Leah Turner Dishes On Her Sassy New Single And The Support System That Keeps Her Going
Leah Turner, a rising country artist with a unique, husky voice and fierce personality, scored her first Top 40 hit…
Leah Turner; Photo by Liza Hippler
Leah Turner, a rising country artist with a unique, husky voice and fierce personality, scored her first Top 40 hit in 2014 with “Take the Keys.” At the time, she was signed to Columbia Nashville and had an opening slot on the Brad Paisley tour alongside Randy Houser, Charlie Worsham and Dee Jay Silver.
After parting ways with her record label, Turner independently released a self-titled EP featuring her catchy breakup single “Sleep You Off.” Now, as a recent signee of L3 Entertainment and as a member of the CMT Next Women of Country class of 2019, Turner is back with her new single, “Blah Blah Blah.” Written with Willie Breeding and Jessica Cayne, the tune is an up-tempo jam that wastes no time calling out a significant other, who delivers too many broken promises.
“Blah Blah Blah” is the first taste of what fans can expect to hear from Turner’s forthcoming project, due out at an undisclosed date. Turner recently caught up with Country Now to talk about her new single, the accompanying video as well as what’s next for her in her music career.
Check out our Q&A with Leah Turner below.
Melinda Lorge: When did you know you wanted to be a country singer?
Leah Turner: I’ve always been in music. My father is a fifteen-time champion in the rodeo. He’s a cowboy, and we’ve always listened to country music. But the defining moment for me was when my parents took me to see Trisha Yearwood in concert – I believe it was at the Greek Theatre in California. Trisha hit this really big note and I started crying. From that day on I just said, ‘I want to invoke emotion in people like she just invoked in me.’
Lorge: Is there any particular singer or songwriter that you’d want to pattern your career after?
Turner: Trisha Yearwood just as an artist. She’s incredible. Her voice is incredible. She’s maintained an incredible career. Her and Garth, it seems like they have it all. That is something that I would love to model myself after. As a songwriter, Hillary Lindsey is just incredible. I had an opportunity to write my first album on Sony with her, Jesse Frasure and Cary Barlowe. I just actually wrote with Jesse Frasure the other day, and he wrote my first Top 40 single. He’s had, I think, ten number ones in the last four years. That type of talent and that type of push through, I look up to as well.
Lorge: “Blah Blah Blah” is the first single since your 2017 EP. What were you working on in between that time?
Turner: I was writing a lot, and I had just signed with a new management team, L3 Entertainment. They are the home of Justin Moore and Tyler Rich and, until recently, Dustin Lynch, so I am surrounded by an amazing team. We were just kind of figuring out what the best angle and best representation was because everyone knows me from my Top 40 single, “Take the Keys.” With the team, we wanted to make sure my reintroduction was exactly the message we wanted to have put out, so we were just reconvening with that and making sure that “Blah Blah Blah” was the first one to come out to be like, ‘I’m back, buckle up.’
Lorge: Can you tell me the inspiration behind the song?
Turner: I wrote it with Jessica Cayne and Willie Breeding. I had the title for a while, and I wrote it down when I was going through a relationship where there were a lot of overpromises and under-delivery. So I came in and I was like, ‘I have this idea.’ We literally took our text messages and we put it in the song and made it rhyme. That is exactly everything that was said. In the pre-chorus, I sing, ‘That’s what you said,” and I was literally like, “that’s what he said! I can’t believe that I believed it!” It’s what I was going through at that moment.
Lorge: What has the reaction to your new single been like?
Turner: It’s been awesome. Like this morning [on Facebook] I asked fans to send in videos of them sharing their actual “Blah Blah Blah” story. This girl sent one in, and she goes, ‘Girl, I dated this guy for two years and all I heard was, ‘blah, blah, blah,’ so you know what I did?’ She told me the whole story in a video because we’re going to put it with a fan-video. So, it’s kind of a song that everyone can relate to and that’s what I’ve been seeing. People are going in and being like, ‘Oh my God, my ‘blah, blah, blah’ story’, or ‘that hit me in my soul,’ or ‘this guy did this’ or ‘this girl was like this’ with this song. So, it’s a universal statement of just like ‘whatever, that’s BS.’
Lorge: What was it like shooting the music video?
Turner: It was so much fun because, for one, the guy that shot it, Cody Villalobos, he does all of Justin Moore’s videos. He worked for my management company. So right there, everybody already kind of gets you, and it’s like a family. I had two of my best friends in that video – Tara Thompson and Kristen Brust. Kristen is Preston Brust’s wife from LoCash, and she’s like a sister to me. Then Jessica [Cayne] was also in it. She’s the co-writer on the song. So you had a bunch of people who were true friends, and everyone wants to see it succeed because they are all so invested. So, we just had an absolute blast dancing around. Just really making it fun, and sassy.
Lorge: You’re also releasing a Spanish version of “Blah Blah Blah.” What was the decision behind that?
Turner: I’m half Mexican, and I also speak Spanish. So I have blonde hair and blue eyes. My father has blonde hair and blue eyes, and then my mom is Mexican. So my manager was like, ‘Okay, we’ve got to put this out.’ We’re going to put it out in Spanglish though so we don’t put aside 75% of the country music fans. But, there is such a growing market of Latinos that are coming up, and that love country music. It’s just cool for them because I speak their language. I have the same blood running through my veins.
Lorge: What does it mean to you to be in the 2019 “CMT Next Women of Country” class?
Turner: It’s just another validation that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and dreams do come true. It’s, for me, like a little God-wink like, ‘I got you. Keep going.’ To be surrounded by such amazing women like Ingrid Andress and Cassadee Pope – because she was there and she inducted us all into it. Stephanie Quayle, Tenille Townes – those are some of the girls that I was inducted with. I mean those are some incredible talents. So to be a part of that class and to be considered part of that caliber is such a blessing, and an honor.
Lorge: What keeps you going as an artist in this ever-changing industry?
Turner: You’ve invested so much time in this dream, and you’ve just got to keep going, and be creative and reinvent yourself. Not only that but also be your own self-motivator. I have a great support system that surrounds me. I have my mother and father first and foremost. I have some amazing girlfriends and a great team that surrounds me. When the going gets tough, and when my strength gives out, their strength kicks in. Also, just knowing that this is a promise God has given me – and a talent. He doesn’t bring you this far to let you fall on your face. When you know that, you just kind of dig deep into the saddle and take a deep breath and go after it.
Lorge: What’s next for you?
Turner: We’re going to release ‘Blah Blah Blah’ in Spanish. Then we’re gearing up to release an EP. We’ve got the songs, but you always want to see if you can outdo it, so I’m also writing a little bit more. I think we’ll release an EP, and probably after this, release another single. I think we have the one that we want to release, but, as I said, you always want to see if you can outdo that one. Then my agent is looking at dates and some fall tours. So I’ll be able to go and get back on the road again, and make new fans and reconnect with ones that have been with me since day one.
Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.