Layla Kardan is determined to make things happen. She left the comfort of a “9 to 5” job for a singing career full of uncertainties and the rejection of part of her family. Her beautiful voice and her strong mindset are what is helping her to reach high.
She launched recently her latest album and it is promoting it in many events in Dubai. If you see her, say hi!
THE INTERVIEW: LAYLA KARDAN
You recently launched your new album. Tell us how it is called and what can we expect to hear.
The album is poetic and a personal journey into my heart and mind – a very raw insight into my world. The music is dreamy, dark and light at the same time, with Middle Eastern undertones.
How would you describe your music?
Dreamy, bare, deep, emotive.
Your songs As One and Keep running are awesome. What message do you want to send with your music?
These are my first singles. The content on my album “Saved” dropping 30 Nov is slightly different – I have already released 3 singles from the album in form of an EP called “Goddess” which are more true to my new sound. I always try to write from a place of honesty and considering the messages I put out there – hoping that they are uplifting rather than poisoning people’s mind with trash and negative topics.
Tell us about your videos for these two songs. We recognize some places!
One was filmed in Mena Bazaar, Bur Dubai – I spent many moments there in my youth. It makes me feel nostalgic and so I wanted that to be part of the visual. The second video was filmed in Ras Al Khaimah – my favorite Emirate in the UAE for its beautiful mountainous ranges and amazing beaches and marine life. RAK inspires me.
You are such a mix. Your family is Iranian, but you were born in Belgium and you have lived in USA, Australia and now Dubai. Why did you decide to stay in Dubai?
I love Dubai for its diversity and the fact that it’s so central. I travel a lot so it’s easy. Plus it’s a perfect balance between Eastern values and Western freedoms. It’s home now.
LIFE CHANGING DECISIONS
Layla, you used to work in the corporative job and left it all behind to pursue your dream of singing. How did you do the swift? Was it an impulse or you started walking towards the new direction?
It took a lot of guts to take the plunge and hang up my corporate boots. But I couldn’t imagine a life where I didn’t pursue my passion. I stopped working full time 2.5 years ago and whilst it hasn’t always been easy I have never looked back.
How did your family react initially to you breaking the news that you wanted to sing?
They weren’t happy about it – mostly my Father – but I knew it came from a place of care and concern so I didn’t fight back. I quietly persevered and proved to them I was on the right track and living my purpose. He is more accepting now, but not sure he will ever be completely happy about my decision to pursue music, but I’m living for me so I am cool with that.
WHEN MUSIC MEANS LIFE AND HAPPINESS
You started self-funding your singing career because you wanted to keep true to yourself and have no dues to any investor, producer or label. Are you still independent or you found someone that respects that requirement?
I am still completely independent and fund everything myself, but at this stage, I would be open to a strategic investor who could help take me to higher heights. It’s burdensome doing everything on your own.
You do the lyrics of your songs. Where do you look for inspiration? How is your creative process?
I get inspiration from different aspects of my life – love, pain, joy. I co-write so I share experiences with people close to me to bring to light the subjects I want to share. Sometimes it will take 30minutes to write a song and sometimes it takes 3 days. There is no set routine when it comes to creative inspiration and routine, not for me anyway.
LAYLA KARDAN ABOUT FASHION
Talking a bit about fashion, you have done some collabs with some fashion brands. How was the experience?
Most recently I have done a collaboration with Christian Louboutin where I shot a video in Paris for my song Closer, dancing around some of the most iconic places – I had the best time doing it and am so grateful to them for the opportunity.
I also have a very strong relationship with Saudi Fashion Designer, Arwa Al Banawi. I love her designs and we have recently collaborated on a song I write for her called “The Suitable Woman” – her brand tagline and inspired by the women she designs for and wear her clothes. We’ve also shot a video which should be released soon – that was amazing as Arwa is also one of my closest friends and we got to work with some amazing women on this project – Meredith Damouni, Zeynab El Helw, Rania Fawaz, Tamara Al Gabani, and Jory aka Madam Bluee.
From your closet, what is your favorite piece you can not live without?
I have an antique velvet jacket from Rajasthan, India I am crazy about. It’s hand embroidered with embellishments and I just love it.
As a performer Layla Kardan, What kind of looks do you fancy more?
On stage, I love flowy and glamorous pieces. Not the belle of the ball type though. I prefer something with a little more edge.
Where can our readers listen to your music?
My music is available on all major platforms; Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, and Anghami. I also have my own Vevo Channel where you can see my videos.
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