Janet Leon at Sommarkrysset in 2013
|Birth name||Janet Ava Leon|
|Also known as||JJ, Jaye, Janne|
19 October 1990 |
|Labels||Sony BMG, Columbia, (Music World) (2003–2005)
Roxy Recordings (2012)
Janet Ava Leon (born 19 October 1990) is a Swedish singer-songwriter of Persian descent. She was part of the pop girl group, Play between 2003–2005, replacing Faye as the lead singer she would then go onto released her solo self-titled debut album, Janet (2009).
Leon was born in Gothenburg, Sweden to Iranian-born parents who immigrated to Sweden. As a child, she participated in dance classes and played the violin. At a much older age she joined a small band with friends called Walking Spanish. The band performed at various music festivals across Sweden.
Leon's professional music career began when she was 12 years old. She joined the Swedish pop group Play in late 2003. Play's lead singer Faye Hamlin left the group to finish high school in Sweden in 2003. In October 2003, Leon received a phone call from the band's manager, Laila Bagge, to whom she had sent an audition video in the past. Leon was an acquaintance of original member Anaïs Lameche prior to joining Play. On 15 December 2003, an official press release announced that Janet had officially joined the group and production on the band's third studio album had begun.
The band's third studio album, Don't Stop the Music, was released on 9 March 2004. She is not featured in the video for "It's a Hard Knock Life", though her vocals are featured in the song on the album. Originally, the group recorded the song with then member Faye Hamlin and filmed the music video before her departure. A subsequent Christmas album followed in November 2004 called Play Around the Christmas. Leon toured with the group throughout the United States for most of 2004 and part of 2005. In September 2005, the group announced their indefinite breakup. When the band reformed in late 2009, Leon did not rejoin.
2005-09: Solo career and debut album
In 2005, Leon began her career as a solo artist, shortly after Play disbanded. That same year, she recorded a song for the American toy store brand Build-a-Bear Workshop and another song for Kohl's clothing brand everGirl. Also, she contributed to the Rock Angelz album to promote the Bratz dolls franchise. She was featured on the Lindsay Lohan remake "Change the World" (background vocals) and lent her vocals in the song "Nobody's Girl".
During late 2008, she was chosen as one of two participants in the Swedish television show Made in Sweden; the show reunited her with her former manager, Laila Bagge, and producers Anders Bagge and Andreas Carlsson, who worked on Play's previous albums. The show documented her progress working on her debut album, promotional work across Sweden, and in one episode a meeting with Roger Moore in London. On 30 January 2009, her debut single Let Go peaked on the charts at number 3 in Sweden. Her eponymous debut album was released in Sweden on 18 February 2009 and spent three weeks on the charts in Sweden. Later that same year, her second single, Heartache on the Dancefloor rose to number 34 in Sweden and charted for a total of 10 weeks. In 2010, she embarked on a tour in Sweden as "Marty" in the musical stage production, Grease.
2011-present: Melodifestivalen 2013 and 2014 and second album
In 2011, Leon recorded vocals for the song, Fire Fly for Childish Gambino's album, Camp. The album was released in the United States on 15 November 2011. In November 2012, Leon was officially confirmed as an contestant for Sweden's Melodifestivalen songwriting competition. Leon performed her original song, "Heartstrings" written by Fredrik Kempe and Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, in third heat of the competition in Skellefteå on 16 February 2013. Leon placed in fifth in the semi-finals and did not qualify for the next round. Leon revealed that her second studio album would be released shortly after finishing Melodifestivalen 2013.
On 7 May 2013, Leon announced that her new single New Colours was chosen for the official song for Stockholm Pride 2013. New Colours was co-written by Leon, along with songwriters Jörgen Elofsson, Lisa Desmond and Jesper Jakobson. The single debuted at number 10 on Svensktoppen.
In November 2013, Leon was announced as a contestant for Melodifestivalen 2014, the national selection to find the Swedish representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with the song "Hollow". This will be Leon's second time performing in Melodifestivalen. The song was written by Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Jimmy Jansson, and Louise Winter. She competed in the fourth semi-final, on 22 February 2014 in Örnsköldsvik where she finished in 8th and last place and was knocked out from the competition.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Heartache on the Dance Floor"||34|
As a member of Play:
|2008||Gnomes & Trolls: The Secret Chamber||Fawn||Voice|
|2009||Made in Sweden||Herself||Season 1 (4 episodes)|
|2013||Melodifestivalen||Herself||Performed "Heartstrings". (Skellefteå Semi-final round 3). Fifth Place.|
|2014||Melodifestivalen||Herself||Performed "Hollow". (Örnsköldsvik Semi-final round 4). Eliminated in eight place|
|2010||Grease (Swedish version)||Marty|
- "SWEDEN: JANET LEON [INTERVIEW]". eschat.com. eschat. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- Bonacich, Drago; Reges, Margaret. "Biography: PLAY". AMG. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- http://www.melodifestivalklubben.se/nyheter.php?news_id=2354 Interview for Melodifestival 2013
- http://www.escbet.com/2012/11/26/melodifestivalen-2013-line-up-complete/[permanent dead link]
- "Eurovision Addict". Eurovision-addict.blogspot.com. Euro Vision. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
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