Christiansburg native Leah Piemonte is a former high school and Virginia Tech diver who is now jumping into the deep waters of the music world with the release of her first CD, “Thank-You Notes,” which hit the web this week.
Piemonte spent almost eight years in the pool, but music always drew her attention. She started singing every Sunday in her church at a young age. Her parents were both musical, and they encouraged her to sing and play instruments.
“They loved to make music with me. I started taking voice and piano seriously at the age of 12,” Piemonte said. Writing her songs came a short time later while she was in middle school.
But it wasn’t until college that she started recording her own songs. She released her first single “Cigarette,” a short time later and she called the feeling “euphoric.”
“I told a friend almost immediately that I wanted to make an album and he said let’s do it,” she said.
Piemonte now lives in Richmond and describes her music as a combination of pop, indie, and acoustic.
”I think this album reflects elements from all three, and that’s one of my favorite things about it,” she said. “Each song on the album definitely has a special meaning. I write based on real experiences and real people who have come in and out of my life. The process of molding each song to sound the way they do was extremely healing for me because it felt as if I could finally walk away from those people and situations. It brought a sense of closure,” she said.
Her goals for this album are for it to continue to gain listeners via word-of-mouth and promotion. Her biggest goal for the album is to perform it.
“I am seeking out opportunities to perform my music wherever I can, and I really hope to be able to do that soon,” she said.
Those long-term goals consist of continuing to create and release music consistently and to perform anywhere she can. She hopes one day to go on a small tour, maybe along the East Coast.
She also did most of the artwork for this first album herself. She had never done digital art before, so she had to teach herself the language of photoshop and various programs.
“I knew nothing about it, which was challenging and exciting,” she said. “I view each song on ‘Thank You Notes’ (the title track name) as a letter written to specific people in my life.”
Piemonte calls the album cover essentially a self-portrait in which she is writing each letter and creating a pile (which is the album itself.)
“I also created three separate pieces for the three singles I released when the album came out,” she said.
Those singles are “Never Had It,” “Sleeping Alone,” and “Throw Me to the Wolves.” For each of those, she chose something that reminds her of each situation, according to Piemonte, honing in on the style of a person or a key object from the scene of a specific experience.
So far, the response to this new album, she said, has been incredible and pretty surreal. “People from all over the world are listening and have reached out to me via social media, which has been so cool,” she said.
Piemonte’s music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, Itunes, Youtube and all social media platforms.