We had the good fortune of connecting with Leila Dandan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leila, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?

The simplest answer is that I can’t imagine doing anything else! I fell in love with the idea of starting a business of my own– hiring a team, taking on big projects, and being creative with no limits except the ones you set yourself. And although I’m not there quite yet, the idea of pursuing something like that through my music really excites me. I can’t wait to one day be able to express myself creatively for a living!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I’m a 17-year-old singer-songwriter with the hope to simply tell you my story as creatively as I can! I fell in love with exploring my music at a very young age, and I’m not planning on coming up for air anytime soon.

I would describe my music as warm and honest– drawing you into a familiarly cozy atmosphere through stories that many can relate to. I’ve been told that I have a unique tone of voice that can easily be picked out of a crowd, alongside my harmony-laden lyrics and intricate guitar playing. My writing style is constantly developing as I do, but I would currently describe it as a subtle blend of alternative folk and indie pop with a healthy sprinkling of R&B influence. I’ve started calling it “garden indie” because I feel like that better describes the vibe I’m going for, haha.

I think my biggest attributes that set me apart from most are my distinct voice, and my drive to do something great with it one day. I live and breathe my music, and I’m doing everything in my power to pursue it as a career!

As exciting as music is for me, this journey isn’t always very easy– I’ve put a ton of time and effort into researching my trade and developing myself further as an artist. And outside of the work I’ve put in, as a 17-year-old working part-time in food service, the budget can be a little tight for my projects. However, I see all of this less as an obstacle and more as a challenge, as my limited experience and income push me to explore the industry resourcefully!

I’ve learned so much about my music throughout my time developing it, but I think I’ve grown more as a person than I have as a musician. I’ve discovered the importance of a work/life balance, and I’ve had to let go of the perfectionist I used to be in order to have something to show for myself. Both are very valuable lessons in the music industry, but they only grow more important in my own life as I get older.

I’ve fallen in love with this process, and I’m looking forward to seeing where God takes me with it!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Without a doubt, every time I have a friend or family member in town I take them to Roman Cucina! There’s one at the edge of Dallas and Richardson, and they’ve got the best lemon cream pasta in town!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely have to dedicate this shoutout to my parents. If it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t have ever even thought to pick up an instrument, and without my mom, I would’ve never been able to pursue music any farther than a hobby. They’ve been my biggest supporters and most honest critics, and I would not get very far if it weren’t for their input, encouragement, and endless love.

Website: https://linktr.ee/leiladandan

Instagram: @leila.dandan

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/leiladandan

Image Credits
Angelina Walla

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