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Kiran Leonard (born John Kiran Leonard) is a musician, composer and singer-songwriter from Saddleworth, Greater Manchester.
Leonard was born into a musical family in the countryside of Greater Manchester. He first learned to play mandolin and guitar and then, inspired by his older brother’s diverse music collection, began to experiment with composing electronic music.
After a period of prolifically self-releasing experimental music, Leonard’s full length album Bowler Hat Soup was released in 2012 on Hand of Glory Records to some acclaim, receiving notable endorsement from DJ Marc Riley of BBC Radio 6 Music. His subsequent LP Grapefruit (2016), released on Moshi Moshi Records, likewise received critical acclaim.
Leonard’s music notably references a wide variety of literature, historical figures and geographical locations: his 2017 LP Derevaun Seraun documented a collection of pieces commissioned by Manchester Central Library inspired by works by James Joyce, Albert Camus, Henry Miller, Clarice Lispector and Manuel Bandeira, while Grapefruit makes reference to Ondör Gongor, Caiaphas, the Bilderberg Group, Lagavulin and Werner Herzog, Bowler Hat Soup to Friedrich Nietzsche, Brunswick Street, Port Ainé and Bora Bora, Thread Colours (2015) to Franz Kafka and Windermere, and Garden in Bermuda (2016) to Annie Edson Taylor and Coyoacán. He has cited musicians such as Frank Zappa, Richard Dawson, The Mars Volta and Kate Bush as important influences on his music.