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Finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list requires personally tailoring each present to the recipient. Rather than play it safe with gift cards, surprising the music lovers, musicians and even aspiring singers in your life with a well-thought-out surprise can result in a reaction that’s practically a gift in and of itself. That’s not to say it isn’t challenging, which is why we sought the advice of pop singer LÉON (the stage name of Lotta Lindgren) to determine the best gifts for singers both aspiring and professional.
The Swedish singer-songwriter has been wrapping up 2023 with gifts for her fans, including two new singles as well as a music video or her most recent song, “Dirt.” Outside of songwriting and building her upcoming album, the “Pretty Boy” singer took the time to chat with Billboard about what she considers the most valuable gifts for singers — especially for someone looking to hone their craft.
“Finding a space where you get to explore and learn how to use your instrument — I think that really helped me to have in my early days,” the Circles singer says. “Being in choir, being with a band, getting to cosplay different voices. Just trying to explore a lot was so helpful for me.”
That’s not all LÉON finds to be the best gifts for singers; she also delves into useful instruments, helpful recording software and more.
Keep reading to shop the expert-recommended picks.
Best Gifts for Singers
MasterClass offers a vast library of classes taught by professionals in a variety of fields including cooking, music, business, design and more. Members will have the opportunity to take classes from professionals in the industry including Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, John Legend and even Metallica. Right now, the platform is offering a free gift membership with each plan, which means you can get two memberships for the price of one.
The “Hope Is a Heartache” singer especially finds that supporting your loved one’s dreams is one of the best gifts you could give and MasterClass can help find them develop skills through online lessons they can take at their own pace.
“One of the things that really came to mind was having people around you that makes you feel happy and safe,” she says. “I think going on your gut feeling and having people around you, you’re like, okay, this person is giving me energy, making me feel good and happy and safe and seen.”
Starry Night Hardcover Notebook
Besides having a hypnotic voice, the singer is also an avid songwriter, which she attributes to journaling. It can be any journal, but this hardcover notebook from Papier features a gorgeous starry cover you can also put on display.
“I think getting comfortable with putting down your thoughts made it easier then to start writing more structured song lyrics,” she tells. “Okay, yeah, embarrassing journaling, but I think it’s good to just put down everything you’re thinking.”
Shure SM7B Dynamic Vocal Microphone
Looking back at her teen years, LÉON would’ve wanted a microphone as an aspiring singer as it allows you to “find the takes you like and there’s no pressure to perform in front of anybody else.”
Her personal favorite? An SM7 microphone that she takes everywhere with her.
“That’s what I’m recording all my vocals on now,” she says. “I tend to get very scared when I’m in the studio and it’s this big microphone in front of me and it’s like this is like a crisp, expensive microphone. I freeze up and it just ends up being the shi–est take because I think it’s just so mental. Now I’m doing everything on my SM7, and I’m sitting, recording and I love it.”
The “Tired of Talking” singer also uses programs like Logic and Apollo to edit her recordings, which can also help with experimenting with your own sound. But “there’s so many other ones,” according to the artist. Logic in particular is available on Mac devices and can be downloaded onto your device through the Apple Store.
Yamaha JR1 FG Acoustic Guitar
Another thoughtful gift for singers, according to LÉON, is to “get an instrument.”
“When it comes to the guitars, I think one of my first one was a Martin guitar, but I think just having a basic one like, I mean, Yamaha has super cheap ones and you can bring it wherever you want.”
She also says the basic ones are the easiest to learn, which may be best for anyone who has never played the instrument before.
AKAI Professional MPK Mini Keyboard
You don’t have to stay limited to just one type of instrument either, she also recommends a mini keyboard too, which can help when trying to describe a note that’s in your head and more.
“I have a little synth that I can bring anywhere,” she says. “Like, put some batteries in and I can just play on that and have fun with it. Sometimes it’s hard to explain when you’re, like, for example you’re working with a producer, you’re like, I’m hearing this chord in my head. Then it’s nice to be able to just play the basic chord that you’re hearing, and you can express yourself easier.”
And for her fans, LÉON hints that there is a lot to look forward to in terms of her own music.
“More songs are coming — songs that I’m so excited about, and more music is in the making. I’ve been a bit of a slow burn the past year and now I’m like, let’s go.”
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