “Gimmick” I mean, the entire new EP blew me out of my socks, this is “Adele” quality with the “Imma sucker Punch you” intensity.
LF: That was about an audition for a singing show, and one of the celebrity judge called me “Gimmicky” and that song was a dis to that judge.
JH: See, that’s your whole gimmick, someone insults, and you turn around and say “Hell, yeah, I’ll ride that shit” with a cowboy hat on.
LF: I think it’s cool to write songs from an empowered perspective, because that experience was terrible, and I couldn’t even talk about for months, but it was a healing process in a tongue and cheek way.
JH: You seem to be the one to take your punches and figure out where can you manifest this. That is something that I am impressed about you, like when you said “You called me a FREAK, and now that’s MY NAME”. I asked you about your name, and you said when you were younger everyone called you a freak. Then you decided you were going to own it, now you’re out there flying your “L’Freak Flag” high. That’s pretty empowering. Reminds me of how I got bent out of shape with my friend Jim Marcus in Go Fight sang a song “Queer The World”. I thought it was a slur, and he explained that by saying it now, they are taking it back and its empowering.
LF: Yeah, I had to have a talk with my mom about that, how now people want to identify as “Queer” as a “Freak” or a “Bitch” subverting the nature of those words is interesting. At the end of the day all I want to do is help empower the younger generation, empower them to feel like they have a place to belong.
JH: You have taken a different approach yes. But, you lyrics, are VICIOUS now. “No one cares about the pain just as long as you bleed, I might do some damage, but at least you’ve been told, Killing the time with dollars, I’m going to break the mold.” That and a broken nose photo on the cover.
LF: Yeah the single cover was a “Fight Club” vibe, representing the struggle. But it was all illuminating the struggles that we go through, the the chorus just break free from it all, and say “Fuck it, Imma be loud and proud”.
JH: It was over the top loud flamboyant, but your vocals were still in control, but it was still better than any other vocal you have ever done. You were Aretha Franklin, Adele, Annie Lennox, this time you were all of that, and just LOUD. I remembered dancing to a band called Vicious Pink in the late 80s, in these “New Wave” dance clubs, in our euro-mullets, in pegged pants, under neon lights, it gave me all of that again, made remember how it all felt, back then. What are you doing right now?
LF: I am doing a residency in Las Vegas, as “Amy Winehouse” it’s in a show about musicians who have died at the Virgin hotel, it’s called “27” . I am doing that as long as they will have us. But, hey, if I can get out and tour, I’d love to get on tour with the Lords of Acid maybe.
JH: Tell me about “Take You Down.”
LF: That was the first song we wrote for the record, it was about my hear break but coming from a more aggressive angry place. The first date I had with this person was a concert to see the Wu-Tang Clan at the Sydney Opera house, so we fit in all these Wu-Tank references, it’s a nod to this person.
JH: Well, I’ve been on this album for a while, I LOVE my job. So, Imma tell everyone they gotta go to see Amy Winehouse. Do you get time to be L’Freak? I mean, you’re in a hotel in Vegas doing a residency.
LF: I am actually now working on a new album, full length. It’s going to be a bit more stripped back, and a bit earthy. I might print vinyl down the road.
JH: Well, I wish you all of the success with the new album, you deserve it.
The full audio of this interview can be streamed here.
Learn more about L’Freaq at the following: