20-year old New York based artist Leyla Blue released her first EP this past November. The 3-track EP titled “Songs For Boys That Didn’t Text Me Back” is concise yet full of emotional and powerful range. Blue is the biggest 90s/2000s R&B/pop fan: “I use the term bad bitch/sad bitch to describe it. So it’s this idea that only through owning your sad bitch do you actually become a bad bitch.”
Blue also grew up in New York City. To grow up in a city like New York, it’s impossible to not be influenced by the inherent everyday hustle that the people embody. This is a city with such infamous and unique notoriety - there’s a feeling that encompasses every corner, where you simply look around and it’s dreamer after dreamer working really hard to make it happen. Blue is so consciously aware of the city’s direct impact on her, she says “I think that growing up in a place where hustle and belief in yourself is normal, when I was a 13 year old who just decided on a weekend that she wants to be a singer, yes it seemed crazy - but it seemed somehow not out of this world. Growing up in New York I think is what made me believe in myself.”
The singularity of Blue is in her ability to balance the power of her voice with raw and honest emotion. It’s that thing that you can’t fake, when an artist honestly makes you feel their pain, their joy, and their experiences - they’re instantly in a different domain of artistry. One of Blue’s favorite artists and influences is Amy Winehouse. She says “Her lyrics are really where she shines, in the sense that they’re so personal and so confessional and just gut-wrenching.” That soul combined with confessional and personal lyricism, and then bringing it into the pop-sphere is an extraordinary ability and talent that Amy Winehouse was able to showcase in her music. Similarly, Blue is well on her way to mastering that same significant balance.
“Peppa Pig” is Blue's first release of 2020 and her first release since her debut EP “Songs For Boys That Didn’t Text Me Back”. Produced by Y2K, Leyla definitely taps into a different side to herself on "Peppa Pig" - more of her “bad bitch” side. She is an artist that treats her music like her diary, with different moods and feelings expressed. “Peppa Pig” is an ode to that feeling that you can’t really describe other than just saying “Bitch I feel like Peppa Pig”.
There’s such a fun bounce to the production - so on coming together with Y2K and making the track, Blue says: “Peppa Pig is just my absolute most carefree, feeling like a bad b*tch so I’m going to make a song that makes me feel like a stupid 5 year old bad b*tch. Y2K and I - we had coffee and we realized we had absolutely opposite tastes in music. We were like ok let’s see what comes out of this. We got in the studio with my co-writer Jesse and we just started talking and watching weird ‘Peppa Pig’ videos, we ordered Mexican food and literally made the song in 3 hours (laughs). The vocals that you hear on there, have not changed since that night.”
Blue has some new visuals and more music coming soon (she’s aiming for a second EP release by early summer). She talks about the new music she’s working on and says “This EP is the most personal stuff I’ve ever written. It’s literally my brain, heart and soul in a body of work. It’s basically like ok now that I’ve left this party and I’ve finally gotten over this guy, now I’m stuck with myself.”
Her debut NYC show is on February 4th at The Slipper Room. For someone with such a powerful voice, it’s exciting to see what her live performance would look like. “For me, a live show is really where I get to showcase how every song is a different chapter of my book and I get to show the whole book and tell the stories behind the songs - and how this is not just a random group of songs and made on Spotify.” Blue’s future is looking bright, as she continues to work on her craft: “I hope to be able to speak to as many lonely 13 year olds in their bedroom as possible because that’s exactly what I needed. Me discovering music when I was 13 literally saved my life, I just hope to do that for as many people as possible.”