Leila Hegazy is a New-York-based singer, songwriter, inspired by past and present leading ladies from the soul and jazz scene. Influenced by powerful female vocalists like Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday, and modern-day singer-songwriters like Norah Jones, and Alicia Keys, her music aims to be timeless, like that of the artists she admires.
Leila was born in San Diego, California to an Italian mother and Egyptian father. Raised in Staten Island, New York, she discovered her passion for singing at an early age, and began taking piano lessons so that she could accompany herself while she sang. By the age of eleven, she had written her first song, and transitioned from a talented young vocalist to a self-contained artist, poignantly expressing her thoughts and emotions through music.
Armed with a powerful voice, killer piano chops, and a knack for writing soulful melodies, Leila braved the two-hour commute from Staten Island to Manhattan to attend the world-renowned La Guardia High School of Music, Art, and Performing Arts in Lincoln Center (informally known to many as “The Fame School”). In addition to her training in classical voice, she joined “New Music” an elective/ensemble facilitated by Juilliard-trained pianist and composer, Robert Apostle. This musical community and creative space was instrumental in her evolution as a young singer-songwriter.
While actively gigging in NYC with her band, Leila earned her B.M at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. She recorded her debut EP (The Black and White EP) with Grammy-nominated producer and chair of Studio Production, Dr. Joseph Ferry. Her first full-length album ‘Looking Glass’ (recorded by producer/guitarist Dan Berry) was funded entirely by Kickstarter fans and enthusiasts she collected from her live shows, and released independently in September 2012. Since then, Leila has been played numerous venues in and outside her home city, including the world-famous Apollo Theater, SOB’s, the Greenespace at WNYC/WQXR, Rockwood Music Hall, and The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles.
After two successful releases, Leila put out her new single “Maybe If We Try” on November 9th 2015, produced by electro-R&B/funk producer/artist Still Weavens. The single is available for free streaming on SoundCloud, Spotify, and Bandcamp.