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, and she continues to face life’s challenges head on. 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,” she admits, “but I survived and I’m stronger for it.” Her music certainly proves that. On the other side of these crises, the singer is charging full steam ahead. I’m A Survivor grabbed Top 20 on the Billboard AC chart and her latest single We Should Try Again earned Billboard’s Highest Ranking Debut status. The singer/songwriter has five albums lined up for release and she couldn’t be more excited for 2018.
“The five albums are a culmination of my work over the past three years. I had to take a break from touring, but I never stopped creating,” declares the versatile artist who has been compared to Linda Ronstadt for her wide range of genres. Each project represents a different aspect of who she is, and Mather’s versatility is no lie. She will release a Country album, a Pop/AC album, a Contemporary Christian album, a collection of Acoustic songs and a long-awaited Christmas album.
When it comes to songwriting, LCM has a tried and true method. She writes alone, then collaborates with her producer, Denny Diante who is famous for producing legendary artists such as B.B. King, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Tina Turner and the Grateful Dead. “Denny has an amazing track record of producing hit songs. Why wouldn’t I rely on his feedback?” The collaborative process continues from there as the two discuss every decision during the production process, a method that has proven key to the team’s success.
Her Country album is named for her first single, Countrified, which secured Top 40 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout™ Chart. “I was extremely happy!” she beams. The song tells the singer’s own story of living in the big city of Los Angeles while having country roots. Quickly following was Hell Hath No Fury, which Mather had been performing live on her Countrified radio tour. Stations began asking LCM to release it as a single. Next out of the gate was the high-octane Country/Rock song That Was The Whiskey, which quickly caught attention in Europe, climbing to #1 on the UK’s HotDisc chart.
Remarkably, dialysis didn’t stop the artist from working. Between treatments, she filmed several episodes of her own reality show Countrified and shot two music videos, one for That Was The Whiskey and one for her patriotic anthem We Are America, which has been released to radio stations of virtually every genre. 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 the energy behind the fan mail inspired her to keep writing from her heart. “I’ve been thankful for the support, because it would have been easy to quit. Working during that time was exhausting, but hearing that songs I’ve written connected with people fueled me.”
Once it was time for transplant surgery, LCM was forced to remain at home in Los Angeles, so she dove into her writing. While recovering, she recorded and released I’m A Survivor—a fight song, not about retaliation or revenge, but stamina, courage, and heart. Reaching Top 20, the song was received by pop radio, so team LCM decided to release We Should Try Again which debuted at #30 it’s first week. As the songs began lining up, ready to be released, Diante encouraged Mather to unveil her Christian roots in her music. “My songs have always contained my beliefs, but I generally don’t focus on straight-forward Christian lyrics.” She wrote Home, a very moving tribute to her dad, which asks very honest questions about Heaven. “I want people to connect with my songs emotionally, the way I do. For me, it’s never about a specific genre.”
Her Christmas album is loaded with warm and cozy fireside atmosphere. “It’s my favorite time of year, and this may only be the first of several Christmas albums for me.” Many of the Christmas songs are original and set the perfect tone for the Holidays.
And finally, Diante and Mather chose to strip down some of their favorite songs to their most simple acoustic versions to reveal the heart of the songs. “It’s nice to hear the singing, the lyrics, and the essence of the songs simplified. It gives them different character traits”.
Although the unrelenting 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, connecting with people and their real stories, and not worrying about the outcome. I’m A Survivor.”
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