Eclectic soul sojourner

An Atlantan for nearly three years, Leaf Newman's style still screams of California: tights, Chucks and ripped jean skirts. But the singer/songwriter hustled up on more buzz in a year than some homegrown Atlanta artists garner in twice the time.

By using her fast-paced L.A. grind, she established her own Leaf Cool Eclectic open mic at Decatur's Mocha Match Coffee Bar, an intimate environment where Leaf featured local artists and showcased her own breezy brand of soul.

After two years of sustaining Leaf Cool Eclectic, she's taking a break to work on her debut project. With a lack of radio play, acoustic music such as Leaf's makes the most impact live, where audiences are converted to fans by seeing her share her soul and life through the music. To keep fans engaged while she heads into the studio, Leaf recently recorded a live album, tentatively titled Go, scheduled for an early '08 release.

"It's challenging being an indie artist. You really have to be your own resource. You have to be the driving force behind everything you do," she says. "I titled the album Go because it's an encouragement to keep going no matter what happens."

In her day gig, Leaf facilitates music licensing for an indie law firm. She hopes to help other artists by sharing her music-business knowledge. Now that she has proven hustle and drive can create the buzz an artist needs to succeed, the scene awaits with curiosity to see how Leaf's cool, eclectic vibe will translate onto wax.


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