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Leila Adu

Bio

Leila has performed her original compositions in jazz and contemporary music festivals, venues and art spaces around New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Indonesia and Great Britain over the past seven years. Leila has gained a reputation for moving, exceptional live performances and has released two successful albums.

London-born, New Zealand-raised, of Ghanaian heritage and now based in Rome, Leila's broad scope of influences is more than merely geographic. Her unique songs are informed by studies in modern composition, Javanese singing, Balinese gamelan and the passion of early blues singers of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker.

Leila completed post-graduate studies in 2003 at Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in composition and specialising in electronic music, orchestration and film music. Since then has composed live and recorded music for short film and dance as well as orchestral scores, to be performed in late 2005. 'Dig A Hole', Leila's debut album released in 2003, received rave reviews both in New Zealand and Australia from the media and audiences alike.

Her singles and video clip have been played Radio Active, RDU, Coke RTR and Juice and live recordings of her Wellington International Jazz Festival concert have featured on CFM and National Radio.

In 2005, Leila recorded her second album 'Cherry Pie' with producer by David Long (lead guitarist for The Mutton Birds, winner of Producer of the Year Award 2001 and producer of Dave Dobbyn's album 'Available Light'.) The album also features drummer Ricky Gooch (< a href="/artists/555.html">TrinityRoots,) bass player Thomas Callwood and Jeffrey Henderson (Syzygy & Urban Taniwha). 'Cherry Pie' the album and national release tour have again received stellar reviews.

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  • Outside Of NZ


Comments (Newest First)

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muzic.net.nz Admin

Joined: 17/07/02
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Location: Manawatu
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Responses to Leila Adu’s previous album Dig A Hole
Posted: Sat May 28, 2005 12:40 pm
Rip It Up, Zoe Winkler, Feb/March issue, 2004
“Few debut artists are as daring as Leila Adu”

The Sunday Star Times, Grant Smithies, 18th May 2003
“Dissonant delight . . . Full of striking imagery and delightfully dissonant droning harmonies, the nearest reference point lies somewhere between sad-eyed Brazilian crooner Astrud Gilberto and London-based avant-pop darlings Stereolab.”

The Dominion Post, John Kennedy, 1st May 2003
“Her voice is as distinctive as any you’ll hear on these shores – dark, sonorous, uninflected and unflinching.”

Beat Magazine (Melbourne) Shane Moritz
“She has a hypnotic voice, moderately spiced, sprinkled in firewater. Some call it sultry, and it is, but it’s also heavy and soothing and gets under your skin in the most welcoming way.”

Live, Lucy Parr
“Leila Adu and her back-up musicians are definitely talented so look out for an opportunity to see this group live; it’s guaranteed to be a spirited performance.”
 

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