Mesmerizing audiences with her somber and subtle artistry, award-winning singer/songwriter, Leah Nobel, fuses pop and folk to create a timeless yet cutting-edge sound. An Arizona native, Leah currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee and works as a songwriter at Big Yellow Dog Music. A multi-dimensional creative, Leah also writes dark pop music under the alter ego, "Hael".
Leah’s passion for music began at a young age, as her parents sang folk songs and nursery rhymes to her before bed. She danced around the house listening to artists like The Beach Boys, Paul Simon, and Abba – whom she credits for giving her an early affection for well-crafted Pop music. As a child, she expressed her creativity through musical theatre and choir, but it wasn’t until her teen years that she discovered songwriting. While listening to Folk/Pop artists that belonged to the Hotel Cafe scene in Los Angeles, like Ingrid Michaelson and Joshua Radin, she absorbed a unique musical style that inspired her to create her own music. Prompted by the encouragement of her guitar teacher and with little formal training, Leah wrote her first song. What first started as an experiment, lead Leah to find her calling.
During college, Leah embraced another talent she didn’t know she possessed: performing. Similar to her experience with songwriting, Leah needed a little push to take the stage. She had no prior experience playing her intimate songs in front of anyone, not even her family. After a friend signed her up for an Open Mic Night without her permission, Leah faced her fear with trembling hands and took the stage for the first time. It was on that stage that she began to understand her purpose. Continuing on a path of vulnerability, Leah began playing various shows around Arizona.
In 2009, Leah was given the opportunity to record her music with musician and producer, Mark Prentice in Nashville, Tennessee. Mark and Leah had an instantaneous connection and he produced her first three projects. She describes the experience as “serendipitous.” She knew she loved songwriting, but she had no idea how much until she got into the studio. It was while creating these projects, alongside Mark – who she refers to as her “Nashville Dad” – that she had that magical moment of hearing all her songs in one body of work. It changed everything. At this point, she already knew that music was “it.”
After earning her Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism and French from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, Leah moved to Austin, Texas. During her time in Austin she worked as a musician, model and actor. She began playing quiet solo acoustic shows at coffee houses and wineries, then formed a backing band in 2013- transitioning to larger stages.
Some of Leah's most noteworthy accomplishments include: wins in the Indie International and John Lennon Songwriting competitions, NPR Tiny Desk On The Road Showcase, global soundtrack syncs at Starbucks and Teavana, and TV syncs on Cinemax, CW, and Freeform. She has been featured in Paste, POP Matters and American Songwriter's Daily Discovery.
A songwriter for nearly a decade, Leah focuses on making music to communicate and connect with people from all ages and backgrounds. With kindness being her number one motto and belief, she is looking to pay it forward through music.
In 2016 she began working on her forthcoming record 'Running In Borrowed Shoes', an album adapted from 100 interviews with Real People. Nobel personally interviewed 100 people from diverse backgrounds and wrote songs based on stories and themes uncovered in her interviews. She considers the project to be a 'hybrid creative endeavor' one that combines journalism, empathy advocacy, and music. "I hope that the record will be a highly relatable piece-- one that reminds people more of their "likeness" rather than their differences," says Nobel.
The first single from the project 'Strawberry Fields", is now available for stream and download. The song chronicles moments in the Civil Rights Movement, inspired by interviews with two senior citizens.
The Running In Borrowed Shoes Project is due out in 2017.