Christine Leakey was born into this world in the heart of the Thousand Islands through a family filled with artistic and musical talents stemming from all ends of her Québecois and English family tree. To her family‘s amazement, little Christine began to whistle at only ten months young. From the age of three, Christine regularly made up melodies and songs to sing to her dog. When she was nine, she took piano lessons for a year at a convent. Every summer since birth, Christine was exposed to nightly live music jams by her aunts, uncles and parents around the fire at their family‘s private campground. All year round, her mother would sing every day at home. Her mother made up music games from getting Christine and her siblings to dance and act out songs she‘d spin on vinyl to conducting a game, “Name That Tune” where she would play a wide variety of songs on the organ and the family would have to identify each song. It is no wonder Christine would find herself exploring music into her adulthood.
In 1994, Christine began by teaching herself how to play guitar after graduating college for Graphic Design. She formed a few bands such as The Double Feature Creatures and Tijuana Knievel. Although they are not representative of Christine’s music of today, it was a pivotal time in her life where she absorbed many different flavors of music. During her early days on guitar, Christine also began to write some of the music heard on the album, where she would assemble various musicians to perform with her on quiet nights from the garage rock scene in small pubs or cafés and sometimes just for practice. In 1996, she opened as a solo act and a’capella for Iggy Pop and Junior Kimbrough at the Detroit State Theatre by coincidence while visiting her friends band The Demolition Doll Rods who also performed on the bill in Detroit. As part of a different band that she joined, a psychobilly inspired band, they were able to get on MuchMusic, City TV Breakfast Television and had toured quite a bit in Ontario and the Quebec areas. With this band they opened for artists such as Ween and Ray Condo & his Ricochets. Meanwhile she missed working on her own music and playing guitar. Her music took a different road while dating a cellist in 1997 when she was requested to join musicians from various orchestras including the Canadian Opera Company to perform a cabaret style set with them at a theatre. Some of these members along with Jazz students from the University of Toronto accompanied Christine at her various solo gigs in a band she entitled, Christine Leakey and her Extra Fancy Band.
Christine had written 100’s of songs and had recorded enough music to release a full length Double Feature Creatures album. She released a few singles for that band on CD and vinyl. She also would go into the studio and record solo music where she played all the instruments, but never released these tunes. This focus on recording happened between 1994 and 1997. Back then, things looked great musically for Christine until everything came to a halt when an injury left her unable to play guitar. This caused Christine to walk away from some recording offers.
Fast tracking forward, She believes that when a song is written that it needs to be recorded and released and “cast out into the cosmos to reach those appreciative ears”, states Christine. Despite the obstacles, Christine never gave up hope. With years of great determination and a need to accomplish her musical goals, Christine set forth taking all steps necessary to reach her goal.
In 2012, Christine Leakey released, “Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure” which is a 14 track lush collection of dreamy, heartfelt songs. The album was nominated for Best Adult Alternative and won Best Album Artwork at the Hamilton Music Awards in 2012. Her song Gloom Chime from the album was nominated for an Independent Music Award in the USA for Best Eclectic Song. It has also received a fair bit of music blogger buzz and radio play from around the globe and charted in the Czech Republic.
Christine plans to create music videos for all of the tracks. She has already created a number of the videos herself, has received video contributions from friends and fans and has also worked with a dance company in India to create a video which caught the attention of the BBC. This video sparked another film maker and fan from India to create a video for her song entitled, “Be You” as a gift.
One of the many delights that witnessed while listening to her music is the very original style of writing and recording. It is unique in every aspect of the word. Some of her music may have sad lyrics but doesn’t necessarily sound sad. The uses of instruments of current design and from long ago have its own distinct sound in her songs. Just listening to songs such as “Miss Betty Grable” is another example of the intricate techniques that are used to achieve the sound she is looking for. It is art in itself to be able to understand instruments at their full potential in order to allow their use in certain compositions for maximum effect. This is a true composer’s skill that one must earn and she has earned it in many ways. Using instruments such as kanun, bansuri flute, standard flute, soprano sax, clarinet, trombone and so on brings an unmatched texture to her music. Christine has this ability and has succeeded in many ways giving audiences music that will tap into their sub consciousness, tap into their ability to release their inhabitations and to reach their peak.
“Lullabies & Apple Pies” is one single that has a personal heartfelt aspect to it. This song is like a lullaby. Its vocals along with the arrangements of this song might have a cathartic feel to it. Its dream state experience that one feels is truly out of the ordinary.
“Lovely” is another heartfelt song which is about a new relationship and allowing the walls down to take that risk and trust someone. Life is short as it is and this song induces awareness not to take one moment in life for granted. It also has a therapeutic aspect to it. This song gives the listener an ability to surrender into a zen state of consciousness. The echoing whispering vocals with a magical instrumental arrangement truly takes you on a magical carpet ride.
Christine has performed the music from her album on occasion for the past year at various venues around Hamilton and Toronto as well for private corporate events. She is usually backed by two or three other players including bass, trombone, tuba, saxophone, violin while she sings and plays electric guitar. Depending on the budget for any given show, Christine could call on more musicians to accompany her for a fuller live sound. For some of the pieces, they use samples from the studio recordings during a live performance. Christine‘s live performances have mostly been accompanied by the Hamilton Aerial Group who have created routines using aerial silks and lyre to her music.
In 2014, Christine flew to Los Angeles and started recording her second solo album recording project. She flew back in 2015 to complete the album after working on it there and in Canada. The recording is now mastered and she is working toward its release.
Prior CD and vinyl releases:
She sings on Dave Kerzner: New World LP released in 2014/2015 which has been nominated for a Prog Magazine UK music award
Christine Leakey: My Heart Has Been Broken By One Unfit To Name – 2013 Independent single digital release with limited edition lathe cut. Featured in the trailer for Indie UK film, “Where the Dogs Divide Her”
Christine Leakey: Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure – 2012 Independent release, won a Hamilton Music Award for Best Album Art and was nominated for Best Adult Alternative. One of the tracks was also nominated for Most Eclectic Song in the Independent Music Awards.
She made vocal arrangements for Dreaming In Stereo: 2 released in 2011 on independent label, Forward Motion Records
The Double Feature Creatures; Return! – on Teen Sound Records, a division of Misty Lane Records in Rome, Italy www.mistylane.it
The Double Feature Creatures: Stranded at the Drive-In – her own label that she created back in 1995 to release this 7inch vinyl
Beyond the Horizon – Award winning Documentary by National Geographic Adventure of 2006, writing the original score.
She was on Cadillac Bill and the Creeping Bent: Eating Out EP < released in 2006
The Double Feature Creatures were on 3 compilation releases that were local to the area – the Hamilton music scene 1995 (Golden Shower Records, Ruby Karma (Rob Hoff Records) and The Greatest Love of All (Dead Bum Records).
Awards and Accomplishments include:
Christine won a Hamilton Music Award in 2012 for Best Album art on Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure which she designed. She was also nominated for a second HMA for Best Adult Alternative.
Christine was a 2012 Independent Music Awards nominee for Most Eclectic Song.
Opening for Iggy Pop, Junior Kimbrough at the Detroit State Theatre in 1996.
Opened for Ween who were also accompanied by Elvis Presley’s alumni band at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in 1996.
Peaches and Christine gigged together before she was famous at the Cameron House in Toronto
Others that shared the stage with Christine were Sook Yin Lee (MuchMusic VJ), Sub Pop artist, Thornetta Davis
Performed at the Danny Tate Awareness concert raising money for Nashville flood relief on May 2010 and had opened for a plethora of some of the great Nashville artists such as. Some of the artists on that bill were:
Gary Talley (from the Box Tops)
Peter Holsapple (former member of R.E.M.)
Dan Baird and the Fossils
Pat DiNizio from the Smithereens
Kevin Montgomery and the Roadtrippers and many others
Christine would also like to acknowledge:
Her upcoming album features Grammy Award winning artists, Hussain Jiffry on fretless bass, Jon Gilutin on piano, mastering by Marsh Mastering and Steve Hoffman. It also features some very special guests including Linda Perhacs, Maurizio Guarini (Goblin), The Millionaire (Combustible Edison), Kristian Hoffman (Klaus Nomi, Rufus Wainright, Prince Poppycock, The Mumps), Matt Tecu (Jacob Dillon), Fernando Perdomo, Dave Kerzner, Chris Price, Maryem Tollar (Constantinople, Jesse Cook, Olivia Newton John, Prince of Persia Bollywood film) and more... There are 32 people involved on the new album. Christine loves to orchestrate the music which she hears arrangements for in her mind and incorporates world instruments from the Eastern World as well as the more traditional Western World instruments.
Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure:
Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure combines some rare keyboards on one album together – The Chamberlin, Mellotron, Orchestron, Optigan, ARP 2600.
Some featured guests are Maurizio Guarini from Goblin, Linda Ronstadt’s pianist, Jon Gilutin along with a significant variety of organic World and Jazz instruments.
1960’s Abbey Road/EMI Studios Composer and Producer and Ivor Novello Award winner, Mark Wirtz who has done some spoken word on one of the songs on the album and has also had Christine collaborate on some of his music for his upcoming album release, Cooking for Cannibals.
Christine Leakey would love to tour Europe along with coming to the United States. No firm show schedule is available at this time.
Online social and music media website pages
for Christine’s current solo and past band projects:
DJ & Press Sheet for Tapping Trees In A Trinket Box Of Treasure
Tapping Trees Press Reviews & Interviews
“Tapping Trees in a Trinket Box of Treasure is a true treasure.” - Linda Perhacs, Parallelograms
“Beautiful! I wanted to play the songs again and again.”
- Terry Hall, The Specials
“...hallucination friendly,neo-sike pop at its best, which could easily have been recorded in a small, smokey,
avant guard Paris night club, a 30’s Chicago, cabaret, in a timeless corner of the Twilight Zone, a bohemian bar in New York’s Village...”
- Mark Wirtz, Ivor Novello Award-winning 60’s EMI Records/Abbey Road Studios
“Listening to Christine's album is like opening a treasure chest filled with pure gems!”
- Cinzia Cavalieri, Music Consultant, Editor and Performer for film and television, performer with Maurizio Guarini (Goblin), Creatures from a Drawer
“Spending an hour with the narcotic splendor of Ms. Leakey’s sultry sounds is like taking a stroll underwater through limpid, star-spangled honey... on Ecstasy.”
- The Millionaire, Combustible Edison
Photos for Press