Interview by Carol Wright | Photographer: Justin Hammond

“With strong vocals, introspective songwriting, and clear star power, Dariann Leigh is one to watch in country music. Her latest single, “Leave,” is a vulnerable and relatable piece that focuses on how someone can end up in a relationship where they lose themself along the way, and it’s sure to play in your head on repeat.”

Carol Wright, Editor in Chief of NYOTA

We got to chat with singer/songwriter Dariann Leigh about her new song “Leave” and her advice for aspiring singers. “Leave” officially comes out tomorrow, here at NYOTA, we’re giving you the first listen. Check it out here!

Take us back to the beginning. When did you discover your passion for music and performing?

My passion for music and performing started at a very young age. I started in theater at just five years old and was singing well before then as well. I have used music to get through so many different things in my life. Not only is it my career, but music is also my home.  

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

My musical inspirations are Shania Twain, Johnny Cash, Carly Pearce, and Maren  Morris. They’re all trailblazers in their own ways, so really, they’re inspirations for my whole career, not just my music.  

Your single “Leave” explores relationships and giving all of yourself to someone only for them to leave. Did you pull from personal experiences to tell the story through the song?

“Leave” is absolutely pulled from personal experience. As well as the other writers on the song, Charly Reynolds, and Kamryn Palmer. Its bits and pieces of all of our stores.  That’s one of the reasons I love music. There’s something for everyone.

Did you have reservations about releasing “Leave” due to the vulnerable nature of the song?

Not at all. For me, some of my favorite songs are the most vulnerable. Songs like  Miranda Lambert’s “Tin Man” and “Hell and Back” by Maren Morris. I’ve always released music that I feel, and that feels raw to me. There’s something about listening to music and feeling the emotion. That’s art, that’s music in its truest form. To not release music that I feel, would feel like a disservice to my artistry. I hope that other people can relate to this song and that it can become their song that they listen to, and walk away with their emotions feeling validated. Feeling like someone else understands them.

You worked with Charly Reynolds and Kamryn Palmer to write the song. What was that collaborative process like and did you learn a lot through working with them?

We wrote this song at the beginning of the pandemic, over zoom. As soon as we started talking, my dog felt the desire to walk all over and be the star of the show. It was pretty hysterical! It was truly a beautiful process. The relation of things we have experienced,  to finding the first lyrics, to creating the melody. Those are moments that I live for as an artist.  

What’s your advice for aspiring singers?

Take the first step. Make the move. Do what makes you the best version of yourself and what makes you a better artist. Practice your craft and work hard. When the going gets hard, and even when it gets harder – keep pushing. Keep making strides. Chase your dreams and make them your reality. You’ve got this!