Who Is Leo Waters?

Kieran Kohorst

While rising artist Leo Waters is celebrating his debut EP release, he is far from his initiation to the industry. On Waters Ave, Waters’ newest 6-track project that introduces his new-school R&B instincts, brings the artist’s voice to the forefront after years of occupying the background. At just 15 years old, a young Waters left home to pursue a career as a dancer, beginning in Chicago and later making his way to Las Vegas. A junior of over 10 years to his peers, his age misrepresented his talent, as he quickly climbed the ranks to secure spots performing alongside DaBaby and Coi Leray

Waters’ trajectory as an artist mirrors that of his as a dancer: although perceived as inexperienced, he appears to have a knack for the craft. His potential was apparent on early single “Smoke + Mirrors,” a track that plays in the same vein as a lighter Brent Faiyaz record. Waters’ identity begins to take form as On Waters Ave develops - “That’s Tough” and “On Me” show his ear for melody while “Psycho” stretches the range of his vocals with impressive results. Though a small sample size, Waters shows confidence and promise on his debut EP, solidifying himself as a name to watch in the ever-growing R&B scene. 

A turning point in Waters’ career arrived in 2023 when he was connected with Donn Robb, the legendary Chicago producer known for his recent work with The Kid Laroi, G Herbo, and Juice WRLD. As the two began working on new music together, Waters’ numbers started to balloon. “Leo Waters means King of Waters,” the artist explains. “Waters Ave is my home street and a cultural hub representative of my mixed Latin heritage and small town familial ties. Having had to fight tooth and nail to come up in Tampa, I now feel it’s time to tell my story as an artist leaving home to face the urban jungle of Los Angeles.” As the first signee of Robb’s label The Groove Garden, Waters has been collecting co-signs, including the likes of Ty Dolla $ign and Madeintyo. On Waters Ave is the biggest step Leo Waters has taken thus far, and it appears he’s just starting to hit his stride. 

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