You might have heard her name floating around the music scene in Hollywood. Singer, Songwriter and Pianist, Leila Milki, who has been performing around the city, quickly building up her fan base, recently released a new music video for her single titled 'New Year'
We had the chance to sit down with Leila and talk about the release!
Hey Leila! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi! I’m Leila Milki, piano-driven singer-songwriter. I was born and raised in Palo Alto, CA, and now live in Los Angeles. I gravitate most towards confessional storytelling, seamless melodic/harmonic unions, and thoughtful perspectives that take listeners on a journey.
We're completely in love with you new song! Can you tell us a bit about 'New Year' and the writing style behind it?
'New Year' was released this past spring, as an extension of my debut album, “Promises.” It stems from an especially formative and creative period in my life, when I was immersed in a challenging yet vibrant college setting. Based in acoustic guitar and a more contemplative, intimate delivery, it’s somewhat of sonic departure for me, where less is more: with the production help of my friend Wolfy, the sparse verses culminate into sweeping choruses…ultimately serving a thematic ebb and flow.
Where did the inspiration behind 'New Year' come from?
I wrote “New Year” a few years ago on a family trip to Hawaii, sitting at the beach from sunset to dusk with a journal and a Chopin-meets-Death Cab soundtrack. As it grew darker outside, my ink became less and less discernible, and I decided to indulge in this exercise of abandon by continuing to write, blind to the page…placing trust in the process, rather than the outcome.
I look back on this as a vivid marker of a simpler time; I was blissfully introspective within the safety net of young adulthood — reflecting on the illusive ideals that come with new year's resolutions — before personal loss and tragedy would shake my understanding of life in its true fragility. Today, the song feels like a nostalgic portal, that continues to illuminate new layers of relevance.
Let's get personal for a minute! What are three things you would love your fans to know about you?
1. I’m first generation American, and fully Lebanese by blood. This cultural duality, although complex and challenging at times, has stretched my creative sensibilities. I visit Lebanon regularly with my family (we'll be there next month!), and I’m grateful to them for keeping that tradition alive.
2. I owe a whole lot to my educational path: I went to French school for ten years (j’adore la langue française), continued on to an all-girls high school that fostered leadership skills in women, earned my classical piano degree through the Royal Conservatory of Music, and attended USC for college, where I benefited from rich interdisciplinary programs and formed my strongest musical friendships.
3. Before I focused exclusively on music, I was also a dancer (ballet, jazz, lyrical…and my favorite: tap). That vivid connection between rhythm and movement is so freeing, and I would love to bring that back within my own musical projects. If anyone can recommend a good tap class in LA, please hit me up!
Do you have any upcoming shows? How would you explain your live performance?
I’m excited to be performing at the Echo Park Rising festival for the first time, Friday August 17 at The Semi Tropic (4pm). I’ll be playing at Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica the next night, 9pm-midnight, as part of a piano-bass-drums trio. I also have an acoustic set at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood on August 21st, 10pm, right before I hit Nashville and Lebanon for a month.
My original performances are typically stripped down, multilingual, and East-meets-West, featuring me on vocals, piano, and acoustic guitar, and friends on background vocals, electric guitar, violin, and percussion. I love mixing my more intimate singer-songwriter ballads with energetic world-fusion vibes to honor my multicultural roots.
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