Leonardo Mendez was born in Orange County, California. Affectionately called “Leyo”, he had a passion for singing and first realized he could sing when a lady at church next to him said he had an amazing voice and should join the choir. Not skipping a beat, he did as she suggested and joined the choir at church.
Growing up in a Mexican household, he listened to the greats of Spanish romance music. Leyo discovered his deep connection to the genre. Leyo has been greatly influenced by artists such as Juan Gabriel, Luis Miguel, Christian Castro, Luis Fonsi, George Michael, Josh Groban and Ricky Martin. His deep, rich tone and wide vocal range allows him to tell the story of the greatest ballads with immense intimacy, tenderness and power.
In 2006, a chance audition landed him a place on Telefutura’s singing competition show, Objetivo Fama Season 5. Sharing a house and stage with 19 other aspiring singers from all over Latin America and the US Leyo was known as "el bufon de la casa", "the joker." Leyo quickly became a fan favorite by competing and performing songs by some of music’s greatest vocalists like Marc Anthony, Christian Castro and Pepe Aguilar. Leyo continued to grow into his own as a vocalist from this experience, coached by show judges and industry experts Roberto Sueiro, Fernando Allende and Mexican singer Jimena. A great student, Leyo humbly applied all the valuable feedback to better his craft. The run on Objetivo Fama 05 came to an end on the show, but his visibility in the public eye remained.
His sexy smile, striking looks, infectious laugh, obvious talent and outgoing personality made him a regular correspondent for Sin Editar, an entertainment magazine show, solidifying him as a favorite TV personality in Puerto Rico.
Leyo completed work with legendary producer and songwriter Rudy Perez, Billboard Music Latin Producer of the Decade and President of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame in Miami, recoding his ballad “Ya No Recuerdas.” Leyo has long been an admirer of lyrics and he connects to songs that tell stories of love and heartbreak.
Leyo’s fascination with the Spanish language and the passion of its words inspires him in his songwriting and creating. Allowing him to draw upon his own life experience of love and disappointment to create.
Leyo is currently under development with Grammy Award winning producer Cory Rooney (Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige) collaborating on new music, developing his unique style.
Leyo has also set his eye on film and television, recently appearing as a guest star on Hulu’s “East Los High” cast as himself opposite Christina Milian debuting his single "Vete Con El".
Leyo's new music is scheduled to drop in the fall of 2016.