Leah Dou on Mort Garson’s Magical 1970s Album, Plantasia

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AN41 Leah Dou
Self-portrait by Leah Dou

“I believe the album was made for plants, to help them grow,” the musician and actor tells AnOther

This article is taken from the Autumn/Winter 2021 issue of AnOther Magazine.

Plantasia was written by Mort Garson in the seventies. I believe the album was made for plants, to help them grow. I remember being in Los Angeles a couple of years back with a friend who was like, ‘Let me play you a record you’re gonna love.’ I swear I was blown away. It was a mind-blowing experience for me. Plantasia oozes sugariness. I don’t know much about Mort Garson but listening to this record gives me a very vivid picture of him, even if it’s just my projection of what he would have been like. In my mind he’s a very kind figure, someone who probably acts quite childlike sometimes and is very playful. That’s a quality that I really look up to when it comes to making music. It’s something I strive to achieve. It takes a certain sense of honesty to let yourself be like that, whether you’re playing a character while you’re making music or you’re being completely open. Music like this is rare. It’s so pure, really – I can’t think of any other word.”

It should come as no surprise that Leah Dou was drawn to an album as unusual as Mother Earth’s Plantasia. Born into Chinese pop royalty (her mother is pop star Faye Wong, her father rock musician Dou Wei), Dou has never been too interested in conforming to mainstream expectations. With her unconventional, androgynous style and distinctive face tattoo, she creates left-field, experimental and genre-averse music. Recently, the 24-year-old has also stepped into acting. When we speak, she’s on the bullet train from Beijing to Shanghai to promote her friend Queena Li’s episodic, oddball film Bipolar – in which she has the lead role – and which follows an appearance in Jianbin Chen’s dark comedy The Eleventh Chapter, for which she won a best supporting actress award at Beijing International Film Festival. Dou is also at the “beginning stages, making sketches in the studio” for her next album.

This article appears in the Autumn/Winter 2021 issue of AnOther Magazine which is on sale now. Head here to purchase a copy.