Baggy pants, skatepunk sneakers, and other youthful fashion touches made Kristian Leontiou (pronounced Lee-On-Tyoo) look like he was going to bust out an aggressive teen-angst anthem at any moment, but the poignant sounds of David Gray, Dido, and Damien Rice -- coupled with a blue-eyed soul swoon -- were what listeners got instead. The London native fell in love with music at a young age and was sure he wanted to sing professionally, so sure that he was out of the house, out of school, and funding his pursuit of fame with a variety of odd jobs at the age of 17. At first, labels wanted the young singer to join rap or teen pop acts due to his looks. Leontiou would have none of it, though, and kept shopping his singer/songwriter-styled demos to labels. Hitting pay dirt when he was 22, he signed with Polydor in the U.K. in 2004 and the hype machine started rolling.
His debut single, "Story of My Life," stormed up the charts that spring and was followed by the full-length Some Day Soon, which went gold. Island released the album in America in February 2005, but Leontiou grew tired of the solo game and eventually ended his partnership with the label. Several years later, he resurfaced as the frontman of One eskimO. ~ David Jeffries