• Layla Kaylif
  • LAYLA KAYLIF is a London-based British singer songwriter. Born in Dubai to an English mother and Arab father, she was raised in a cross-cultural family environment, attending school in Dubai and spending summers in England. At sixteen she moved to Los Angeles to escape the strictures of home life, before returning to the UK.

    Layla came to the public’s attention in 1999 when her song "Shakespeare in Love" became a hit in South East Asia and the Middle East. She was signed to Edel Records in the UK, and Avex Trax in Asia while studying at Oxford University. Her career was cut short when family pressures to drop out of the spotlight led to her parting ways with her manager. This proved to be a blessing in disguise, as it gave her time to develop her craft, which, she admits, was still in its infancy when she signed her record deal.

    After a period of time focusing on a range of other projects, in 2020 Layla officially returns to music to release with her third and latest album ‘Lovers Don’t Meet’ (out 7 August 2020). The culmination of a three-year period of writing and musical development, this seven track LP distills a short, sweet dose of what Layla does best.

    Enriched by the words of lyrical masters like 13th Century Persian poet Rumi (“Lovers Don’t Meet”, “99”), revered 20th Century Syrian writer and diplomat Nizar Qabbani (“As I Am”), and even Shakespeare on the Antony and Cleopatra inspired “Don’t You Know Me Yet?", Layla channels her worldly influences into a collection of songs that are both spiritual and soul-baring by nature. The track “Let Me Count The Ways”, also references Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s seminal work Sonnets from the Portuguese; with the song notably penned to soundtrack in her directorial debut: The Letter Writer, a romantic drama set in the 1960s that will mark Layla’s first foray into cinema.

    Recorded in Nashville and produced by Jason Hall (David Nail and the Well Ravens), the record features an impressive line-up of musicians including Reed Pittman and Matt Iceman (David Nail), Cornelius Perry (Francesca Battistellli) and Ben Owens on guitar. Hallmarked with the age enduring musicianship that could only come courtesy of the Capital of Country, ‘Lovers Don’t Meet’ pays apposite homage to a genre Layla has always loved so dearly, both as artist and fan. Wearing her influences on her sleeve, the resplendent closing track of the album “Don’t You Know Me Yet?” is intended as a special nod to the Leading Lady of Country herself, Dolly Parton.

    Warm and wise, erudite and endlessly rewarding, ‘Lovers Don’t Meet’ will be released by Layla Kaylif on 7th August 2020. There will be an official launch event at PinUps London on Thursday 13th August.

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