Photo courtesy artist

“Kami Leonne,” a name possibly unbeknownst to you prior to this moment. You’re sat wondering of the presence her signature commands, the sense of familiarity it evokes. Your soul is acknowledging that you have arrived at something special, an artist with boundless potential. Here at Variance we felt the same intuitive sensation and, as they say, trust your gut. Kami Leonne is a star in the making, and you’ve arrived to the party early. 

Considering how to define Kami’s sound? You’re not alone, the Congolese harmonizer harbours strong R&B influence on first impression, yet infused with afro-beats, as heard on tracks such as Zonga. Such a fresh sound is further complimented by the celestial-like-beats and hypnotic vocals of records such as “CHAUD,” a favourite here at Variance. Besides the new track from single “BODY/CHAUD,” the songstress boasts an array of indulgent and energising, yet soothing tracks across her budding discography.

With so much yet to be discovered about this exciting artist, we asked Kami a few questions:

How did you find your way into making music?

I always knew it was the path God chose for me, and it was just a matter of me finding the courage to follow my dreams. I remember going to Guitar Center in Hollywood 4 years ago and I bought myself a mic, interface and headphones. After that, I’d go to Youtube for beats and the rest unfolded from there.

Name three inspirations for your art, musical or otherwise?

I’m inspired by real life—the music I listen to, the people I speak to, the things I hear and just the world around me all have an impact. As long as there’s real emotion behind it, then I can write a story to support it.

Your dream collab, describe what it could sound like?

In an ideal world, I’d love to get in the studio with members from Buena Vista Social Club. I’d love to vibe, create and just talk to them so I could learn more about them and why their music sounds as good as it does. Otherwise, I don’t think I have a dream collaboration. I think because the artists I admire and listen to change often, the creatives I’d like to work with also constantly change. 

What does music mean to you, what do you hope to achieve?

Music is everything to me, as I’m sure it is to most artists. I feel really blessed to be able to create music that sounds really good at the stage that I am. 

When it comes to what I hope to achieve with my music, it’s mainly three things:

1. “I want to add positive value to people’s lives. You want something for when you wanna feel sexy? For when you wanna dance? For when you feel heartbroken? For your commute to work? As long as I can be a part of people’s everyday lives through my music then I’m happy.”

2. “I want to be a hope for African kids with the same dreams as me, especially if they’re Congolese. I studied the charts before 2020, and not only was there a shortage of African creatives, but most had European or North American passports. I want to be living proof that global reach and global domination can be done with our passports too - that it’s very well possible to go beyond just the Francophone world.”

3. “I’m focused on building a legacy and I know I’m already going to live forever because of my art. I’d like to spend the time I do have on earth spreading God’s love and light.”

What makes you unique to the music industry? What are people missing by not checking you out? 

I think the vocal tone God gave me and the way everything comes together from beat selection, melodies and even my storytelling style all make me unique. It’s simple but I think people miss out on really good music by not checking me out. I also think the ones that are here early have the privilege of seeing me develop and grow before their eyes, which I think in 3-4 years will be something many won’t get to say they were there for.

Visionary, an artist in acknowledgement of her own talents and the destiny that she will, with no doubt fulfill. Kami has her eyes laser focused on her message; one of inclusivity in an often western-centric market, a message of heartfelt emotion and passion, and one that sees her become an eternal artistic force. 

The sound of Kami Leonne is exciting and fresh, invigorating yet delicate. When taking a moment to check out this compelling prospect, try pairing Kami’s tracks with those of Amaaree; you’ll find yourself adrift in an emulsion of canorous instrumentals and infectious vocals. The verdict at Variance is that we’d love to see a collab between the two. But for now, check out Kami Leonne’s new single “BODY/CHAUD” on all platforms.