Alva grew up on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, an hour east of New Orleans. In 2005, she moved to Nashville to study religion and literature at Belmont University, performing and writing on the Nashville circuit.
With pretty melodies and lush vocals that nod to the likes of Rilo Kiley and Rufus Wainwright, Alva’s brooding piano pop has received commercial success over in the States when her single 'Calling Me' was used in an episode of the TV medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.
Before moving to the UK in 2012, Alva released a covers EP of duets with Natalie Prass, Matthew Perryman Jones and more. Her cover of 'Both Sides Now' has over 4 million plays on Spotify.
Her latest album, Modern Love Songs (2014) features ten piano-led folk-pop songs with subtle country tones and classic arrangements.
She also writes & performs with Welsh singer-songwriter Al Lewis as the duo, Lewis & Leigh. They released their debut album, Ghost, to huge critical acclaim in 2016. The album reached number 1 on the Amazon Folk chart, won best UK Americana Album & Song in 2017. The duo appeared on Germany's largest music TV show, Ina's Nacht, opened for Deacon Blue & Jools Holland and performed at Glastonbury & Cambridge Folk. They are currently writing their second album.
Once upon a time, she kept a blog about songwriting, living in London, what inspired her. You can view the archive here.