Leslie Cours Mather stands by her own lyric, “I never knew I was a fighter. I’m a survivor”. Emotion and life experience have played a huge role in Mather’s career over the years, and she continues to face her challenges head on today. Her young daughter waged a successful battle against a shocking leukemia diagnosis. Her beloved father passed away very suddenly in 2016. And that same year, the singer was unexpectedly put on dialysis which lead to a kidney transplant. “It’s overwhelming to think about what I’ve endured,” she admits, “but I made it through and I’m definitely stronger for it.” Her music certainly proves that. On the other side of these crises, the singer is steering her career in a different direction. “I’ve seen some real success in Country radio and I’m very thankful for that. Now I want to make sure my songs carry a strong message no matter what radio format they fit into. With all that’s going on in the world today— we need hope.” The singer has an extensive collection of original songs that she is looking forward to releasing, the first of which is her latest single I’m A Survivor.
I’m A Survivor is a fight song. It’s not about retaliation or revenge, but stamina, courage, and heart. “One of my favorite movie quotes is when Rocky Balboa tells his son, ‘Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”’ The song is quite relatable and certainly engages an emotional response-both empathetic and charismatic. “I wanted to show vulnerability because when you’re faced with an unknown outcome, it is scary. And we need each other to get through hard times. But to declare ‘I’m a survivor’ is a powerful statement.”
Prior to Leslie’s setbacks, her career was enjoying an amazing ride, and it’s one she says she will never forget. After meeting iconic record producer Denny Diante, who is famous for his work with legends such as B.B. King, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, she released her first single, Countrified – which went to the Top 40 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout™ Chart. Hell Hath No Fury followed, which Mather had been performing live on her Countrified radio tour and she began getting requests to release it as a single. The next song out of the gate was the high-octane That Was The Whiskey, which Leslie finished recording while she was on dialysis. “Working during that time was a huge challenge, especially filming the video, because I didn’t have my usual energy. But, I learned that I love what I do so much virtually nothing can stop me.”
Mather’s realization lead to another release: the patriotic anthem We Are America. Leslie notes, “With the increasing violence, political unrest and division in our country, it seems more important than ever to remember who we are and the sacrifice it took to become such a great nation.” While her first three singles were targeted specifically at the Country market, “We Are America” was released to radio stations of virtually every genre. “I’ll never forget my roots”, Leslie acknowledges, “My dad was born and raised in Texas, and my mom’s family comes from Wisconsin dairy farms. But Denny and I felt this song called for a broader reach.” The fan mail Leslie has received from widening the boundaries for We Are America confirms that the songwriter has a diversity she can’t ignore, and it’s no surprise. Mather’s diversity has an uncanny similarity to her greatest musical influence, Linda Ronstadt. Like Ronstadt, Mather’s songs include elements of country, rock, pop, gospel and rhythm and blues. “It’s about great music, inspiration, and creativity. I want people to connect with my songs emotionally, the way I do. For me, it’s never about a specific genre.”
Although the singer-songwriter sometimes questions why life threw her the curveballs it did, Leslie Cours Mather stands by the attitude that you can’t control what life hands you, but you can control how you handle life. “I’ve had a few bumps in the road, but I choose to stay positive. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished, especially considering the obstacles. My music is representative of who I am. I’m enjoying the moment and not worrying about the outcome. I’m A Survivor.”
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