MoPOP Sound Off! 2022 - Meet the Artist: Gavon Leo
MoPOP’s Sound Off! gives up-and-coming artists mentorship from industry leaders, entrée into an artistic community invested in their growth, connections with peer musicians, and the chance to showcase their original music in MoPOP’s iconic Sky Church venue.
This years’ three live showcases — set for February 19, February 26, and March 5 — raise the bar for an all-ages show with a first-class experience at MoPOP for performers and the audience alike.
Gavon Leo is a singer/songwriter/former head chef of the Krusty Krab. With a passion for music since the rear-facing car seat days, Gavon thinks music is so cool in the fact that it is so universal. Pretty much everyone can feel the rhythm and stomp their foot to a beat and that is amazing. There are not many things on this planet that can bring people together like music and that is what Gavon loves, bringing people together and having a great time with their music.
We took some time to get to know Gavon Leo ahead of the singer-songwriter's Sound Off! 2022 performance on February 26 at MoPOP. Check out what they had to say!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an artist!
Gavon Leo: "My name is Gavin Leo, I'm 19-years-old, and I'm from Anacortes, Washington. The first instrument that I picked up was whistling, and then I slowly integrated singing. Then around the age of 10 I picked up the guitar, which was my first physical instrument, and then drums shortly after that and piano after that."
What was your reaction when you found out you were going to be part of Sound Off! 2022 and what excites you about being part of this year's program?
Gavon Leo: "I couldn't stop smiling over the phone. It was just so great. I'm just beyond grateful. It's just so cool. It excites me because this is what I want to do with my life. I want to have fun with people and with my music and just have a good time. [What excites me most is] performing in front a crowd, just because with COVID we haven't been able to do that recently, and this just feels right. It feels normal, almost. That's what I'm looking forward to is a feeling of normalcy."
How would you describe your sound?
Gavon Leo: "I would describe my sound as sort of poppy. My overall goal is to combine aspects from the 50s and 60s. Like I have one song called 'Regrets' where I took a sample of Frank Sinatra and I put it in with early 2000s pop, kind of like Kanye and some dreamy feels of like Tyler, the Creator. I try to just combine the two of those so I can get a multi-generational liking to it. ... I think that's just my goal as a musician, something that everyone can stomp their foot to the rhythm of, and just have fun with it."
Why do you make music?
Gavon Leo: "I like bringing people together. I love seeing people's reactions to me. My overall goal as an artist is to make people feel an emotion that they weren't feeling before I interacted with them or sang to them. I don't live for attention, I don't need it, but it's fun when I can make someone feel good, or just a smile. It's huge to me."
What role does community play in your music?
Gavon Leo: "Community plays a huge role in my music. I grew up in a small town, Anacortes, Washington, and everyone kind of knows everyone. It's kind of like The Truman Show with Jim Carey, it's a little scary. It doesn't really feel real sometimes. But my school's like 800 kids, and when I came out with my first single everyone knew it and it was so cool to have that opportunity. Whenever I played somewhere, everyone was singing along and it was almost like I was famous in my little town. I think that's really cool and that a lot of people can't experience that because they grow up in a city and it's hard to get that community. But I'm so blessed and honored to have such a cool little community."
BEFORE YOU ARRIVE AT SOUND OFF! 2022...
We know you may be curious about health and safety protocols, so here are the extra steps we’re taking for these in-person Sound Off! showcases in our 140,000 square foot museum:
Performers will be separated from the audience by a 20-foot buffer.
All guests 12 years and older will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to the event.
Masks are required for guests 3 years and older.
Please only bring what you need as coat check is currently closed.
There will be no concessions sold during Sound Off! events. Please come hydrated and consider eating before you arrive.
Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the museum.