Layla Zoe’s years on the blues scene have been insanely successful and are loaded with the promise of even greater success. Comparisons to legendary voices (Janis Joplin is the most often cited name) are not uncommon as she builds the kind of reputation that strong careers are made of. And hers only promises to get stronger and stronger as the years slip by.
From Canada to success
Most remarkable about her life is that she was born in an unlikely environment to produce a wild woman blues shouter (Vancouver island of Canada’s British Columbia) and has since relocated to another unusual setting for a blues performer, Germany.
An Early Start
In 2006, she was given the female vocalist of the year award at the Vancouver Island Music Awards as well as the Compo 10 International Blues Songwriting Competition in Jaarvenpaa, A year later she released her first effort, Hoochie Coochie Woman. In the years that followed, she’s released Live at Errington Hall and The Firegirl.
Feeling the Blues, Writing the Blues
While her ability to cover classic blues/rock standards has dazzled fans and critics alike, she’s also established herself as a remarkably able songwriter, a skill that come effortlessly for the young Layla in a surprising form – poetry.
Turning her poems into songs was an early preoccupation for her and one she never fully abandoned.
Today many of Layla’s songs found life as poems. The sensitivity needed to understand the ingredients of a great song seems to be something Layla picked up early in life.
Not only is Layla still bringing out these feelings in her music, but she’s doing the same in her poetry. In 2010 she released a book of poetry. Her latest album, Her latest album, once again puts her poetic prowess to the test. It features eleven original songs, co-composed by her and her guitarist Jan Laacks. While Laacks took on the musical duties, Layla – not surprisingly – handled the lyrics with her usual poetic flair.
Wild Woman of the Blues Unite!
Summing up her career, she says, “Music is my life. I can’t imagine my life without music.” Anyone familiar with Layla’s honey-coated voice can easily understand her singular focus. It is hard to imagine anyone with that voice using it for anything other than singing the blues.