“I tried imagining what life would be like not to be a songwriter but that’s just who I am.”
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 2023.
Praise for "Tame the Fox"
Debut EP by layla frankel
"A fabulous and quite unique collection of songs, where melodic and high quality music is delivered with such beauty." - Beehive Candy
"Frankel’s voice is strong right out of the gate... it's blue-eyed soul w/ jazzy guitar lines recalling Dusty Springfield circa Dusty in Memphis." - Radio One Chicago
"...spirited folk-rock with tight harmonies, catchy songs, understated instrumentals and loads of Frankel's wonderfully expressive voice. With leanings from blues to jazz, this EP is a singular showcase of the artist's writing and vocal chops, with all else placed to enhance appearance like a chef plates an entree. Evocative, intimate and thoroughly enjoyable..." - Floorshime Zipper Boots
"Blurring and overlapping genre lines with forays into acoustic folk, jazz, R&B, blues and soul...The EP is in some ways a musical extravaganza." - Max Hammer - Indie Rock Cafe