has performed all over the world and has six CD releases to date, so it is no wonder local blues songstress Layla Zoe is thrilled the way her music career is taking off.
As she prepares for a European tour this winter and the release of a new album she recorded in Germany. Zoe found a few days to relax at home in Oceanside and share the exciting details about her latest project.
Zoe wrote all the lyrics on the new album and said it really showcases where she’s at in her life.
It is her first time with the German record label, Cable Car Records, which she said allowed her free reign to be artistic and creative on the project.
“I can say with the new album I am the proudest I have ever been with the music. I wrote all the songs and the music is great. I feel like I have done a 360 and have come around full circle.”
The album is called Sleep Little Girl and is named after one of the title tracks off the record.
She said she loves all the songs on the album but Sleep Little Girl is one of her favourites.
“It seemed to make sense because I am always travelling and busy and my mind is always going. I am a Gemini woman and sometimes the little girl in me just needs to go to sleep,” she said. “The woman who is out there rocking and trying to do business just gets exhausted, so it makes sense.”
Zoe, who was in the area recently to record a music video and visit with friends and family, admitted the tour will be intense.
In October she flies overseas where she will perform in France for the first time at the Avignon Blues Festival on Saturday, Oct. 8.
The festival features some of the top artists from the French stage as well as international musicians.
From France, Zoe heads to Germany and then she is off to Switzerland
“It will be the first time I have had a tour supported by a record label with an album like this. It is all new to me.”
Zoe said she is really proud of the audio on the record.
“It is just a whole other level as far as the promotion of the album and what it looks like. I am excited about the tour,” she admitted.
Zoe is also over the moon about having her album pressed into vinyl.
“It was super exciting when they told me they were pressing vinyl because anybody that knows me well enough knows I am a complete record geek. I have a record player at my house and I listen to old records.”
Over the summer, Zoe played some major festivals in Canada, including Montreal, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
“The Montreal Jazz Festival was a highlight for sure.”
At the Dutch Mason Blues Festival in Truro Nova Scotia, Zoe performed during the day, but organizers were so impressed with what they heard they have promised her when she returns next year she will be one of the headliners.
“They told me they wanted me back again next year to be on in the evening show,” she said.
“They have huge headliners there including Robert Cray, Johnny Lang and the Downchild Blues Band. They have had all these amazing people over the last few years so it has been fantastic. When I performed we had a huge crowd. It was great and they are really appreciative of what I am doing out there.”
Zoe said her music is blues first but includes rock, some jazz and definitely soul. Although she’s constantly compared to Janis Joplin with her distinctive and powerful voice, Zoe said she feels it is her energy onstage that brings that comparison about.
When she returns from her European gigs she already has things booked into April of 2012 in Ontario and Quebec and then she will return to Europe again in 2012 and just keep it going.
Zoe said it could be a while before she performs in these parts because she has nothing scheduled for Vancouver Island.
“Right now I am focussed on Eastern Canada because there is more happening out there for the blues than there is here on the Island. There isn’t much of a blues society that is super organized here. There are some good things going on here like the Nanaimo Blues Festival and it is great but there are things happening out in Quebec and Ontario that just aren’t happening here,” she said.
Zoe said since beginning her musical career she has changed quite a bit and is now more confident with herself and with creating her own music. She said this record label will take her to the next level.
To sample music, buy CDs or purchase Zoe’s book Diary of a Firegirl visit her website www.layla.ca.