[Exclusive Interview] Lea Cota On Her Single ‘Caught In A Lie’ And The Inspiration Behind Her Beautiful Lyricism

Image Credits: @leacotamusic

With her amazing voice and heartfelt lyrics, independent artist Lea Cota takes her audience on an emotional journey, giving us a glimpse of her personal experiences and what inspires her music. 

Lea is most known for her song ‘Sugarcane,’ which we personally love. After releasing this single along with ‘Odds On’ last year, she later released her EP titled Swimming Skeletons. 

To gain a better understanding of her creative process and the messages behind her songs, we spoke to Lea about her work and her upcoming single, ‘Caught In A Lie,' which will be released on September 21st.

Congratulations on the success of ‘Sugarcane’ and ‘Odds On!’ We know that these songs were inspired by Suga and Jungkook of BTS, and we love that you’re so open about being a fan. What was the creative process like when composing these two songs? 

Lea: Thank you! I started writing ‘Odds On’ with the intention of having something I could personally relate to. I wanted it to be a bare song to keep the romantic element; just a piano and a voice. The intense rush of inspiration is a unique one that I don’t think many people talk about. I know a lot of musicians don’t like to expose who their favorite artists are. Maybe it is a fangirl thing; but I don’t see the shame in it. It was so cathartic to put these words into my favorite art form. When I wrote ‘Sugarcane,’ I was in the midst of binging all of Suga’s lyrics and analyses of them. The way his personality was so different in interviews than his intense lyric delivery in his songs inspired me. I built the song around “Sweet like sugarcane” which popped in my head after my deep dive. 

‘Swimming Skeletons’ is a song about being afraid of vulnerability and getting too close to someone. You do a wonderful job of exhibiting such emotions. It also has a darker vibe compared to ‘Sugarcane’ and ‘Odds On.’ Did you have moments where you were hesitant to release this song and share your honest feelings with everyone? Is there a story behind it? 

Lea: ‘Swimming Skeletons’ is a much older song than ‘Odds On’ or ‘Sugarcane.’ It definitely took a lot longer to write; I think I wrote it when I was 18 and it stuck around 2 years later. It was from a very difficult time in my life when I believed isolation made me a stronger person than intimacy. It felt a lot easier to ghost or avoid relationships all together than be honest with how deeply I felt for people. With that being said, I’m trying to keep growing and learn how to respect my own emotions. It’s a dark song, but I’m hoping maybe it could inspire someone else to be true to themselves. Or at least be a catalyst for growth. 

You released your EP Swimming Skeletons this year and recorded it in Los Angeles. What was that experience like? We’re sure it was amazing getting to record music you’ve been working on and bringing it to life! 

Lea: Going to LA to record my newest EP was so rewarding. I was exhausted in the most fulfilling way. It only motivates me to keep going until I can do this full time.

As an independent artist, you are in charge of many different tasks: marketing, composing, recording, content creation, and graphic design. How do you manage everything and find the time to decompress without going through creative burnout? 

Lea: I don’t manage very well! Honestly it is a struggle with how saturated social media is. It’s easy to get caught up in clickbait and shock factors for traction, but it comes off very inauthentic. I love being in control of all of the elements behind my music, but I definitely need time to get offline and to stop comparing myself to everyone else in my line of work. Taking the conscious effort to not internalize trends and stay focused is usually done by getting off social media for a few days. 

You have been releasing snippets of song covers and original songs since 2020 and have grown a lot as an artist since then. Can you describe to us/walk us through your musical/artistic journey as you find/found your own music style?

Lea: I always hated doing covers. I love singing other people’s songs, but I cannot do them justice. I learned what I liked about my favorite artists sonically and what complimented my own voice, so the intersection of the two made “my sound”. Over time I realized I didn’t want to be recognized for my voice necessarily, but rather my message and lyrics. Nothing feels better than someone commenting on my original songs saying that they feel the same way. 

Going back to the snippets of original songs you have released, some of them focus on mental health. One example is ‘It’s not you (it’s me),’ which is about anxiety. It’s great to see musicians shed light on important topics like this. Is this a song we can expect to be released soon along with other unreleased songs? 

Lea: I completely forgot about that song! Mental health is a constant battle for me, so most songs have that influence. The new songs especially dive in a little deeper. It is difficult to articulate those thoughts sometimes since they’re so personal, but it is crucial to art. I usually can’t get over things until I write a song about it; conversely, I am always searching for songs that explain exactly how I am feeling. You never know how much your words help someone else. It is easy to feel like you are on the brink of insanity and are the only person in the world to think these terrible things- until you hear someone say “Hey, I've been there too. But it goes away and you get better.”

Your music is very melodic and consists of beautifully written lyrics that many people can relate to, and the sneak peek for your upcoming single, ‘Caught In A Lie,’ is no exception. It’s the perfect song for all the hopeless romantics out there. What inspired you to write a song like this? 

Lea: ‘Caught In A’ Lie was another song exposing myself! I am such a hopeless romantic, it's disgusting. I want the grand gestures and the mushy gushy confessions in the rain. But it seems like anytime someone reciprocates, I run away. Romanticizing romance was the driving force for this one… Naivety is a curse and a blessing!

We love your music so we just had to ask: What can we expect from you in the upcoming months?

Lea: New EP is coming soon and I am so anxious for you to hear it. 

Given that you are also a K-pop stan and an ARMY, we’re curious to know: Who is your bias?

Lea: Sir Jeon Jungkook. 

Lastly, what message would you like to give to your fans and those reading this interview? 

Lea: Be your own biggest fan. 

Thank you for taking the time to interview with KpopWise, Lea. We look forward to the release of your new single, 'Caught In A Lie' and your next EP!

Lea Cota: Instagram | Spotify | YouTube | TikTok


Yuni is a graphic designer and journalist with a passion for music, especially within the K-music scene. She enjoys listening to K-pop, but she also listens to other genres and likes discovering new music.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post