Long time, no see! I am back with another interview, this time with UK-based singer-songwriter Leyla Diamondi. I interviewed Leyla Diamondi via email, talking about her music, her inspirations, and her latest release “Make Up Your Mind”.
Check out her interview down below. Also, you can check out “Make Up Your Mind” in the Spotify Player that is located in this post. Let me know what you think of the song in the comments!
The Interview With Leyla Diamondi
1. First of all, could you introduce yourself?
My name is Leyla Diamondi. I am a 20-year-old London-based artist.
I was born in the UK with half-Greek (father) and half-Turkish (mother) heritage.
I am a representation of the good that can happen when individuals choose unity instead of centuries of racial & cultural division.
2. What musical genres or artists influences you?
As regards genres, a little bit of everything. I used to sing classical music and was in the London Youth Choir. We performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall.
I always wrote pop music. When transitioning from classical music to the more mainstream entertainment industry, I explored a more diverse range of music; it changed what I wanted to do. My writing style and creativity were enhanced by an interest in genres like blues and musicals.
I have had a few idols over the years. From an early age, my first idol was ‘Lady Gaga;’ she was, and is, so fearlessly true to herself. To me, it has always been very inspiring. My second idol was Ariana Grande. I just thought she was the coolest person ever. I love her music and vocals. Then, my focus turned to Mariah Carey; her songwriting abilities are extremely underrated. I think the simple complexities in her music are incredible and I admire her for that. Everyone knew she had an amazing voice, but not many people gave her credit for her creativity.
3. Why did you want to be a singer-songwriter? And how is that journey like?
I make music to bring people together. Now, more than ever, I feel this is important.
I started writing music with an emphasis on self-therapy; it helped me understand my own emotions from a young age. Structuring and communicating my thoughts and feelings has always been something that helped me feel connected to others. As I progressed through early adolescence, I decided that music was the platform for me. It was the medium I wanted to use to creatively express myself and give others a sense of connection and relatability.
4. Let’s move on to your latest release ‘Make Up Your Mind’. What inspired you to make this song?
‘Make Up Your Mind’ is about how relationships can sometimes be complicated. I found that being in quarantine makes one more aware of both the best things and all of the mess in one’s relationships. In light of the mess, one must decide whether they can work through it or not. You have to ‘Make Up Your Mind,’ essentially.
‘Make Up Your Mind’ was a phrase I used to tell myself a lot when being indecisive and fearful about which decision to make and which path to choose. I feel overcoming this fear brought me a lot of power and clarity allowing me to be rational in complicated situations, like relationships.
I wrote this song after my brother and a few OG fans mentioned they wanted the original song to make a comeback. The first version of ‘Make Up Your Mind’ was written when I was 13. After some consistent requests, I went through my old song-writing book and files and I found the song. It was cutely written down in colouring pencil. It was funny to see how emotional I was about some heartbreak when I was a young teen and I thought to myself, ‘you know what, I’m bringing Make Up Your Mind back.’
5. How was it like recording it?
Ha! This is actually a funny story. I recorded the vocals at my friend Lef’s house. We opened up his cupboard, put the microphone on the board with a pop shield to create the slide studio room effect, and recorded the vocals. For any independent artists who are curious, it worked really well! You just have to look for any ringing of the room in the EQ in post-production.
6. How does the musicality of ‘Make Up Your Mind’ describe you? Is it a certain note, rhythm, melody, or lyrics?
The whole vibe of ‘Make Up Your Mind’ really describes me, my personality, and where I’m at mentally. I focussed and took my time to introduce who I am, from the tones of the synths to the beat of the drums. This song meant more to me than some quick release because honesty is at its heart.
I am very open about how my mental health has been a journey and still is. This theme is a massive symbol in this song. I think mental health is a tumultuous journey for everyone. I love the awareness growing around this topic because I feel people are starting to understand that it’s ok not to be ok. As long as you show kindness to others and are constantly working to better yourself, there’s no more that can be asked of you.
7. You mention that you first wrote ‘Make Up Your Mind’ when you were 13. How is ‘Make Up Your Mind’ written by 13-year-old Leyla different from the one written by the Leyla of today?
Well, first off, the songwriting is a lot slicker and cleaner now. I was a cringy kid; I mean, I still am…
I would say the lyrics written by the 13-year-old me had more details about specific heartbreaks from my past. The themes and storytelling were a little more clouded. I wasn’t quite able to express my intended meaning as well as I am today.
However, I wouldn’t say I have lost any of the innocence of childhood. I am quite proud that this is something I have been able to keep. At the time, I was quite naive and a little lost. In my contemporary release, you can hear I have a lot more awareness of my surroundings and who I am.
I really loved this question. Thank you.
8. What are your plans for the future?
Because of COVID-19, I honestly have no structured plan. However, I’m trying to push my music out there and I have been writing constantly. As things start to get back to normal, I’d like to release some more new music and get back on stage, doing what I love.
9. What do you want listeners to listen for in your music?
Whatever they want. If they find the song is relatable in some capacity, they should explore why and what this means for their own life. Otherwise, if they just like the vibe of the song, then that’s also just as great. All I want for people to do is to live their own truth and be happy.
10. What would you like to say to the readers of ai love music?
I would first like to say, thank you for reading this far!!!
If you have any questions or have been inspired by something, feel free to contact me through my socials. I always reply.
I am so grateful for the experience! Thank you for having me, Ai Love Music. <3
Make sure to check out Leyla Diamondi at the following sites: