Interview With Singer-Songwriter Leila
HELLO LEILA! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Leila. I was born in small town Pennsylvania to hard working immigrant parents who brought me up on music – mostly classical – from a young age. Over the last three years I’ve worked as a coder to fund the release of my debut album, Glass Highways! It’s finally here and I’d love to know what you think!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE? HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED MUCH OVER THE YEARS?
In being my first album, Glass Highways was fairly explorational in terms of musical style. I listen to tons of music but had never formally produced a song of my own, so even I was curious how’d it come out.
Over the course of producing Glass Highways it feels like my style progressed from folksy to soul and jazz. Regardless of the genre, my music is always lyrically heavy with romantic melodies. These days I call it “Romantic Indie Soul”.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR ARTISTIC INSPIRATION?
One of the benefits of working as a coder is that I’m afforded the luxury of listening to music all day while coding. It enables me to binge on artists and albums almost daily, in search riffs, tones, moods, or melodies that catch my ear and ultimately inspire my own writing. In other words, I’m very much inspired by other music.
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR CAREER?
This list is endless. It’s hard to say where I’d be without an early introduction to music from my parents and all the teachers that helped me along the way. This is especially true of my high school piano teacher, Elaine Friedlander. Without realizing it at the time, she taught me the discipline and detail that goes into being a better musician, which is often overlooked.
In making the album, I’m immediately inspired by my producer Tim Carr, who’s a talent and helped the album come to fruition. Needless to say, other artists in the industry, dead or alive, inspire in the creative novelty they produce. There’s always something to work towards.
WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS LIKE FOR MAKING MUSIC?
My songs start out as poems or melodies that are then assigned a tune or lyrics respectively. In either case, I need a lyrical and musical motif that’s worth building upon. Otherwise, without that strong foundation, without that thesis, the song never comes together.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GROW YOUR PERSONAL BRAND?
One of my favorite activities to grow LeilaLand is to hold remix contests for my songs!
The experience is incredible because I receive tunes created by producers from all over the world that are a reimagination of my own music. It’s quite humbling to know that a total stranger spent that much time alone with something I wrote.
For anyone interested or spending Christmas alone, I’m actually holding a December remix contest for album opener “By You Now” here! https://leilaland.com/remix
WHAT IS THAT ONE THING THAT YOU ALWAYS KEEP IN YOUR MIND WHILE PREPARING YOUR CONTENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Is this sincere? Being earnest is all I’ve got.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO A BUDDING ARTIST?
I don’t know that I’m yet qualified to give such advice, but if I had to at this moment it might be:
- Set yourself apart by exploring who you are and what sounds/art you love
- Success is less a measure of talent than it is resiliency in the face of adversity.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
This album took me three seemingly endless years to release alongside my full time job, so if you do listen I’d love to hear what you think and what your favorites are! Regardless, thank you for taking the time to read about my story and I hope to hear from you 😀