Dusty Leigh’s 2021 has been surprising to many, including Dusty Leigh herself.
Though she’s wanted to pursue a career in music for as long as she can remember, it wasn’t until this year that the true fruits of her labor were being seen. Her debut EP, Roots & Dreams, has quickly earned well over 100,000 combined streams, and just like that, there were plenty of new eyes on the Idaho native.
The success to Roots & Dreams admittedly took Leigh by surprise, but at the same time, it provided her confidence moving forward in her career.
“I have to be honest, seeing those numbers made me hyperventilate a little! It’s so humbling to see that folks are loving Roots & Dreams as much as I had hoped!” says Leigh. “When making this album, I was kind of all over the place. I wanted it to be a true reflection of the songs I love to sing, but also a great representation of what’s to come, so I couldn’t settle on a particular ‘theme’ for how I wanted the album to be created. I am painfully picky when choosing songs, because they have to be believable. I have to be able to make people feel what I feel when I heard it and wanted to cut it. Seeing the success from Roots & Dreams has definitely provided the confidence I needed to keep moving forward, knowing people like what they’re hearing.”
Looking to capitalize on the momentum Roots & Dreams provided her, Leigh is following the EP with her new single, “Take a Ride with Me,” released in mid-May. Leigh says with the release of her new single, there is a feeling of pressure to achieve the same success as Roots & Dreams, and to do justice to a song that she fell in love with.
“There is most definitely pressure; and there’s extreme pressure when cutting a song written by such incredible songwriters. There’s always that little voice that repeatedly asks, ‘is this take good enough? Could I do that line better?’” says Leigh. “Being my own worst critic, I feel like I can sing a song a 100 times and it still wouldn’t be perfect enough.”
Leigh says she fell in love with “Take a Ride with Me” as soon as she heard it, and as destiny would have it, it seemed the song was meant for her to record it.
“The first time I heard ‘Take a Ride with Me’ was on Ms. Ava Paige’s Instagram. I love everything she does and happened upon a clip of her playing and singing this one and instantly loved it,” says Leigh. “The chorus was so catchy, and it reminded me of the times after my mother passed away; my dad, sister and I would get in the car and drive aimlessly towards the mountains, windows down, wind in our hair and Bob Seger on the radio. That was our sort of therapy after she passed. Bittersweet memories for sure, but this song really struck a chord with me (see what I did there? Ha!) and I knew I had to pursue finding out if I could record and release it. Coincidentally enough, Corey Lee Barker had already pitched it to my producer, Chas Childers! I call it destiny.”
“Take a Ride with Me” is serving as the lead single to Leigh’s forthcoming album, which Leigh says will feature many more fun, upbeat tunes than she has released previously.
“The focus on my sophomore album is to release more up-beat, sing-along songs. I will always be drawn to those heartfelt ballads, but I feel that people are itching to get out and live life again after the pandemic; to cut loose and let the good times roll,” says Leigh. “With that in mind, I loved the vibe and tune that ‘Take a Ride with Me’ provided. It’s an earworm that I found myself singing for days after I heard it. It’s a feel-good song that I think people can relate their own summer memories with.”
With her next single already recorded, Leigh admits she is nearly ready to keel over in excitement of its release, as well as several more songs that will comprise her new album.
“You know the pain of having something really great to share, but you have to wait?! That’s where I’m at right now and I completely suck at being patient! I have SO many amazing songs in the que that I can hardly contain my excitement! I’ve recorded the follow-up release to ‘Take a Ride with Me’ called ‘It Feels Good,’ written by Jody Harris and Corey Lee Barker, that will be released this summer. It’s definitely a get out and have a great time kind of song with a little bit of ‘spice’ 😉 It’s fun, up-beat and pretty sassy and I can’t wait to share it,” says Leigh. “I have multiple songs currently being charted with the Nashville Players that will be ready to record soon; they’re like having money burning a hole in your pocket! I can’t wait to get into the studio and get them recorded.”
In the midst of her transformative 2021, Leigh is set to take a major next step in life; she’s set to move to Tennessee within a month to continue following her musical dreams.
“2021 has brought HUGE changes for me. I am currently in the process of relocating to Tennessee and will be there within the next month; a life-long dream of mine,” says Leigh. “I will always love Idaho, but the unexpected success of Roots & Dreams has forced me to look at the bigger picture, and I finally felt like it was time to jump in head first and live the life I have always dreamed of. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see what the rest of 2021 will bring.”
*”Take a Ride with Me” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*