Layla Frankel doesn’t fit in a box.

When she moved to Nashville she tried. She sought out musical standing in the neatly defined singer-songwriter scene and the cliques of wannabe country stars. But she was too bluesy for the country artists. Too poppy for folk. And she had more soul on stage than most Nashville audiences had seen before.

Raised in a musical family in Chicago, Layla began performing on stage when she was just four years old. Her involvement in the internationally acclaimed Chicago Children’s Choir gave her a foundation in music theory that she still draws on today. The city itself gave her a soundtrack of hip-hop, R&B, and Latin beats. Even her favorite rock station played folk, pop, and blues. That accessibility to so many genres shaped her outlook on what music should be: unbound by labels, and free to experiment with form, sound and musicality.

Over the years, Layla’s music has developed into a form all of its own, with a genre that might be best described as “Soulcana.” It integrates the vocal style of Bonnie Rait and the sophisticated pop sound of Sheryl Crow. It pays homage to the cryptic, poetic lyricism of Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Most notably, it plays with melodies and unexpected chord structures, learned from studying jazz, and showcases her stunning vocal power and agility. Every song is written with intentional artistry and the mission to tell a story that fans can relate to on some level. From activist-fueled folk song “TLC,” to retro-soul slow jam “Without Suffering,” to a ballad serenading her inner muse, “Josephine, Layla delivers dynamic, genre-bending songs that push the envelope of the traditional love song.

Layla’s R&B single, “You Can’t Love Me Like I Loved You,” was a finalist in both the 2020 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and The Great American Song Contest, and “Josephine” was a semi-finalist in the Music City Song Star songwriting contest.

Her latest single, Motown-inspired holiday pop song, “Hanukkah Honey,” is set for release in November of 2023.