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  August 2008  

Leila Interview Page 4

leilaLeila:  I have to admit I’m a bit of an Internet junkie, so I think there’s about thirty Web sites I have.  Any place that I find that could be a powerful outlet—and I guess that’s what I would also say as advice to independent artists out there, but I’m sure they’ve been there, done that.  I mean, most of them are doing what I’m about to say, but for those that are just beginning, you can never lose by putting yourself out there and there really are some amazing Web sites you can be on that if nothing else, they just feel rewarding.  It’s an outlet for you to express yourself and to be heard, and what an amazing blessing it is for someone in, say, China to click on one of your song links while you’re sleeping on the other side of the world, they’re listening to your music.

It is just so empowering because like I’m having a great day today, I’m in a great place, and creatively I’m feeling fine, but I might be feeling down next week.  I go through my ups and downs, and I go through discouragement and all that, and it’s such a gift to be able to log onto a Web site and get an e-mail or a small message from someone saying in their broken English “I enjoyed your song” or “I love this” or “I love that” and you say “Wow.”  See, that’s the one person I never would have reached if I didn’t put myself up there on this Web site and that could be any of them, there’s a million of them, but it’s so powerful and then it becomes about you just want to write and you want to sing and you want to express yourself because it’s what you want to do and it’s less of a numbers thing.  Because that one person in China that heard your song, you don’t really know that they might have needed to hear the very thing that you had to put out.

Jazz Monthly:  Yeah, exactly.

Leila:  And what a shame it would be if you didn’t, and that goes with anything in life, really.  You never know the impact you’re having on people.

Jazz Monthly: Yes, and I think you’re right about the Internet.  There’s so many positive things about getting your music out there, getting yourself out there, and I tell ya, you’ve got great video footage on your Website and your My Space page.  Just a wealth of things to delve into, so it’s really cool.

Leila:  Thank you, and recently on my My Space I put a little video player at the bottom of my My Space page that features videos from You Tube that I had found that are non-music-related but are videos of people doing acts of kindness and good things, and just really heartwarming videos, and the reason I added it was because I realize that it’s not just music and art, it’s people from every walk of life making a difference and I thought, in a nutshell, if I could wave a magic wand, I would have so much exposure to my page and they would become aware of my music on a global level, but what if that happens, how great would it be to also give exposure to people who are doing amazing things that you just don’t hear about on the news?  So it became like a sort of…I’m not sure what the word is, but in my effort to kind of expose people doing great work, I thought I would give them a little corner on my page and I think it’s good energy.

Jazz Monthly:  It is.  Is that your Positive Vibes corner?

Leila:  Yes.  Oh, you’re aware of it.

Jazz Monthly:  Oh yeah, I look around.

Leila:  Yeah, you know, it’s really amazing because I know that just as I as a singer/songwriter draw from life, well, what is life?  Life is your neighbor, life is the person next door with a story to tell, life is the person across the street who you don’t know and you wonder what their story is all about.  And, well, on You Tube it gets you a chance to kind of see a cross-section of things and I came across these amazing videos of people doing some great things and I said “Wow.”  I’m drawing from this kind of thing in my writing.  It’s only fair that I also put it out there on my page and it’s just part of kind of being part of something really positive.

Jazz Monthly:  Yes, we need more of that.

Leila:  Kind of like what you’re doing.  I mean, it’s so valuable.

Jazz Monthly:  Well, thank you.

Leila:  It’s really valuable because you’re taking a passion and a love for music and what a service you’re creating for people.  Your enthusiasm, you’re finding music that isn’t quite heard, and you’re exposing it as well as artists, I know, that are more nationally known, but you’re shining a spotlight on it all and you never know who could be inspired by what you’re doing, and I think it’s a wonderful thing.

Jazz Monthly:  Well, thank you.

Leila:  It’s all about using your passion.

Jazz Monthly:  Yes, thank you very much.  I’m blushing a little bit.  (Laughs.), but that’s okay.

Leila:  It’s true.  (Both laugh.)  It’s true because someone like me, for instance, appreciates so much the opportunity and it could be some 15-year-old prodigy down the street next who would get an opportunity such as this and feel so empowered and so motivated because you gave them the time of day.  So in a way it may seem like just an article and an interview, but you’re providing therapy also.  (Laughs.)

Jazz Monthly: Oh, thank you so much.  I wish I could do more.  I mean, there’s only so much you can put out there at one time.

Leila:  Of course.

Jazz Monthly:  But I wish I could put everyone out there.

Leila:  I’m sure.

Jazz Monthly: But I’m working on it and it’s kind of like how Bobbi always talks about the power of one, you know?

Leila:  Mm-hmm, absolutely, absolutely, and he’s doing his part with his radio show.

Jazz Monthly:  Yes, he is and it’s wonderful.  I love what he’s doing at Yes indeed.  Well, Leila, thank you so much for this wonderful music, the great video.

Leila:  Thank you.

Jazz Monthly:  And we certainly look forward to the new music coming out soon.

Leila:  I cannot wait.  You know, it’s funny.  I’m getting all giddy and that’s a good thing.  I just can’t wait to get out.  It’ll be called Soul Ascension.

Jazz Monthly:  Oh, great.  So will you come back and talk about the new record when it’s finished?

Leila:  Absolutely, absolutely.  As a matter of fact, I will be doing…well, I have begun to do what I did with Of Life, which is put out a few like sneak peek sort of prerelease tracks on my My Space.  I always do that to kind of give people a sampler before the CD comes out and it gets people listening to it and it’s sort of my way also to kind of let them know I am working on something and I’m giving them a sampler.

Jazz Monthly:  Oh, so cool.  Well, best of everything with this current record and the new one coming, and also this wonderful DVD that I love so much.

Leila:  Thank you.

Jazz Monthly:  We’ve talking with the effervescent and so talented, Leila. Her great new record is called “Of Life”. Please go to her Website and Myspace page and get this CD, it’s that good! Leila, all the best with your career and everything that you’re doing in touching so many lives in such a positive way in 2008 and beyond, my friend.

Leila:  Oh, thank you so much, Smitty.


Baldwin “Smitty” Smith