b. 11 October 1967, Bath, Somerset, England. Educated in England and Mauritius, her father is Welsh and her mother Mauritian. She began singing and acting at an early age, and while at school in Mauritius formed a jazz trio that performed in hotels. After living in Paris for two years, she then attended the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama in England continuing to sing although now with pop bands. Based in London from 1991 she worked in the theatre before deciding that her future lay in music and singing rather than in acting. She played the London club and pub scene where she was heard by pianist-composer Simon Wallace. He was currently working with the distinguished American poet and lyricist Fran Landesman, and he recognized in Leighton-Thomas’ voice the qualities needed to suitably interpret Landesman’s darkly wise and witty lyrics.
This three-way collaboration began in the mid-90s and resulted in a succession of fine performances both live and, latterly, on record. By the late 90s Leighton-Thomas was performing at the top level of London venues including the Barbican, Pizza on the Park and the Vortex. Leighton-Thomas’ voice is fluid, sensuous and perfectly geared to the needs of her repertoire, which extends beyond Landesman to incorporate all that is stylish, witty and intellectually demanding in the pantheon of superior popular music. At the beginning of 1999 she was recording and touring with a group led by Gary Husband and featuring fellow-vocalists Georgie Fame and Jack Bruce. She was also planning her own second and third albums, one of standards and the other with more latter-day gems from Wallace and Landesman.