Primary Instrument: Vocal
With a voice like hot treacle on broken glass, whether singing of love or social change, fans consistently return to Leila Adu concerts to be “taken away to a parallel dimension of music and thought.”
Since returning to Europe in 2006, Leila performed both solo with piano and with her live band at various venues, as well as recordings from The Orchestra Pit and live studio sessions and interviews on BBC World Service and Resonance fm.
Leila has performed her original songs and improvisations at improv, jazz festvials and rock venues with international artists such as John Edwards, Steve Noble, Hannah Marshall, Nicola Guazzaloca, Mike Cooper, Steve Beresford, Jeff Henderson, Jim Denley, Richard Nunns, Fabrizio Spera, David Long, Jack Body, Alison Isadora, Jan-Bas Bollen, Audrey Chen, Lissa Meridan, Lol Coxhill and Leo Tadagawa. Performers on Leila’s albums have included Tom Callwood, Chris O’Connor, David Long (also Producer of Cherry Pie), Jeffrey Henderson, Chris Palmer, Francesca Mountfort, Lucien Johnson, Nick Van Dijk & Ricky Gooch.
She has performed and composed for dance, theatre, film, gamelan and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and taught children’s workshops in free- improvised singing and conducting. She completed post- graduate studies in 2003 at Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in composition and specialising in Electro-acoustic Music, Ethnomusicology and Orchestration.
“Her voice is extraordinary…both tender and terrifying.” Sunday Star Times
“If you haven’t already acquainted yourself with Adu, go do it.” The Dominion Post
*****TIME OUT LONDON CRITIC’S CHOICE*****
‘Avante-garde pop that recalls Nina Simone and Tim Buckley from the headliner’ Time Out
“Leila Adu is a rebel-inspirer. And not in the way that calls for the raising of fists, or the hurling of sharp word-blades. Her defiance is decided… Anger isn’t its mother. Wonder may be.” Purple Magazine
“Leila Adu’s music is cryptic, edgy, oscillating between serious commentary and flippant experimentation.” Sheffield Telegraph
“In an almost neoclassical-esque manner, Leila Adu effortlessly carries her listeners through an elegant tapestry of emotion, showing her exceptional talent as a true pioneer with this trance-inducing avant-garde experimental soul EP. ” S.O.U.L Magazine
“Within seven tracks, Leila Adu takes you on an aural journey that most progressive rock albums could only attempt to do. I see this album as a future classic” Review by John M. Ellison IV Read more…
“Her resplendent soprano delivery of the line “A love that never dies” during this passage of “Wolfmen” ties her to the wonderful vocal legacies of Josephine Baker, Arooh Lemeen, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald and Roy Orbison.” URB ALT
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