Attentive "American Idol" viewers may remember Leah LaBelle from season three of the hit reality series. While she bowed out at a respectable 12th position, it was her YouTube videos -- shot after she'd graduated from Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music -- that really got her noticed. On the strength of those clips, the Canadian-born daughter of Bulgarian refugees landed gigs singing backup for such artists as Keri Hilson, honing a set of skills that would eventually catch the eyes and ears of L.A. Reid, Pharrell Williams and Jermaine Dupri, who signed her to a joint deal.
When LaBelle stopped by The BoomBox's New York City offices, the rising songstress was still at work on her debut album -- due out later this year -- but she was happy to chat about the sessions and even sing a live version of "Sexify," her flirty, surefire summer jam of a lead single. Before leaving for the day, LaBelle also chatted about her influences, dished on recording with Pharrell and J.D., posed for some photos and generally charmed the hell out of our staff. Check out our interview and have a look at our exclusive photos.
See Photos of Leah LaBelle's In House Visit With The BoomBox
Talk about your first single, "Sexify." Who produced it, and how did it come about in the studio?
"Sexify" was produced by Pharrell. We recorded it in Miami. It was a really nice vibe. It was actually the first song we ever did together. We wrote it based off of magazine cover titles, Cosmopolitan magazine. We had this big white board, and we went through all the issues, writing the ones that