KELLI-LEIGH continues her unstoppable run of remarkable singles in 2020, with the sensual and smooth ‘Whiskey Midnight’, out now.
Known for her soaring vocals and instantly catchy dance classics, ‘Whiskey Midnightt’ sees Kelli-Leigh exploring a more intimate side to her sound. Its subtle synths and easy rhythms create one of the best slow-bangers you’ve heard in a long time.
“I loved writing ‘Whiskey Midnight’, it’s so sensual and sexy. Lyrically I loved playing off the Whiskey theme, the first line ‘you’re a whiskey after midnight’ came to me when hearing the synths in a session with Paul Harris & Sam Cramer and the rest just flowed from there,” explains Kelli-Leigh.
She added: “I actually really enjoy writing sexual lyrics, there’s a lot of freedom of expression in it. The song is about the need for some solo love, thinking about someone you can’t get out of your mind.”
The song is accompanied by a pre-lockdown filmed video, which Kelli-Leigh edited herself.
“I shot the video in a really cool space in East London. I had Rihanna Te Amo as a strong inspiration for the colouring, and Alex Crane the director smashed it with the lighting and composition.”
This is the second time Kelli-Leigh has worked with this team, who also created her video for ‘Cotton Clouds’ which Clash Magazine called “a euphoric, blissed out ode to new relationships.”
Few emerging artists know the music industry better than Kelli-Leigh. Her astonishing career spans a total of eight-years and includes over 500 million streams on Spotify, two UK numbers ones and three UK Top 10 hits.
Her unmistakable vocals feature on the club anthems, ‘More Than Friends’, ‘I Wanna Feel’ and the Billboard dance chart and Grammy nominated number 1 ‘I Got U’.
In 2010, Kelli-Leigh sang with Adele at the televised Royal Variety Performance and accompanied her on the rapidly-growing tour.
She sang with Adele at the Grammys in 2012 and the Academy Awards in 2013 and, as a BV, toured with her friend Leona Lewis and Jessie J, though the latter was overshadowed by personal trauma.
The day before Kelli-Leigh’s first gig with Jessie, she was involved in a car crash. With no obvious injuries, Kelli-Leigh performed the next day as planned.
She didn’t realise there was anything wrong until, during the tour, her back slowly started seizing up, the pain gradually increasing. She rallied through several more tour dates, ignoring the pain, and even jetting to New York to sing with Leona whilst on crutches. But the pain became so excruciating, she collapsed in Times Square.
Back home, Kelli-Leigh was diagnosed with a severely prolapsed disc and a fractured pelvis; injuries which would leave her hobbling around and even relying on a wheelchair at times, unable to work. She couldn’t complete Jessie’s tour.
Even with this set-back, her career showed no signs of slowing down; in 2014 she got a call to sing a sample of a Whitney Houston song for Duke Dumont.
They didn’t need her walking or even standing; just her power-vocals. ‘I Got You’ went on to be one of the biggest hits of the year, dominating radio playlists and the UK charts.
A month later, she was asked to sample Toni Braxton for ‘I Wanna Feel.’ It was another number one hit. “If I’d been on tour I might never have had the opportunity to sing on those tracks. You have to believe that everything happens for a reason.
“The problem was, however, my voice was everywhere but my name wasn’t anywhere.”
In 2015, Kelli-Leigh was asked to go back on the road: Adele was touring her 25 album.
She said no. “It was a huge risk. But I’d become so good at being in the background, being part of someone else’s journey. It was time for me to discover my own style and my own mindset.”
She set up her own company, Music Core, that same year, which would go on to become its own fully independent label.
The name not only relates to music being at the core of everything Kelli-Leigh does, but refers to the core strength she had to rebuild following her accident.
Going from strength to strength, Kelli-Leigh oversees every aspect of every element of her music and image that is put out to the world. She’s making her own music on her own terms and reaping the benefits.