Leva’s recent EP, The Scheme Of Things, showcases a collection of songs written in the early stages of his maturing songwriting career. Drawing influence from multiple contrasting genres of music, The Scheme Of Things is a noteworthy release that highlights, as the title would suggest, a broad spectrum of concepts and sounds. Poppy in most places, darker in others, yet always honest and reflective, the music and lyrics shed light on various common themes, done so in an interesting and sometimes unexpected manner. The Scheme Of Things was released independently on March 22nd, 2011. Aside from mixing/mastering work, this EP is an entirely self-produced endeavor.
The 19-year-old, Boston-based musician has only recently started making waves in the realms of Pop and Folk, but is long accustomed to life as a musician. He taught himself to play the piano at age 8. “I was playing Beethoven right around the same time I was learning long division,” laughs Leva. After auditioning and receiving acceptance at the New England Conservatory of Music, Leva charged full-speed into classical piano. Over the 13 years of studying at NEC, he also participated in concert bands, jazz bands, marching bands, choirs, theater productions, and received 2 awards for a composition written junior year of high school in his hometown of Burlington, Massachusetts.
In the summer before senior year, Leva began playing the ukulele. “I started listening to a few musicians that played the ukulele and wanted one so badly. I had been working at Starbucks and didn’t feel bad about spending that money, so I figured that I might as well just buy one. So I did. That’s what started my interest in songwriting,” notes Leva. “I had never considered songwriting before at all. It was always classical and jazz and composing and arranging… never chords and lyrics”. Sure enough, the ukulele, serving as a harmonically simple bed of sound for lyrics and melodies, gave Leva a chance to focus on the relationship between words and music. “Before I played ukulele, I didn’t know how to chill out, only use three chords, add lyrics, and still be left with something substantially musically satisfying”.
Post high school, Leva was accepted to Berklee College of Music. Now a voice student and songwriting major in his sophomore year, there are no resting moments for this undeniably motivated independent artist. Student by day and indie artist by night, Leva is grateful that one thing that remains constant across the board: the songwriting. “I walk around the city and go to class and go about my day, but the songwriter inside of me never shuts up. My phone is full of cool lyric ideas, hooks, and audio memos of things that I don’t want to forget. Later on I look back and figure out ways to turn ideas into songs. Other times, I get to write songs for homework.”
Up next, Leva is continuing to write and plan his next record. Certain that his new material will impress his current fan base, Leva is also hoping to reach a whole new audience with his developing affinity for song craft. “I’ll never be certain what is coming next. All I know is that I’m not planning on stopping.”