GAY TIMES CEO Tag Warner speaks with pop hitmaker and close friend Leland on the latest episode of his original podcast Tag Talks…

Since debuting in the industry in 2011, Leland has become one of the most famed songwriters in pop. Over the past decade, the singer, writer and producer has penned critically-acclaimed tracks for artists such as Selena Gomez, Troye Sivan, Charli XCX, RuPaul and Ellie Goulding.

Leland also works closely with RuPaul’s Drag Race, writing and producing some of the franchise’s biggest anthems such as Errybody Say Love, Don’t Funk It Up, Break Up Bye Bye, You Don’t Know Me and UK Hun? The latter became a smash hit in the UK, topping iTunes and peaking within the top 30 of the Singles Chart.

Speaking with Tag, Leland admits: “I’m not completely fulfilled writing pop songs. I’m not completely fulfilled writing country songs. But what I have found, is that I am completely fulfilled by the culmination of all of it; stepping outside of my comfort zone and writing the most ridiculous, dumb song like UK Hun?

“And then to balance it writing something like The Good Side with Troye Sivan, and then writing something that is fun and empowering like Kings & Queens for Ava Max, and then writing something for RuPaul like I’m That Bitch.”

Leland also recalls the creative process behind the United Kingdolls banger, saying it was written in just an hour and a half because he “didn’t overthink it”.

“For me I have to get into the mindset,” he says. “This isn’t groundbreaking but for UK Hun, I just watched a bunch of Eurovision performances and listened to a lot of Steps, and just tried to get my mind in that headspace of melodic choices that they would make, lyrics, and it’s the same thing with every song.”

Songwriting with Leland is the fourth episode in the Tag Talks… series. It follows Tag’s conversations with Greyson Chance, who opened up about his new music and mental health, L Devine, who addressed gender disparity within the music industry, and Daniel W. Fletcher, who reflected on his journey in fashion.

Listen to the latest episode of Tag Talks… with Leland now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify (or wherever you get your favourite podcasts).