Twenty-three year-old Leila Hegazy is an old soul. Inspired by female jazz vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, and soulful singer-songwriters like Aretha Franklin, 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 became a frequent soloist in her school chorus. Motivated by a need for independence, Leila started 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, also known to many as “The Fame School”. In addition to her training in classical voice, it was there that she studied songwriting under the guidance of Juilliard-trained pianist and composer, Robert Apostle, who was instrumental in her decision to become a professional 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 by online fans and enthusiasts she collected from her live shows, and was released independently on September 28, 2012.