30 October, 2020
Local Mix 023 —
LEAO (David Feauai-Afaese)
The jangly pop of David Feauai-Afaese, known creatively as LEAO is an utter revelation. Each song is cloaked in the influence of their Sāmoan ancestry, with a full-on nod to the unfaltering influence of Flying Nun. An absolute vibe for the (fingers-crossed) warmer weather on its way.
I am an Auckland-born Samoan artist that currently creates under the creative entity, LEAO. My villages in Sāmoa are Lalomauga & Mulifanua. I’ve been involved with the Auckland and wider creative community since 2016 with initial collaborations with The Grow Room and currently, Noa Records. My work is grounded in connecting Moana communities & spaces through my own story of being a modern “Moana Cosmopolitan”.
How would you describe your music and what are some of your influences?
I’d describe my music as something between being lo-fi Sāmoan folk-pop-post punk and art-rock. I think of music very visually though, so imagine perhaps an electric hibiscus sunset with an ocean glimmering with oranges, violets and blues, but then run the whole image through a rusty VHS tape in black & white. Being raised concurrently on parents Sāmoan music and what my siblings were listening to, led me to a beautiful blend of sonic influences. The Five Stars and Punialava’a, to Punk and Electronic music.
My idea behind the mix
The idea behind this mix is pretty simple; just share some stuff I’m usually listening to on a day to day basis. I guess, to give a glimpse into the worlds I find myself in. I’ve decided to focus mainly on the non-Sāmoan listenings as most of the Sāmoan albums/recordings I listen to aren’t available to Spotify, but I have other mixes for those.
How are you keeping up with and supporting your friends, family and community
I think this year has provided a lot of opportunities to evaluate, imagine and transform our ways of being. I think recognition of our peers through talanoa (loosely ‘conversation’) and providing spaces of presence in the form of food, music and art has helped mediate what a turbulent year this year has been. Allowing peeps to be/feel what they need to be/feel can bring us into a space of noa (equilibrium) and in that noa, we can truly recognise each other and ourselves — and thus grow together. If anything, it’s been a really important time to affirm each other's being, that we all are here going through it together and that all of us are grounded in an ever-present aroha. We’re simply our best selves every moment of every day.
What's a trend you're really into at the moment
A trend I’m in to at the moment is indigenising our spaces! ... but if this is a pop culture thing, tbh I don’t even know what is trending atm. Do those videos of cats trying to drink from the water cooler count? Is that a trend?
Who would you invite to Friday beers
My five Friday drink invitees would be Jessica “Coco Solid” Hansell, Arcia Tecun (Daniel Hernandez), Alice Canton, Gabi Maffey and Nikau Hinden. Lots of people whose work I admire and would love to see converse with each other.
Who are your fashion icons
My fashion icons are my friends. Truly.
Your go to performance outfit
My go to performance outfit is whatever is most comfortable, just always a tucked in shirt, straight cut pants and black shoes. Casual 60s Italian street-esque.
How can we support your music
You can support us by buying our music at www.noarecords.bandcamp.com and following @noa.records on Instagram to keep posted to future releases and events.
LEAO's edit from Inf Def:
Relaxo Chop - Rolla's Black Cord
Pocket Tee - Natural (tucked)
Franco Shirt - Green Check (unbuttoned & tucked)
1461 Patent Leather Shoes - Patent Lamper Black