Rave Jungle interview: Leah Culver is on fire and her inexorable flame is blinding

Leah Culver

To catch everyone up to speed, Leah Culver is on fire and her inexorable flame is blinding. While paving her own way and rising through the ranks to become ATL EDM royalty, the artist formerly known as MK Ultra managed to break out into the spotlight of the abyss that is dance music; and she earned every bit of it. Nothing was handed to this next level artist, she went out and got it, and she did it with style, grace, finesse, a positive message, and an individual sound that has and will continue to grow and evolve with her.

Over the years Culver put in work to levitate her music career and follow her heart. She left her mark everywhere she went as she turned dance floors into ruins and wrecked the party every chance she got. As time progressed she would gain opportunities to showcase her talents on some pretty hefty stages including festival giant Tomorrowworld, every time proving that she deserved to be exactly where she was standing.

Tenacity, raw-talent, and an ever-glowing light coagulated to help this artist find her way and really come into her own as a musician. Culver does way more than just press buttons and combine sounds, this elegant artist knows no bounds and is limitless in potential; she plays many different instruments, produces music, sings, and performs as a DJ. The music inside of her has become so loud that she couldn’t stop at this point even if she wanted to.

Over time she has learned to focus and hone in on her skills, and she is currently about to burst at the seams with success. She recently gained credentials as Student of the Year after graduating from the legendary production and music school Icon Collective, and anybody that is not familiar with the name Leah Culver without a doubt will be in a very short period of time.

As a part of the Atlanta music scene, we have been able to firsthand watch her evolve into the dynamo that she is today, and it has been impressive, to say the least. Throughout the years she has produced some spellbinding moments onstage and has captivated the hearts of ATLiens and beyond.

This year at Imagine we were expecting something remarkable out of her headlining set, but we did not now that we were in for one of the most profound sets in festival history; she absolutely killed it and the only thoughts available were “oh my goodness, she did it, she truly ascended and found a way to tap into her full potential. She found her flow state and now she is a dominating force”.

What everybody witnessed was an artist fully discovering her sound while being able to apply and display it flawlessly. Following her sole performance at Imagine we had the pleasure to sit down with this remarkable human for a few minutes and talk with her about her journey, passion, and direction, here was our discussion.

While watching your climb over the years, we feel like it is important for people to understand that you have put in a tremendous amount of heart, soul, and work into your career. Can you talk a little bit about your journey?

I think that when you feel passionate about anything you find a way to make it happen. If you want something bad enough you just go do it, you go out and get it no matter what, because you just want to. I mean there’s work, for sure, there is definitely work, and hours; but it is fun. I would say that the journey has been incredible and I am very grateful for the ability to do what I want to do. We can all do what we want to do, it’s like watering flowers; they grow when you put water, energy, and love into.

We were there at Tomorrowworld, Counterpoint, many of your local sets throughout time, and most of your sets at Imagine. We were always captivated by you, but what you did at Imagine last night was something completely different. You really killed it! How did it feel to unleash such a powerful set?

I am going to be really honest with you. I have been rehearsing choreography for three weeks to do that last night and there were people in the crowd that I had to impress and it was a showcase. I have never had a showcase before and it depends on crowd reaction and if they are having fun and loving it or not. I am usually not too nervous before I perform, but the night before I was feeling pretty nervous. Right before I got on stage I was incredibly nervous, but it’s like when you get on a bike. You just start and then you realize that you know exactly what to do. In those high-intense environments, it is all energy.

You are a focal point for thousands of people and you are receiving and giving out energy and it is insane. It is kind of crazy to explain to you how it feels. It is obviously a rush, almost to the point that you blackout but you have moments of clarity in the midst of it.

Last night was very important and special because it was different as you saw. We spent so much time rehearsing and practicing that we all just hoped that it would go according to plan, but when you are up there doing it it is happening really fast. There was a moment with one of the dancers, and I am pretty sure that he remembers the moment too where we looked at each other and came back to Earth together and had kind of an astonished feeling.

Can you tell us more about Alpenglow?

Oh? Ya! So, following the release of my EP Demons, I had intentions to make an album or EP titled Alpenglow. Let me explain to you what it means. What Alpenglow is when you look at a mountain during sunrise or sunset and it is profoundly glowing.

In LA where I was going to school and constantly in the studio I was always getting home right around the time the sun was coming up and I would always see the gorgeous reddish colored glow coming off the Hollywood hills. I was constantly awestruck by it and knew that there had to be a name for the special glow so I Googled it and learned that it was called Alpenglow, so I wanted to make an EP or album titled that to honor it.

So many shifts have happened over the last year, and now I am not sure that I will release an entity called Alpenglow because of the many shifts that have happened with me and my team. It has grown from something so much bigger from that to looking at a mountain, to like an actual mountain happening. Soon you guys will know.

So it is safe to say that whatever it is that comes out will be a little different from your 2018 EP Demons?

Yes, one hundred percent. As my growth continues so will my music development. I am curious myself to see what the boundaries or non-boundaries will be. That is in the process of being decided right now. As you are probably aware I am somebody that musically likes to smash it in the face, but on the other hand, I can do this other thing, so my team and I are currently figuring out what exactly that looks like. Who knows, time will tell.

It is awesome that you take life experiences and implement it into your artwork. We really respect that aspect of you as an artist!

Thank you! It is the most honest way for people to come up with stuff, and honestly, how can you not? It is art, you kind of throw everything into auditory or visual art and it is important for people to pour themselves into it.

What is your favorite thing about dance music culture?

Unity.

So you know just as well as anyone that it takes grit to make it in the music machine. Do you have any words of inspiration for the aspiring artists out there that may be ready to throw in the towel?

I think that if they are ready to throw in the towel then they do not want it enough.

You have been getting a lot of well deserved national attention since your EP Releases including the one you did with Virtual Riot (Preset Junkies) and your top 20 Billboard track “Fly” that you did with Marshmello. How does it feel to hit those milestones in your career?

My first gut instinct is to say that it is surreal, but actually it is not. It is just friendships and having similar interests with like-minded people. It is truly special, but not really surreal. Any chance that you have to create something that has the ability to impact other peoples lives is special.

Marshmello and Virtual Riot are both really amazing people on so many different levels. If you ever read or see any of my interviews online you will hear me talk about how pure Virtual Riot is. He is a genuine person that makes genuine music and I am grateful to know him.

Thank you so much for your time. We love the music that you make and the positive message that you spread.

You are welcome! Thank you as well! I would like to say that after doing this for so long I can see why some artist’s hearts do harden and why they become a little more closed off, but one can only hope that people find a way to stay good and kind in their hearts. It has been awesome talking with you, hope you have a stellar night.

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