#GuitarGirl: Leah Keane

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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 11 – Spring 2020 – SoCal Inspired

About Me:

I am a 26-year-old folk singer-songwriter living her best life in San Diego, Calif. I play guitar, ukulele, and piano, and I am avidly pursuing a career as a full-time musician. From a young age, I showed an affinity for music. At 2, I was banging away on a tiny toy piano, taking “song requests,” and performing popular tunes such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” During high school, after years of lessons, I started composing my own music on the piano. I hadn’t begun writing serious lyrics, but the dream of being a singer-songwriter had been alive in me since my elementary years.

I attended UCSD, where I majored in economics and minored in music. During college, I taught myself how to play the ukulele. After graduating, I immediately began working as an estimator for a contracting management firm. A year in, the reality that I was living with little regard to the things that gave me joy hit me hard. So I took the money that I had been saving for grad school, quit my job, became a substitute teacher for a local school district for part-time work, and leaped into music. I began taking guitar lessons and working with a mentor. Flash forward to present day, and I am busy performing with my guitar and ukulele! I have had the opportunity to play for local TV, weddings, and hear my songs on local radio. In 2019, I released my very first EP, followed by two singles later in the year, to all digital platforms. I am on quite the journey, and I couldn’t be happier!

My Inspirations:

There are a handful of artists whom I admire, such as Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson, and James Taylor. I strive for their level of musicianship. However, my biggest inspiration comes from a place. In the summer of 2017, I had the incredible opportunity to live in Dingle, Ireland. I stayed with friends and helped run their horse stables. In the evening, the girls and I would walk into town for our pints, and there I was introduced to Irish music. At this point, I had only dared to perform in a few open mics back home. In Dingle, I was thrust into a dynamic music scene honoring both traditional and contemporary styles. I witnessed the important role musicians played. They were sources of joy, history, community, and empathy. I gained so much confidence. The guitar would be passed around the pub, and I’d hear the words “give us a song love,” and whether it was the pints, the charming accents, or the authenticity of the moment, I found my insecurities dwindling. Of everything that I was learning and working hard towards in the States, the performer and singer I am flourished in Ireland. They would say, “Thank you for sharing.” I try and remind myself that sharing is all it is – that way, I don’t get hung up on the desire for affirmation. I simply want to share my music with the world and create real, personal, and positive connections with people.

My Music:

I am a folk singer-songwriter with a unique vibrato and soulful sound. I use a Taylor GS Mini and a Kala Tenor Ukulele to write most of my songs. Through my music, I strive to offer listeners empathy and insight. Nearly all of my songs are stories, and I have no issue putting my diary on display. I enjoy employing themes of personal growth and self-love in my songs because that is what I am constantly working on in my own life. The music I have released so far has been purposefully simple, with usually only one or two instruments featured per track, allowing the listener to focus more on the authenticity of the lyrics. Whether it be heartbreak, loss, growth, or change, I want to remind people they are not alone.

You can find my music on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, and most other major digital platforms. Listeners can visit my website https://leahkeane.com/ or follow me on Instagram @leahkeaneofficial and Facebook ‘Leah Keane’s Music,” where I post weekly videos and updates on my musical journey!


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