Swedish country singer/songwriter TJ Leonard recently released his New Music Weekly Top 20 Chart ranking single “Remember Those Times” and the accompanying visual treatment. Be sure to check our review feature.
TJ was kind enough to give us some of his time for the below interview.
You began learning Swedish Folk music on the guitar at an early age… How is Swedish Folk similar to the country music you are releasing today?
Well, some of the instruments are the same and often times the song has a real story the same as in country. The melodies are a little bit different from country. Many of those who are into Swedish folk music are starting to play bluegrass and country probably cause they remind a little bit of each other.
What is the inspiration or story behind your new single “Remember Those Times”? Congrats on the New Music Weekly Charts by the way!!
Thanks 🙂 I got the idea from when me and my wife started to text each other instead of talking even though the both of us were sitting on the couch. We started to laugh about it end expanded on the subject that the internet can bring people together but just as well getting people distant from each other. I made up a story about a couple where that happened but I guess it could be a real story. People have said that they can relate to the story so I guess it says something.
Your musical journey has ran the gamut of genres from dance bands to pop to gospel and now country… What are 1 or 2 of your favorite memories?
The one memory that will stick with me for the rest of my life is when me and my grandpa played together. He’s my biggest inspiration and the one who passed his legacy over to me. Another one is when I was a backup singer to gospel artist Calvin Bridges from Chicago. We had a concert at a church and suddenly Calvin and the others started to move away from the stage, everyone but me! I had closed my eyes and was standing there alone on the stage and when I opened my eyes I had to look like it was suppose to be that way. Starting to do a little harmonies/wailing here and there HAHA!
What’s in store for TJ Leonard in 2016? Any tours or big events coming up?
Country isn’t that big in Sweden but I will make some gigs this summer. I will look into the German market and some other countries as well.
Me and another Swedish country artist have written a song that we will record and release together. The single will probably be released some time this spring.
What was the last song you listened to?
Tennesee Whiskey with Chris Stapleton. I’m really glad for his success. I’ve listened to The Steeldrivers (where he was lead singer) for years.
In the U.S. when people think country music they think Nashville but from my observations country music is more popular in Europe and Asia. How popular is country music in Sweden? Is there a big, vibrant scene there?
As I said above country isn’t that big in Sweden at least not when it comes to radio and TV. A lot of people love country music and I really hope the media will change so that country will be more accepted. There are a lot of very good country artists and musicians here in Sweden but it’s hard to get a contract with Swedish labels. There is a market for country music here, the labels just have to take the step to release all this awesome music.
Where can readers find you online? Stream or purchase your music?
The album is avaliable at Itunes/Apple music and Amazon and Spotify and they can listen to the song on my Facebook page as well. Search for TJ Leonard and you’ll find me. The video to my single Remember Those Times is out on youtube so please watch that.
Any last thoughts? Shout outs? Words of wisdom?
I want to thank all those who supports indie country artists. Readers, listeners, magazines, radio stations and tv-channels. Without you we can’t be heared or seen!