Published Aug 20, 2007It's doubtful that she'd appreciate it, but the best way to sum up Ava Leigh, Virgin's hottest new signing, is "easy skanking." Fresh out of Harry J's studio in Kingston, Jamaica (and also a couple in Glastonbury and Brixton - but those aren't important), this 21-year-old Londoner cut her debut album, Turned-on Underground, with the help of legends Sly & Robbie, as well as Future Cut, the man that made Lily Allen "Smile." Leigh's got everything down to a tee: from the authentically designed seven-inch single to the slick reggae-lite sound, which is destined to be the next big commercial sound UK music will be commissioning. Single "La La La" is rather underwhelming though; it sounds like it could be Timbaland trying his hand at reggae for the first time - perhaps for Britney Spears' comeback or a stray Pussycat Doll - with its undeniable radio-friendly sheen. (Expect to hear it six months from now, round the clock, when North American media finally catches on.) But "Rollin'," on her MySpace page, shows she can make use of her big name producers and get some of that "'70s golden age reggae" sound that she likes to name drop in her bio. It still comes off a little like Joss Stone singing over Sly & Robbie, but hey, I'd love to see this reign at the top of the CHUM Chart countdown over Fergie any day.
Ava Leigh "Rollin'"
Ava Leigh "La La La"