Conchita Leeflang Interview – November 2011

Conchita Leeflang was born in Suriname (South America).  She was the youngest of seven children from a family of entertainers.  Her father Franklin was a songwriter and lead singer of the band “Los Negros”.  As a child, she moved to Belgium when her father became the ambassador from Suriname.  After being discovered from a school talent show in Belgium, Conchita was offered a record contract, producing her first record “Don’t Fade Away Hoshana”.

In her late teens, her efforts led to her first big opportunity working with the producers of Technotronic on a project called “Black Kiss”.  Both the first and second albums were instant hits, and were ranked in the top ten billboard charts.  The first, “Jump On The Floor”, went Platinum worldwide.  The next, “Fun Boy” went gold in Europe.  Other projects included “House Machine” with Plastic Bertrand and “Bang Gang Night” with the group Bang Gang.  While recording her music, Conchita was also active in modeling, dancing, and theater acting.

Conchita always loved Tina Turner and after appearing on “Performing As” which aired on Fox in 2003, she took the world by storm by performing all over the world. In 2008, she performed for the charity event “Playing For Good” in Majorca Spain along with Chaka Khan and John Legend.

In 2009, she hosted and performed for the 5th Annual “Unity Is Strength” Awards show in Rotterdam, Holland.  Most recently, she performed 3 songs for Martin Lawrence Bullard’s “Million Dollar Decorators”, which will air on Bravo this fall/winter.  Also appearing on the show were Taylor Dayne and Kelly and Sharon Osborne. Conchita was named “one of the 100 most beautiful women worldwide” by Esquire Magazine.

 

The Entertainment Nexus– Hello Conchita, how are you?

Conchita Leeflang I’m good.

 

TEN You are a client of Victoria Talbot Pressly, the CEO of Hype Inc. How did you meet her?

CL I met her through a British girlfriend of mine. She is an actress here as well. Victoria was in town one time and she stayed at my place for a day. When I met her she talked about what she did and she was interested in working for me. It was good.

 

TEN Tell me about this new reality show of yours.

CL It’s called “Dutch Hollywood Women” and in Dutch it’s called: “Nederlandse Hollywood Vrouwen.” The first season was with three Dutch women and one Flemish girl. It’s about four Dutch women who are successful in Hollywood. It’s really not like “Beverly Hills Housewives” but it’s kind of the same concept except that we really don’t connect with each other but in this season we will. Last season was a huge hit. I was a little skeptical because I thought it was going to be like “The Real Housewives” where they follow you all over like inside of your stomach. But when I saw how nice it was and that it was a huge success made my decision easy.

 

TEN What channel will be airing on?

CL It will be airing on a Dutch channel. It’s more in Europe. It was really big there and there were huge people on there. David Foster’s wife is Dutch and then there is a Dutch Princess who was married to an Arabian Prince. Also Heidi Clume and Kevin Costner as well were on there. Right now we are starting to film the Dutch one. I’m going to be one of the four girls now we have great ideas for each and every episode. I recorded a song with Sebastian Bach thanks to his girlfriend, Minnie Gupta. He is very interested in being part of it. I’m going to do another episode where I’m with another celebrity that I can’t mention right now. We are having a dinner with three other girlfriends. I can’t say anything about specifics until everything is certain. Once everything gets filmed then I will know the release times. One idea is an acting class with my acting coach Aaron Speiser and another is a photo shoot with a magazine. Another is a photo shoot for my baby clothing line. It’s gonna be fun. It’s going to be a real quality show. It’s quality…it has nothing to do with people fighting. It’s like a “Sex In The City.”

 

TEN What is the name of your baby clothing line?

CL It’s called: “Baby London Victoria.” And it’s launching at the beginning of next year.

 

TEN Will that be here or over in Europe?

CL Everywhere, but mainly here. I’m going to have the products made here.

 

TEN Please tell me about your music career.

CL I started singing when I was very little. I sang with my grandfather and my father. My father was in a band called; “Los Negros” and I used to sing with them. My love for music has been insane ever since I was little. I would sing everywhere I could sing. People would close their ears and I would still sing.

Then I moved to Belgium where my father was an ambassador for Suriname. I did a talent show in school and one of the parents, who was a big singer, came up to us and wanted to do a song with me. That was where I did my first song in Brussels. It was called: “Don’t Fade Away Hoshana.” After that, I signed a deal with the producers of Technotronic. At the same time their songs were big mine were big also in Europe. I was touring all over the place and did tons of shows. That’s when I started really making money with my singing and writing and everything. I was with Sony records and with Play It Again Sam… they were the two record companies. In the middle of promoting one of my new songs that I did with a group called: “The Bang Gang” that’s so weird (Laughs) People would twist that around so easily.

While we were promoting our group I got a huge modeling contract here in the US with a modeling agency. So I came here and I was going to do this just for a little while. In the beginning I was singing and then going back and forth modeling. I started taking acting classes and started getting into acting more as well. My music stopped for like a year but I was still active on TV. My videos were still playing but I wasn’t promoting myself at that time.

It was very overwhelming and I was young. All of this was right in the middle of a song coming out. Then I picked it back up and started performing here and there but then my acting became more active to me. I started acting and I did a show on television here called; “Performing As” where I performed as Tina Turner. After I did that show everything started again. I went into the studios… performances here and there. I flew from one country to the other to do shows.

In the Bahamas I did something really nice with a lot of songwriters from Nashville called: “The Songwriter Festival.” There was a great amount of songwriters. I didn’t even get a chance to record yet. I was in the studio and at the same time they still wanted me to tour some of my old songs and some of my songs that were released yet. This was in Europe because they heard from me again and I was happy that I was back on the market. I was in Europe every month. I was doing shows. I still had my fan base that I didn’t even know that I had anymore. They were paying big money to come see my shows.

People kept on booking me and booking and booking me. It never really stopped. I recorded songs in Europe and in Italy. I performed in the South of France. I did a lot of performances from songs that were even released so I was more on stage than anything else. Some songs that I recorded in Nashville are on iTunes. People were hearing songs that weren’t even on the market yet. They were on my MySpace. I would sing them and people would know them. That’s where my music picked back up and I was going all over the place.

Then I got pregnant three years ago and I did shows here and there. I did some shows with rock people. I did a show in Malibu with Kid Rock for somebody’s birthday. I did a few other little shows and then I stopped performing for little while to have the baby. When the baby was four months old I recorded and did a show called; “Million Dollar Decorator.” I performed there together with Taylor Dane. I mainly did songs that existed like: “Come Together” and I did a Tina Turner song and I did Janis Joplin’sPiece Of My Heart.” Those are the songs that people always ask me to sing. I also did “Whole Lotta Love” from Led Zeppelin. People have always asked me to sing the songs, which is flattering because they are great songs.

 

TEN I saw a video of you doing “Proud Mary” which was awesome.

CL (Giggles) Thank you! That is so sweet. That was one of the last times I performed on stage now I’m recording a new album. Whether I’m going to release it with a record company I don’t know yet, I haven’t shopped anything. I have some contacts which are pretty huge. I’m going to start there first and if they say “no”…I’ll keep going.

 

TEN You have a couple gold records in Europe don’t you?

CL Yes I do. One went platinum.

 

TEN Who were some of your influences growing up?

CL Tina Turner, Janis Joplin are my influences big-time.

 

TEN Which do you like best, music, modeling or acting?

CL My music. I will lay in bed and think of songs. I will wake up in the middle of night and remember a song and write it down. You can’t have any more love for music than that.

 

TEN Tell me about this photo shoot you’re going to do.

CL It’s going to be a high fashion shoot and it’s going to be four or five pages and the cover. It’s for the winter issue. It’s going to be fun because the going to film it and shoot it at the same time for the show.

 

TEN You mentioned Tina Turner as one of your biggest influences; I saw a short video of you and Ike Turner in the studio. Tell me about that.

CLWhen I did the show he came and saw me because I won the first week of that show. He came and watched me on the finale and he was so impressed that he wanted to do some songs with me. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. He made me listen to a song that very few people have ever heard. It’s called: “I’m Ashamed Calling Myself A Man.” That is a song that he wrote and it had reflection to Tina Turner and everything he did wrong to her. He sat in the studio explaining how people are trying to soft talk what he has done, saying: ‘Well yeah, he’s not that bad.” He said; “I was horrible. I was one of the most horrible men. I wouldn’t even have talked to myself if I was another person and a friend to myself.” He kept on saying how he had to tell people what he really was. That’s why he let the movie come out that’s why he was okay for them to release it caused most of the time it was really him influenced by drugs. We went to have some lunch. I don’t drink alcohol, never have, never done any drugs. He ordered water and he told me “This has been my drink of choice for I don’t know how many years. I’ve been sober for a long time.” For me, to hear that he died from anything that has to do with drugs was a big shock. He was really sincere he talked about him being a bad person. He said: “Tina Turner was one of the most wonderful women that he had ever met. She was a soul mate.” Whatever he destroyed was probably meant to be cut she wasn’t meant to stay with him. Those were his own words.

 

TEN You mentioned Kid Rock. You have been linked to dating him at one time.

CL Yea, we had a nice moment for a while. (Giggles) probably altogether I would say a year and something. I have nothing but respect for this man. I am still friends with most of his friends. I met a lot of amazing people through him that I am still friends with. I met one of my best friends, Miriam Rothbart, who was a bridesmaid when he married Pam (Anderson). I wouldn’t even imagine not having her in my life. Another is Diana Jenkins who is an amazing friend as well. I met Elton John and David Furnish through Miriam. He is still my buddy and he will forever be my buddy because Kid Rock is somebody who I look up to as an artist. I learned a lot from him just sitting and listening to him talk. I had an amazing time while I was dating him. It was great. He still shows lots of respect for me and I show lots of respect for him. There are just a handful of people in the world like him.

 

TEN Tell me about Elton and David.

CL Elton and David…oh my goodness. I get choked up when I talk about these two people. I get butterflies in my stomach I adore them so much. I went to Hawaii with them. I had my baby and they had their baby Zachary. It was three of their friends, Miriam and I took a nanny with me. They spoiled me; they took care of me and my daughter. My daughter adores their son. That was her first contact with other babies. I don’t have a lot of friends who have babies. He was only a month and a half old and she kept kissing and kissing and kissing on him. I think he was getting annoyed even at a month and a half old.

While I was pregnant I was here in LA and I’m never here for Christmas and New Year’s. I just don’t like being here for Christmas or New Year’s. I want to go home to my family in South America. They were here in the invited me to spend New Year’s with them. In the beginning I was like I just wanted to stay home and cry, call my parents at midnight and talk to them and then let go. There is a five hour difference and I still managed to do that. We had dinner for New Year’s and we spent the whole midnight Happy New Year’s moment together. I was pregnant, feeling heavy, tired but it was one of the most uplifting moments in my life. I felt so special to be able to spend it with them. It was just me and Merriam at the table with all boys. I’m a huge advocate for gay rights and it was one of the most uplifting moments. I really started feeling closer to them from that moment on.

After I had my baby, we still see each other all the time and we had dinner every time David is in town. We had a going away party for them when they went to London and there were 200 people there and only five of us girls. That’s my type of party because then you show more fabulous! It was really wonderful and just an amazing experience. They are such amazing human beings. When they embrace you, it doesn’t matter who you are. They embrace you because they feel and they love you and they want to embrace you. The people they have closest to them of the people they have work for them. The guy who is Elton’s bodyguard is his best friend. You can see that the guy loves him. He is a bodyguard that will die for Elton. Even knowing Elton, when I see him my heart is still like; “WOW!” He is such a legend. I have the same feelings for David. I know why Elton loves David. David is like an addiction. When you’re friends with David you feel very special. At the end of the day David is still my friend. I absolutely adore the hell out of him. When London turned one, they weren’t here, but they sent a car full of gifts for her.

 

TEN- I’m going to shift gears on you now. Tell me something disturbing about yourself that you never revealed before an interview.

CL I wish I could say I’m selfish but I’m not. Something disturbing about myself…I’m very hardheaded about what I believe in something and I believe strongly in it I won’t give in. I could be wrong about it but I still won’t give in. If I strongly believe in it I will fight you to stop bugging me and telling me. For example I won’t listen to anybody telling me that Casey Anthony is not guilty. I went nuts when she was found not guilty. There are people that were like; “What if?” Those were conversations that I fought with two of my friends with. To me I felt so strongly. I don’t care if it was an accident or not an accident; don’t tell me she’s not guilty. Finally I said; “Please let’s not talk about this anymore; you will never change my mind.” Sometimes when I really strongly believe that something, especially talk about my friends, you’ll hear my mouth run.

 

TEN Is there anything else that you would like to add or say?

CL I also want to say hello to my best friend in the world and my daughter’s Godmother, Soraja Sibilo and hello to my brother, Winston Leeflang who is my daughter’s Godfather. They are both very important to me and a big part of who I am today after my parents. I am very proud to be mentoring Gabriella Rothbart, Jamal Leeflang and Isaiah Leeflang. All three of them have insane musical talent.

 

I want to thank Conchita for taking the time to share with me a slice of her life and Victoria Talbot Pressly for setting up yet the interview with yet another amazing client.

 

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