Sydney born singer-songwriter Michael Leonardi has today released his new EP, Silhouette, via Sugar Music. Announced last month with the intensely emotional acoustic version of his single "Haunting Me", the new EP features five originals songs, including the title track and new single "Silhouette" plus a cover of Augustana's "Twenty Years."
"This body of work is a journey of stories that encumber my experiences as someone who lives life a little differently," said Michael. "My first hand account of being someone who is legally blind yet fulfilling my journey around the world whilst writing songs. I honestly believe that we are visual dominant creatures who sometimes base too much of what we experience on a visual judgement. My story is a story of energy that I have felt on my journey and each song is an unforgettable moment of my journey."
"When colours fade to black, I'll keep following your silhouette. Reflections of unconditional love outliving any circumstantial changes in one's life. For me this song is of optimism and light. Even though I know my light will fade to black visually, I'll always be there for the person/people that I love," said Michael on "Silhouette."
Taking on Augustana's hit song "Twenty Years", Michael has put his own gripping, cinematic spin on the alt-rock bands prize. An epic display of Michael's vocal ability and strong, burly production, he has sure made the Californian rock group proud.
"This incredible song is the only cover on the record. It was written by the amazing Daniel Layus. When it came time for me to find my interpretation of the song, I quickly realised that Dan and I had both lived a parallel of this story," said Michael. "For me, it was the year I fell in love for the first time. I was twenty years old and was living in New York State. Vivid in my mind are all four seasons of that year and the way this girl completely transformed my life. Feeling for the first time an openness and trust to someone knowing that you would do anything for them. The selflessness that only love can teach you."
The EP's opening track "Haunting Me" was first released as a single building the anticipation for "Silhouette" and was most recently delivered in its acoustic version as a stripped back, organic moment. "Haunting Me" is evocatively beautiful. Brought to life by stunning vocal layers which echo throughout the piece, the track exhibits an extensive range of overarching talent and heedful execution.
"When things eventually come to an end you are left with the scare that haunts you. They say time heals everything, but there are always constant triggers that keep you reminded of the unanswered questions that leave you wondering.In the realisation of a relationship that had come to its end, the void and absence prevails. That sense of reliving your experiences together in your mind and heart leaves that deep feeling of sorrow keeps on haunting me."
Born and raised in Sydney by his Sicilian parents, Michael started his musical journey at age 15 at Sydney's National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in the musical Les Miserables and continued with his studies of opera and classical music. In 2015, Michael signed a recording and publishing deal with the leading Italian independent label Sugar Music, currently distributed by Universal Music Group.
Now signed, Michael went on to take part as a newcomer in the 2016 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival and started working intensely with international producers and songwriters. He travelled continuously and moved to Berlin to work on his debut album and for the international release of his songs. After the release of his first single, "Solitary Soul" (the trailer music of the Seattle Firefighters – Station 19 television series, a spin-off of Grey's Anatomy), Michael was the opening act of Alice Merton's concerts in Italy. His second single, "Running Wild", was chosen by JEEP FIAT as the new soundtrack for the ads on all the media channels in Europe and blessed stages as the opening act of Elisa's "Diari Aperti Tour – 2019" tour. His previous single "Fade Away" was a collaboration with Italian producer KINA (who was behind the viral hit "Get You The Moon" which amassed 700M global streams).
"As music became evermore important in my life, it took me abroad on an adventure throughItaly where I studied singing and voice lessons with some of the greatest maestros that Europe had to offer. Amongst my travels I was lucky enough to have a surprise meeting with the greatest maestro of all, Andrea Bocelli. It was truly the meeting of a lifetime as he had always been in my ears as a child inspiring me with his music and now I stood at his piano as he played one of his songs and he had me sing it. Not only did this amazing experience open the door to my music career, he inspired me to never let the limitations and boundaries of vision stop me from following a dream. I bring this true vision ahead in my personal life and music career till this day," said Michael.
Michael's musical journey led him to become a citizen of the world, living in New York, London, Berlin and Milan, the influence of COVID bringing him back to Sydney last year. His life experiences away from home and the degenerative eye disease Michael was diagnosed with at a young age, retinitis pigmentosa, has lead to influence his songwriting with introspectiveness and vulnerability. Matched with his deep, expressive sounding vocals and powerful production, it creates a captivating result.