Country

Sonia Leigh Calls Support From Jake Owen & More 'Humbling'

Sonia Leigh, 2014.
Courtesy of C2 Media

Sonia Leigh

Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Sonia Leigh has returned with a new single, "Put It in Your Pocket," and she tells Billboard that getting to share new music with her fans is a very rewarding feeling. "I love sharing how I've grown as an artist, and sharing new music. One of my favorite things to do is to get new music to the fans."

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The Georgia native, who turned heads and ears with her 2011 project, 1978 December -- as well as with her songwriting, (Leigh co-wrote "Goodbye in Her Eyes" and "Sweet Annie" for the Zac Brown Band) says she's amazed at the amount of support she gets from her fans -- as well as her fellow artists, who have been among her cheering section. "It's funny. I have a lot of fellow artists in the industry who really support me. Jake Owen invited me to sing with him at BMI a few weeks ago in Nashville. I've got a lot of support here, and there are so many people in my corner."

She said that receiving the call from Owen prior to his Aug. 18 show on Music Row took her completely by surprise. "We were talking on the phone, and he was telling me how big of a fan he was. I met him and his wife, and they were just so nice. I was blown away by being there. It feels very humbling and flattering."

Unlike her last project (released on Zac Brown's Southern Ground label), Leigh is doing this completely on her own terms. She says so far, she's enjoying it. "Basically, I'm just doing things my way and releasing music the way that I want to release it. So far, it seems to be fun to do it this way. Until something better comes along, I am really enjoying that freedom."

Though she has become very much a critic's darling, Leigh tells The 615 that there's only one select group of people she's thinking about when she's making a record. "At the end of the day, it really is all about your fans. I feel that's the most important thing. If you just cater to them, show them how much you love and appreciate them, they will follow you anywhere you go. It is scary doing all of this by yourself. I don't know everything, but I am learning quite a bit, and there are a lot of people that are helping to guide me along. I'm thankful."

The new single is a little bit different of a sound for her. She says that coming with something off her usual beaten path is something she likes doing. "I just wanted to write something that was fun and that felt good. I wanted to step back into releasing music with something positive and uplifting. It accomplished what I wanted to do. I love to challenge myself as a writer, and this was definitely a different direction for me. I enjoyed it. It's nice to have something that is just laid-back and fun."

Look for an EP from Leigh before the end of the year. She says the disc will feature many of her recent writing collaborations since moving to Music City. "I moved to Nashville two years ago and have gotten the opportunity to write with some great writers. I'm collecting a nice catalog of music that I'm able to put together.

There is such a wealth of inspiration and creativity. I'm very versatile, and I enjoy that. It's the perfect place for me as an artist."