Leigh-Anne – Don’t Say Love

“Don’t Say Love” is Leigh-Anne’s first solo project. Already, it’s receiving praises from all the right people: her fans are playing it on repeat and critics are fawning over her voice and the song’s production. As you can imagine, “Don’t Say Love” means a lot to Leigh-Anne in her journey as a solo performer, especially after spending the last eleven years being one of three other members of the very successful British girl group Little Mix. Leigh-Anne promises that this new chapter will see a more confident side of her emerging, as she sheds the invisibility she said masked her musical career for so long.

Production-wise, Leigh-Anne says it’s a mixture of R&B, amapiano, UK garage, afrobeats, and pop, while Carl Smith of the Official Charts Company described the song as a fusion of dance and UK garage. “Don’t Say Love” is basically an introduction to Leigh-Anne, the soloist, and it’s a strong one at that.

On “Don’t Say Love,” Leigh-Anne wants her lover to be absolutely sure they are really and truly in love before promising so. Even though the song conveys Leigh-Anne as someone who is sure of wanting to be with the person, “I don’t wanna be with someone else,” she also wants them to not say “love” if the word doesn’t carry weight for them.

“If we’re gonna be, I need your help / If you’re down, I’m down for life,” she sings, before going on to add, “Don’t say love if that’s not what you’re chasin’ / Truth might hurt, but I know I can take it.”

Speaking on the song via her press release, she called it a way for her to regain her confidence and “sense of self in a world where I often felt misunderstood and unheard.” The single – released on June 16 – is accompanied by a music video that has been described as “futuristic” with Leigh-Anne rocking a “sparkling sequinned leotard.” In the video, Leigh-Anne is shown resisting her dancers when they try to grab her – an obvious nod to her wish that the song represents her struggle “to escape the feeling of being overlooked and undervalued.”

Somewhere in the video, we see her jump from a skyscraper and plunge into a body of water – a scene she says signifies “rebirth and letting go of that pain.” She worked with stylist Jenke Ahmed in the Emil Nava-directed video. The cover picture pays homage to Mariah Carey’s The Emancipation of Mimi album cover.