Leigh-Anne – Don’t Say Love (Single)

Warner Music UK Ltd

Release Date: June 16th 2023

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Leigh-Anne Don’t Say Love (Single) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Say Love

When Little Mix went on hiatus in 2021; I reckon most, if not all, or us, were drawing parallels between that and One Direction’s split. We weren’t thinking it, but the signs were there that this was the end. Between Us, the group’s final release and a compilation album and greatest hits album in every sense of the word, would serve as a bittersweet goodbye; and Jon reviewed the project– it’s such a brilliant album celebrating the career of one of UK’s most loved girl-groups since The Spice Girls. If you want to know more about Little Mix, you can read about them in the blog I wrote a while back about their future influence. But now, as we move forward and try to fill the Little Mix hole left in our hearts; let’s turn our attention to Leigh-Anne Pinnock’s debut solo single “Don’t Say Love”.

I think, as I say, 11 years in a group, there’s gotta come a time where you spread your own wings and sort of just stand on your own two feet. I think we all came to that sort of mutual decision and I think we’re just ready to see what the world has to offer for us just solo and individually. Also, me and Perri having children, I genuinely I don’t know how it would work in that group dynamic with kids now. I just don’t understand how.

I feel like it was a gradual thing, like conversations kind of happening, but I’m just happy that we all mutually agreed. You know, there wasn’t one person like, ​“No, we can’t do this!” As much as we all had come to the unanimous decision, it was like, we would be on tour, the three of us would be thinking, ​“Are we sure we wanna do this?” We had moments like that, like, ​“I don’t know if this is right.” Because we just had such a beautiful time on the last tour. We’re so close, we’re literally like family and you can’t choose your family. They are just always going to be my sisters. Yeah, it’s weird and it’s hard, but yeah, it’s definitely the right thing to do.

Don’t Say Love. So it came in the beginning of the process, but for me, I wasn’t done experimenting or writing. And then it kept popping up, I always knew it was a banger. Then I think we got some sort of months down the line and I thought, you know what, this is a no brainer for a first single. I love the fact that I’m taking my fans on a journey as well. I love the fact that it’s garage influenced but then still with a pop topline. But then, as I go through the singles, I will get a bit more R&B and there’s all these influences, music that I listened to growing up, like R&B, reggae, Afrobeats, garage. The album is an accumulation of all these sounds, but that’s what I’m excited for, to take people on that journey and gradually show everybody what I’ve been doing.

It really does [feel incredible] and this is why I still feel like I’m still on this cloud, because I’m promoting my song and it’s just, to me, it’s like my mind is just blown. I don’t know, I guess that comes from literally being in something for so long and now stepping into something that is so different, like this is my world now and my creation and it’s all on me as well. Before, if a song didn’t do well in the group or whatever, we’d have each other to lean on or it wouldn’t really matter as much, if that makes sense, because we’re going through it together. But I think that’s the hardest thing to deal with, knowing that it literally is just me. As much as they’re on the other end of the phone, it’s just different.

I feel like we’ve all kept things close to our chest just because we’re all perfectionists – I think that’s why anyway. We are, we knit-pick everything, so I think we probably wanted to save it until it was done. I actually played Jade stuff on my hen-do for the first time. I was so scared to play it to her. I don’t know why, but I just think I want their approval, do you know what I mean? I just want their backing. [But] She loves it. And then obviously Pez. I hadn’t actually seen Pez, so I hadn’t played anything to her. But obviously she saw the teasers and left a really lovely comment about it all. But they’re just proud. I say it all the time: they win, I win; I win, they win, do you know what I mean? We are still kind of weirdly in it together, if that makes sense. I feel like we will always be tied somehow.

“Don’t Say Love” is about no longer seeking external validation and regaining my confidence and sense of self in a world where I often felt misunderstood and unheard. This video is a visual representation of me finding my voice. I’m excited to continue to do so with my first love, music.

Has Leigh-Anne herself actually said everything there needs to be said in this ‘review’ of sorts? “Don’t Say Love” is a pop banger that inspires us to always strive to be in a relationship that is healthy, and to walk away from something that is toxic and brings you down. Leigh-Anne’s voice has never been better and reminds us that her prowess as a singer has put her in good stead for success as a solo artist. I don’t know what the future holds for her, or any of the other girls. But… you betcha I will be following each of the girls’ solo careers and be cheering them on. Little Mix was such a great band and no doubt these girls are crazily talented and awesome in their craft. Well done Leigh-Anne for a well-thought out debut solo single, and I can’t wait for what is in store for you in the future!

Score: 4.5/5

RIYL: Rita Ora, Dua Lipa, Little Mix, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Niall Horan

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