Leigh and Liam also known as Amber Leigh and Andrew Liam Trask are a fantastic musical duo that I’ve mentioned before when discussing Major and Minor Covers and in an introductory article here. I had the pleasure of interviewing Leigh about her and Liam’s work to further the discussion of their work.
Based out of Nashville, this duo brings a sweet southern sound all their own to YouTube and cover music. Ever since they were small, they have both had an affinity and a love for music. Leigh was born in Forest Virginia, and Liam in Memphis Tennessee and from there, their love for music only grew.
“Liam started playing piano when he was around 5 with his twin sister. I started playing and singing with my dad,” Leigh remembers.
It wasn’t long before their paths and their talents crossed as partners both musically and romantically. They met for the first time while attending Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Leigh was taking a voice major while Liam was in school as an accompanying pianist.
The first moment they met was remarkably romantic and of course musical, Leigh describes. “The first time I saw him play the piano he was performing ‘New York, New York’ for a girl in my class, and we later got engaged in New York, so that was a fun full-circle moment.”
Together they started making music in 2015 with a common message; ‘life is worth living, and love is worth trying’.
— Leigh & Liam (@leighandliam) February 15, 2018
They decided to make music together going by the name Leigh and Liam, which are their middle names.
“As a solo artist, I always went by my first and middle names – ‘Amber Leigh’ – and we thought ‘Leigh & Liam’ had a better feel to it than ‘Amber & Andrew’.” Explains Leigh.
Together, they bring their own kind of sound, one they describe as“Epic piano pop”. Though they weren’t always sure of their sound, claiming it was one of their biggest obstacles. They have quite a few artist’s influences such as Radiohead, Muse, Civil Wars, The Bird & The Bee, and Lorde. More than that, they had radically different musical upbringings in terms of genre. Liam was mostly raised on classical music, contemporary Christian, 60’s/70’s soft rock, and electronic pop. Leigh, on the other hand, was mostly raised on 80’s hair metal, 90’s grunge, and musical theatre. Their musical backgrounds were very different. But their time in Nashville provided an influence of blues and country music.
“Those influences mixed with his incredible piano chops and my love of larger-than-life vocal parts lead to a bit of a journey to settle on a sound we’re both in love with. But I am happy to say that between the two of us we can now turn just about any song into a rock opera.”
This amazing duo performs both covers and original songs. Between the two styles, there isn’t a preference for these artists. Their favourites depend on the day and the song not necessarily the way they sing the song. They both love to write music such as in their originals. They also love to pay tribute to the influential songs that made them the artists that they are today as well as to the new songs that provide a new challenge.
“Playing covers gives us a chance to be part of a conversation with a community of creators spanning far and wide,” Leigh explains, “and to express our specific relationship with a song through a different lens that hopefully allows the song itself to touch people in more ways than it may have originally.”
When it comes to choosing what to cover, Leigh admits that there aren’t set criteria. Instead, it’s more varied, “sometimes it’s an old favourite that’s been on our mind lately. Sometimes it’s our favourite new hit that we can’t get out of our head, but it’s always a song we have a lot of fun playing.”
Currently, they are living together in the UK on a narrowboat while Liam finishes the last few years for his PH.D. from Oxford University.
Writing away in the boat-home-studio 🎧 #piano #newmusic #boats #boat #boating #boatlife #houseboat #boathome #narrowboat #narrowboats #narrowboatlife #canallife #canalboat #boatstudio #homestudio #riverside #river #thamesriver #tinyhouse #tinyhome #musicislife pic.twitter.com/jWFCR9cfIG
— Leigh & Liam (@leighandliam) September 4, 2018
“Our dream for after school is to move onto a sailboat and tour the US and Europe via water, so keep on the lookout for lots of fun boat music videos,” She said.
They are definitely delivering on their promise. Here are a few videos straight from their boat.
They’ve created music for years. and together it’s been challenging but it always ends in something fulfilling and rewarding.
“We’re both so passionate about what we want to create, and when we’re really meshing it’s the most rewarding feeling – just creating something new and full of who we are together. And when it’s not meshing it can be challenging. Sometimes we just have to walk away and come back to it later, from another angle. The process always ends up being very fulfilling in the end though.”
Here are a few examples of their music, starting with their originals.
‘Rose coloured lenses’ is one of Leigh’s favourite musical memories. They travelled to Paris to perform the song on the lawn just in front of the Eiffel tower, making a gorgeous backdrop and ambiance for the music video.
“It was a whirlwind trip. We only had one day in Paris, and we carried all of our gear on our backs all day, including up all of the steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower,” She describes.
Leigh And Liam Highlighted Covers
And now for a few highlights of their cover songs.
“Music is so much about being able to be emotionally invested in a moment, and that ability can change from day to day, song to song, depending on how life is going at any given moment.”
~Amber Leigh Trask~