Looking to a slow, piano-backed ballad may seem like an easy default for singer/songwriters when drawing from emotional personal experiences. But UK import Leon Else has turned his personal past into an upbeat, synth-laden bop reminiscent of your favorite '80s pop hits in “What I Won’t Do.”
“I wrote this song over a year ago when I was in a different place than where I am now,” Else told OUT. “It’s about wanting a love that I didn’t think I could have, was allowed to have, or deserved to have.”
Else says the single has become his hype song about shedding the many masks we wear for the outside world. "It’s about finding acceptance in yourself,” he said, the song’s optimistic tone reflecting the journey Else wants on his way to finding love—leaving himself open, but maintaining control.
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Having suffered through bullying at school and at home as a child, Else hopes his music truly helps people. “I write honestly about experiences of life in my music,” he said. “Be proud of who you are and, be proud of what you stand for, you are in charge of your life.”
Else appeared on the Elvis Duran Show on Z100 earlier this week in New York, and will make both his personal and professional Pride debut in LA this year. “I’ve never been to a Pride ever,” he said. “I wasn’t really comfortable with myself.” There are few better audiences than a gaggle of gays during Pride, so Else’s first experience should be one to remember. Listen to “What I Won’t Do,” below.