Leigh Bush Leigh Bush

Gentlemen's Corner: Leigh Bush Talks New Name, Making Transparent Music, and Perfect Woman Qualities

Leigh Bush

Remember Sammie? The cute singer who was telling us the way he liked it. Now fast forward years later and the cute teen is now a handsome grown man who has gone through quite a bit of changes. He dropped his first name and morphed into Leigh Bush, a name derived from his middle and last name. “I feel like R&B is lacking substance, vulnerability, and passion and I wanted to bring that element back to R&B.

Vixens got a chance to talk to this music crooner (and he's an open book) about the change he wants to bring to R&B, his relationship status, and his current project Leigh Bush. Jump the page to read what Mr. Bush dished about.

Photo Credit: Sean Howard 

Leigh Bush

VIBE Vixen: What inspired the name change?
Leigh Bush: Leigh is my middle name, Bush is my last, and Sammie is my first. Tapping into some new sound sonically with content and decided to also leave the Sammie brand but expand on it. I don’t want people to think I’m just putting it to rest like that. I just thought it was all good for the change. Me and my team decided like a year ago to do it and it was just a matter of time of setting everything up and deciding exactly who Leigh Bush was going to be?

And who is Leigh Bush?
I feel like R&B is lacking substance, vulnerability, and passion and I wanted to bring that element back to R&B so that's him.

How are you going to do that?
The music speaks for itself. I didn’t create music specifically for the DJ's and the radio when I made this EP, I went in like a free spirit. Just getting back to if a record is 6 or 7 minutes long, let it rock, you don’t have to do it for 3 and a half just for radio, DJs, or airplay. No rules, really being vulnerable and honest. I always say the most vulnerable person we have is Drake and that’s in the hip-hop genre. People call him “emotional” but it cultivates to record sales. He creates relatable music, things that most men won't  say.

Like your track “Free Falling”?
Exactly. My manager Delonte Murphy was telling me about a relationship he was trying to get into and he felt he was on a different plateau like he was falling first and I told him, “jump and she’ll catch you.” I thought it was refreshing because in our generation men don’t fall in love first.

Why not?
Men run off pride, women run off emotions so if you love you love all the way. As to where if we want to love we start to analyze everything like “it’s too soon” or whatever excuse we trick our self out of. That’s why “Free Falling” connects to the women because they never heard a man say that.

Very true, I know you have your EP but are you expanding into an album?
Of course, its been a great plan thus far. The last Sammie project was Insomnia, my mixtape, which had over 500k downloads. I hope it will segway into the Leigh Bush Project which is currently on iTunes and the Leigh Bush Project Pt2 in March and then the album, which will hopefully be released by the third quarter of 2014.

How vulnerable are you going to get?
I’m just living life. With these records on this EP, like “Ms. Bartender” is about a man who has a problem staying faithful in a relationship–I’ve made mistakes of course with infidelity so I’m giving my life. Everything is like a real life situation from "Dancer" to "Passionately" to even “Free Falling”; and learning from somebody else's experience. So really just being honest. It’s good to keep mystique as a celebrity but more than ever now people appreciate transparency.

How different is this project and these upcoming projects going to be compared to when you first came out?
I have more freedom than I ever had as far as the creative control goes. When you’re signed to a major of course there’s a command that you have to abide by either A&R, VP, or the label. Now that I just had time to grow, mature, and live life also as an artist and songwriter, I’m able to be me and I think that’s something that the fans haven’t had. I could give you some of Sammie but I had to do what the label wanted me to do also. I’m my own boss and I’ve surrounded myself with a great team, I’m able to really give them my vision and go 110% strong with it.

Photo Credit: Sean Howard 

Leigh Bush

What’s the most personal story you’re going to tell?
I been in a relationship off and on for 3 years and this is the most open I’ve been. I’m 26 and to think that you’ve met the person you want to spend your forever with is a scary thing.

Is this person you want to spend your forever with?
There’s a lot that comes with fame. I wouldn’t say I have a girl problem but I love women, I think they’re amazing. I want the happily ever after but I think a lot is contingent on timing. I think one of the realest things Big Sean said was “what’s the perfect girl if it’s not the perfect time.” So I think I’ve met somebody who embodies everything I want my wife to have from spiritual belief to background foundation. She’s domesticated, she’s smart, pretty, and silly; she has all that.

What’s domesticated?
I’m a southern dude so I like a girl who can cook, fold your clothes, and hold you down while you’re gone on the road.

I was talking to my best friend and we were talking about that, because some females act like they’re too proud to play that role.
Yes and see I’m a mommas' boy so my mom was very nurturing so I love when a women does those things; I’m very appreciative of that. So domesticated doesn’t mean you’re my servant or anything, but you nurture your man and your man reciprocates that.

A lot of men grew up in broken homes, like me I grew up without my father in the home so most things I learned through trial and error. That’s not always the best way but I turned out pretty damn good. My mom is a strong woman. It starts with us, I wouldn’t say it’s women’s fault the way that the world is. It starts with men and then it’s a chain reaction.

And that’s what your music is going to embody?
Yeah. It’s all about substance, I wanted [my music] to be thought provoking. Like even with “Dancer” it’s not your typical twerk record. Is it love you’re seeking, or is it just for the dollar that makes you comfortable to do that, because I’m from Atlanta and that’s like strip club mecca.

So you’re an avid strip club goer?
I go not a lot though, it doesn’t do for me what it does to most men. But I have a lot of female friends who are dancers so that’s where the song derives from. This girl [I know] does it but she hates it. She has two degrees but the easy money is what keeps her going night after night. That’s what kind of provoked me to write the record.

In general whats a major turn on and turn-off about women?
I’m a spiritual being, I like positive vibes so I like a girl with a spiritual foundation and ambitious. I’m a dreamer, I don’t have normal goals at all, I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I like girls who have a free spirit and understand that with hard work anything can come true. I’m silly 85 to 90% of the time, so I like a girl that’s really relaxed and likes to have a good time and is spontaneous. Of course a girl that’s supportive because I have so many dreams and aspirations outside of music. When you have a significant other you appreciate that support system and know that you have at least one person is in your corner that believes in you.

Describe your perfect date night.
I like to go bowling a little tipsy. I don’t like to go to the movies on a first date because you can’t converse so I would like to go bowling. I read a lot so when I meet somebody and they can stimulate my mind it’s just a lot doper than just being cool and swagged out.

What’s one topic you can talk about besides music?
I love sports.

Does a girl need to be a sports fan?
She doesn’t have to be a sports fan but open to acting like it. On Sundays if she’s clueless, ask. I think it’s cute when a girl says “what’s first down”. I like when a girl technically doesn’t want to watch it but for my sake she’ll partake in it. It’s like a guy watching Lifetime with a girl. I can talk sports all day. I like to see where people derive from and where they’re headed.

Photo Credit: Sean Howard

Leigh Bush

Now that you’re back do you feel like there is competition with your return?
I mean the fans will always compare you to a Breezy [Chris Brown] or Trey [Songz] or Miguel, etc. I focus on Leigh Bush solely and creating my own lane and creating the best music I could possible create. I think at this time with r&b I hate to say it—I’m very competitive by the way, I don’t like to be compared to anybody and if I am, I like to demolish them. But I think at this time we need to all come together and make great music since it’s a dying genre. Hip-hop will always be the dominate genre but you’ve got country, pop, hip-hop, and r&b is struggling right now. I think it’s essential that individually we take responsibility to make the best music we can.

Yeah, but there are good R&B singers that aren’t getting a lot of love?
It’s tricky too because labels don’t even give us the budgets that the  hip-hop artist get and I hate that they force you to make club records. I still believe that ballads and mid-tempos can be major radio smashes but labels don’t want to spend that money on a ballad they rather hope the record catches on in the club and DJs. We’re in a tricky spot right now.

Is it about the #1 hits, or about how many people are affected?
For me it’s about touching the people, hits are going to come. I think hits also come and go. You can be hot for 3 to 6 months and that’s the end of that. I rather give you a body of work that touches the masses for 5, 10, 15 years as opposed to being hot for a season.

I know you don’t like to be compared but if you could be compared to a legend who would you want it to be?

I’m a big Usher fan. I think he created the blueprint for being a child star to the grown man that he is. He’s 35 and still highly relevant. He’s very multi-talented; not just on the stage but he has other things he endorses. I respect anybody that’s able to stay in this business as long as he has. R Kelly too, he’s the king of r&b because he’s so multi-faceted. When I do my research, of course Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.

Photo Credit: Sean Howard

From the Web

More on Vibe

34 black female cadets from West Point's Class of 2019 pose at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Cadet Hallie H. Pound/U.S. Army via AP

Black Women Cadets Make History At West Point Graduation

A record number of black female cadets are set to graduate from West Point (The United States Military Academy). After completing four years of education and "testing their limits," 34 black women will be walking across the stage at the 2019 commencement ceremony for the first time in the school's 217-year history.

Earlier this month, the black female cadets came together for a pre-graduation group photo. Little did they know, the photos of them in traditional Old Corps uniforms with ceremonial sabers would make their rounds on social media.

“My hope when young Black girls see these photos is that they understand that regardless of what life presents you, you have the ability an fortitude to be a force to be reckoned with,” shared one of the cadets, Tiffany Welch-Baker, in an interview with Because Of Them We Can.

Although West Point admitted its first black cadet until 1870, the academy didn’t graduate its first black cadet until the Reconstruction in 1877. In 1979, Vincent K. Brooks was made the first black captain of the Corps of Cadets. In 2017, Simone Askew became the first Black woman to lead the Corps of Cadets.

Senior cadet Stephanie Riley told The Associated Press in another interview: “I just showed myself and those who thought I couldn’t do it initially that yes, I can. And not just, ‘Yes, I can.’ I can show other little girls that yes, you can come to West Point. Yes, you can do something that maybe the rest of your peers aren’t actually doing. And yes, you can be different from the rest of the group.”

The class of 2019 includes a total of 223 women, another milestone since the first female cadets' graduation in 1980. The total number of graduation African-Americans doubled to 110, while the number of graduating Latinos became the largest, 88, in the academy's history. West Point also appointed Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams as its first black superintendent in July 2018.

Not only will West Point be graduating its 5,000th female cadet, but it will also have its highest number of female Hispanic graduates, 19. The commencement ceremony is set for Saturday, May 25, with Vice President Mike Pence delivering the commencement speech.

Congratulations to the black ladies of West Point's graduating Class of 2019!

Continue Reading
Getty Images

A Brown Girl's Top-Down Spring Cleaning Guide

Oftentimes, the phrase “spring cleaning” is immediately associated with a weekend-long spree of knees-on-the-floor scrubbing, sorting, tossing and rearranging within one’s home, but it should be a little deeper than that. Yes, pristine living quarters are an ideal way to step from one season to the next, but that same fixer-upper dedication should also be applied to the self.

Self-care in 2019, especially for women of color, has become paramount. Audre Lorde said it best back in 1988 within the pages of A Burst Of Light: And Other Essays: "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."

In addition to caring for their well-being in terms of personal space, it’s also important for women of color to take care of their bodies and rejuvenate them from the top down as they would their closets before the summer sun hits. We tapped four experts in hair, skincare, fashion and fitness to offer nuggets of advice for how to spring clean their habits to get to their brightest, boldest, healthiest and happiest selves for the rest of the year.

--

Hair, as told by celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ursula Stephen (@ursulastephen) on Apr 9, 2019 at 12:07pm PDT

If you have shrinkage, you might as well embrace it in heat and humidity. You can't fight Mother Nature, but it's very important to invest in products that are geared towards shrinkage because they are making a lot of things for that. If you keep trying to make it be the thing that it's not, your hair's going to get depressed. You need to give it the love that it needs for what it's going through at the moment. Just like with your skin, your nails, it changes every season. It often changes every couple of years. I think it's a matter of paying attention to what your hair is doing and rolling with it. You have to grow with your hair and learn to understand it and work with it. Invest in a good diffuser. If you have shrinkage, after you pull out your twist outs or your braid outs, what you can do is, after you shake everything out, you unravel it. What the diffuser does is it helps to stretch the hair. It doesn't put direct heat on the hair. It doesn't move the hair around. That's another way of combating shrinkage. Another thing is just embracing it.

Don’t be scared to decorate and accessorize your 4C textured hair. I think accessories are a big deal. I think I've been pushing accessories for years, I've been trying to get more red carpets and now finally people are using a lot of accessories. I think it's another way to excite yourself about your 4C hair because people are going through a lot. I know girls with shrinkage, [and] I think adding accessories, headbands and scarves is a way to accessorize it and also get excited about the hair. Dress it up for the summer time.

Staple braid looks can lead to more fun, bold protective styling. If you feel like it's something you really can't deal with [shrinkage] visually, the summer time is an amazing idea to do alternative styles like braids, and weaves, and getting extension pieces to extend your top knot. You can't hack Mother Nature, so you have to figure out how to work with it. I think long, box braids are a great way [the warm up to protective styles]. If you do long ones, and you're not used to wearing long weaves or whatever, that's your segue into your long hair but it's still keeping up with your natural self. I think doing something like braids, like long braids, or crochet braids, that still gives you movement are a good way to trick your mind, or slowly getting to a different look. I think braids are a good segue into long, box braids. You always notice girls that have long weaves, they're attached to their weaves and you know they're nervous to take it out, they always go to braids. It still gives them the natural feel, but also gives care, so it feels alright.

 

Skincare, as told by aesthetic medicine specialist Dr. Barbara Sturm

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Dr. Barbara Sturm (@drbarbarasturm) on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:51am PST

When seasons swap, switch it up with skincare. The misconception is that darker skin is bulletproof. The reality is the Achilles heel of darker skin is a greater sensitivity to the inflammation cascade. Inflammation can be easily triggered in darker skin, so it is essential to avoid inflammation triggers, such as aggressive ingredients in skincare, lasers, acid peels, inflammatory foods, smoking, sun and pollution exposure, and excessive drinking. Women of color need to remain vigilant against inflammation and all its triggers. This means in summer, or confronted with inflammation-inducing sun exposure, it is important to wear a high SPF sunscreen. I recommend a good Anti-Pollution serum year round, but springtime is filled with a natural air pollutant: pollen, which is inflammatory and can wreak havoc on unprotected skin. In warmer months, I recommend using a lighter formulation of moisturizer. In colder months, strong barrier protection is needed against harsh elements that also trigger inflammation. A higher lipid content moisturizer is recommended during the cold season. Strong anti-inflammatory skin care is required 365 days a year, and lasers and acid peels should also be avoided year round due to their inflammatory effects.

Spoiling yourself with facials is more than okay, but quick fix skin regimens can make matters worse. A facial is a luxurious necessity. In the right hands and using the right ingredient science, a facial cleanses, nourishes, and awakens the skin, while reducing inflammation and hyper-pigmentation, evening out irregularities in the skin, and strengthening the skin matrix. The ideal everyday skin maintenance regime improves the skin matrix and avoids the need for too much “corrective action,” which if aggressive, can trigger inflammation. I would never use a peel with any skin type, but darker skin needs to be especially careful to avoid post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and other dysfunction that can result from these “quick fix” approaches. I do not ever recommend a chemical peel for darker skin. A mask can be healing, hydrating and full of antioxidants and nutrition, and should be used several times a week as a skin corrector. Serums, like my Darker Skin Tones Hyaluronic Serum, are one of the most essential elements of my regime, and corrects the skin immediately while combating inflammation and oxidation.

It’s still possible (and preferable) to glow without a full makeup beat. Summertime skin care means high lipid-content moisturizers can stay in the cabinet. A lighter formulation is appropriate for the warmer months, and depending on one’s own sebum production and the climate, my serum may suffice as a moisturizer, which also contains Lumicol, a complexion brightening and skin evening ingredient. I am a fan of healthy skin that doesn’t require too much makeup, and makeup itself can contain aggressive ingredients triggering the inflammation that darker skin tones is uniquely sensitive to. To make my makeup pop or even instead of makeup on a hot summer night, I use my Glow Drops, which provide both anti-inflammatory anti-aging benefits and shimmer particle-delivered glow.

 

Style, as told by supermodel Chanel Iman

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chanel Iman (@chaneliman) on May 10, 2019 at 8:52am PDT

Revamping your wardrobe is a lot simpler than you think. I always keep my favorites. I always put them away when it’s wintertime, then bring them back for the spring, and then mix-and-match with different accessories. That’s what I do to make it look new again. Try it with a different shoe, or instead of wearing a heel or a tennis shoe with it, try to make it different than how I wore it the last year.

 

Fitness, as told by STRONG By Zumba co-creator Ai Lee Syarief

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ai Lee Syarief (@chopsueylee) on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:01am PST

Despite the heat of summer, sneak in fun ways to stay active and healthy. I think the most important thing is that you do something where you have fun. Don't do something where you think, I have to do it because everybody's doing it, or it's like, Oh, I heard this is good. Let's just try it. In the beginning you do it, but if you don't have fun, if you don't really enjoy it, you wouldn't do it. Make sure you do something where you have fun. Make sure you do something with your friend because if you're two, if you're three, it keeps you motivated. If you're only, "OK, I'm at home I'm doing a workout," and then today I'm like, "Aw, should I do it or not?" Or "should I go to the gym?" Make sure you have somebody, friends, do something you really love, too. And you know the whole package—workout, good sleep. Sleeping is very, very good. Make sure that you have a really good, balanced nutrition, and then I think you're going to be fine for summer.

Pushing through crappy weather days to get a quick sweat in is a motivation booster. Even on the bad windy days, I don't feel like it's something bad. I mean, I love fresh air. For me even if it's windy, let's just go out. Be motivated and do something you love. That is going to push you very much. I think that STRONG by Zumba, what motivates you is the music. Find a factor that you really love. When results come, whatever the results are, you will get even more motivated. You do it, you love it, you see your results whatever they are and then you go like "OK, let's push through."

Additional reporting by Desire Thompson.

Continue Reading

City Girls Get "Careless" In New Music Video

In honor of the one-year anniversary of their debut project Period, City Girls has dropped a music video for their song "Careless."

The video stars the rap duo, Yung Miami and J.T., the latter who is currently serving a two-year sentence in Tallahassee. The visual directed by Gabriel "Video God" Hart, features the two rap divas sporting their iced out Quality Control chains rapping in the streets of what appears to be Miami. Both Yung Miami and J.T. are donning the same outfits, distressed jean shorts-underwear, a cropped Miami jersey with a white turtleneck underneath and the classic Timberland boots.

City Girls are showing exactly what they're made of as they rap about "living life so careless," and "h**s [being] so mad it's evident" with an entourage of women behind them. The short clip is full of fun-filled energy as the hot rappers bounce from location to location. Whether they're in a hotel room sipping on some Hennessy, in a store copping a couple of things, they still manage to get their bars off.

The visual is a good representation of what fans can expect from the rap duo, even more so if they see them in concert. Most recently Yung Miami performed the girls' big hit, "Act Up" at Rolling Loud with the help of Lil' Yachty, their co-collaborator on the song. Next up for Yung Miami is the Hot 97 Summer Jam on June 2 at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Make sure to check out their music video above and stream Period in celebration of its one-year anniversary.

Continue Reading

Top Stories