Living all over the world has given CARISSA LEIGH a uniquely global perspective that shapes her music and her life. CARISSA’s music is based in the style of classic country music mixed with subtle hints of rock and pop. The inspiration for CARISSA’s songwriting comes from her experience as a young mother, a traveller, and her understanding of love, loss and moving on. Her musical influences include country music legends Shania Twain, Keith Urban, Dolly Parton, Gary Allen, and Faith Hill.
CARISSA’s debut EP, Not the Same Girl, is an exciting and diverse in-depth look into the life of a budding country star. To capture the classic country spirit, CARISSA counted on co-writers and country music notables Clay Mills, Brian White, and Andrew Fromm. The album also drew from the creative genius of co-writer and producer ToneDef (Green Day, Santana, Chris Isaak) to yield songs such as “Can’t Help But Wonder,” an upbeat and raucous summer anthem. Showcasing her depth of feeling and her artistic craft, CARISSA’s eponymous track “Not The Same Girl” is a wrenching ballad of love, loneliness and inner strength.
Music has always been a driving force in CARISSA’s life. She gave her first piano recital at age 3 and became attracted to country music by age 12. Music also led her to a love for dance and she trained for years in both ballet and traditional Polynesian dance. In her teen years, she became an internationally known choir singer.
CARISSA has lived all over the world, growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada before moving to Hawaii to study anthropology. It was there she immersed herself in the musical traditions of the Pacific islands, such as Hula and Tahitian dance. CARISSA then moved New York City after graduating from college.
CARISSA has now returned to Calgary to raise the center of her life, her young daughter Kennedy.
CARISSA is also an accomplished photographer with work published in glamor magazines such as Cosmopolitan. Her photography work for the non-profit company Akin Clothing has taken her to schools all over the world.
CARISSA’s other loves include sports, fitness, health, and fashion, all of which she blogs about frequently. Above all, she is a mother and an artist, communicating her unique life experiences through her exceptional passion for country music.