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Leigh-Anne Tickets

Leigh-Anne Pinnock’s return is an arrival. Coming from one of the world’s biggest pop groups, now venturing out on her own, her solo pop star career has been a lifetime in the making. With influences ranging from old school R&B to garage, right through to amapiano and reggae, this project will see Leigh-Anne embracing the full potential of her identity as the one and only star of the show. And working with a vast breadth of new collaborators, from afrobeats go-to P2J to R&B legend Darkchild or recent Stormzy collaborator Kassa Alexander, it’s fair to say fans should expect the unexpected.

Leigh-Anne's journey to develop her identity as a solo artist began during the early stages of the writing process at a camp in Jamaica, resulting in a rich and fruitful experience. Surrounded by a team of talented songwriters and producers, from Dyo to Supa Dups (Drake & Rihanna) and Danja (Timbaland, Mariah Carey), in her second home, Leigh-Anne describes the trip as transformative. This solo debut is centred around a trinity of facets that mark the rebirth of Leigh-Anne as we see her explore becoming a mother, a partner and a rising star and all the nuanced fragile and deep emotions that accompany them. From someone who dreamed big as a teenager, she reached the most ambitious heights she set for herself, overcoming the obstacles that came with it, and is now entering into this new chapter. “This is also about me finding my power again… saying I’m coming, I’m raring to go, I’ve still got this fire and I’m going to knock all your socks off,”

As the first glimpse into Leigh-Anne's rebirth as a solo artist, 'Don't Say Love' emerges as a modern track that taps into hyperactive garage in its interpretation. “I wanted to release something that was unexpected and most importantly give an introduction to what people can expect from me as a solo artist,” says Leigh-Anne. “I didn’t want to play it safe and I feel like ‘Don’t Say Love’ will definitely surprise people.” Simultaneously, with this new music, Leigh-Anne wants to share more of herself than she’s been able to in the past, touching upon black music references. To delve deep and more candidly into her emotional self. As part of a group, the amount you can express your individual story is naturally capped, but now in this new phase, the mic is all hers: “I've got so much to talk about, so much has gone on in my world that people don't know about, and it just feels great to lay it all out.” On the inspiration for the title, Leigh-Anne explains, “I am a very, very fragile, sensitive person. But I always feel like I have to play the strong, strong woman. I’ve been surrounded by so many strong women in my life and in my family,” she says, gushing proudly about her sisters and her mothers as a source of inspiration and motivation for her.

Visually, Leigh-Anne’s just as excited to explore new avenues of expression too - whether that’s through expressive, artistic hairstyles, daring fashion or cinematic visuals. Under the creative direction of Jenke Ahmed, who has previously collaborated with the likes of Chanel, Beyoncé and Naomi Campbell, Leigh-Anne states, “stepping into my solo era with the creative assistance from Jenke has been liberating! I can really push my creative abilities and everything I do is influenced by me, for me and telling my personal story.” That optimism and excitement to cultivate a name for herself and to do so firmly on her own terms, is precious. “I know who the hell I am and I’m so proud of who I am,” she beams. “For a very long time, I just wanted to fit in. And now it’s like no, I don’t have to blend in, I don’t have to do any of that. I can just be unapologetically me… when I felt overlooked, I would say to myself, you might not have seen me then but you're gonna see me now. When I come out, you're not going to have a choice but to see me.”

Growing up Leigh-Anne had popstar tunnel vision. In 2011 Leigh-Anne auditioned for X Factor. The rest of that journey is, of course, history. 9 years later, Little Mix are one of the best-selling girl groups of all time as well as one of the UK’s biggest-selling acts, with over 50 million records sold worldwide. However, being a part of one of the world’s biggest pop groups in a predominantly white industry, touring predominantly white countries, came with its own unique set of challenges too, especially as a mixed-race Black woman. On stage, she remembers feeling like no one was paying her any attention at all and eventually, it all became too much: “I’d cry to my manager all the time just like why do I feel like this, why am I not getting the attention I deserve? Why am I being made to feel like I’m worthless?” At first, Leigh-Anne took her experience as a result of personal failings, and for years was trying to prove herself. It was only when the group toured in Brazil that she experienced crowds with tons of Black fans, calling out her name and cheering for her. An encounter with a fan on that trip ended up going viral when Leigh-Anne was overcome with emotion as they expressed their gratitude and love for her.

In 2020, in the wake of the uplift in the Black Lives Matter, Leigh-Anne took to social media to speak out on her experiences of feeling unseen, unheard and unsupported through the 9 years of touring the world and the response was overwhelming. “My fans started a hashtag: we see you, we hear you, we cheer you on. It was really lovely.” other Black women in girl groups even reached out to let her know how much what she did meant to them, saying, “it felt like I’m not crazy, this hasn’t been in my head the whole time.” Off the back of such an incredible reception, Leigh-Anne presented a BBC documentary on the topic called Race, Pop and Power and launched her own initiative The Black Fund to help support Black charities and organisations. “And now that I’ve spoken up about my experiences it’s given me the power to walk in my shoes more confidently and own it more.” With the charity, she wants to weave that element of activism into any brand work she takes on in the future too, “I have this platform and I want to make a difference… People don’t have an excuse anymore.” And while the documentary scratched the surface of Leigh-Anne’s experiences within the music industry, there’s plenty more to come from the star on telling her own story. Her memoir Believe, written with author Natalie Morris, is set to be published later this year.

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