MTV Iggy’s Artist of the Week: New Zealand’s Unpredictable Leila Adu

Photo Alison Gilmore


After a heated voting session, Leila has been chosen as MTV Iggy’s Artist of the Week! We’d like to give a huge thanks to fans for voting around the globe and special thanks to everyone for spreading the word, tweeters, facebookers and bloggers such as Bold As Love and to MTV Iggy for zoning into music from downunder!

“The readers have spoken. This week, we stray away from conventional logic to honor New Zealand’s jazzy, delightfully erratic alt-pop virtuoso Leila Adu, our new Artist of the Week!…” by Halley — Read more: Artist of the Week: New Zealand’s Unpredictable Leila Adu

“Leila Adu is an artist with the ability to strike endlessly fascinating balances. She is a classically trained pianist, with a graduate degree in composition, who plays a lot of rock clubs and festivals. Her music combines the dissonance of avant garde composers and free jazz artists like Sonny Sharrock with the playful experimentation and fierce social commentary of punk provocateurs like Nina Hagen and Eve Libertine…” by Beverly — Read More: Bands We Like: New Zealander Leila Adu’s Mercurial Keys

New Zealand and New Music Video

Between concerts in Europe and New York for the ‘Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker’ CD release tour, Leila has detoured to New Zealand to visit friends and family affected by the Februay 22 Christchurch earthquake. Click here for Rose Quartz blog’s Christchurch Earthquake Relief Fundraiser Compilation

With no venues left open in her hometown, Leila performed an impromptu house concert in Christchurch and a tour concert in the capital of Wellington where she found brilliant Film Director and Choreographer, Alyx Duncan— director of the award-winning music video ‘Fuji’ for Wellington-based band Minuit

Screen Shot from Alyx Duncan's Award Winning Music Video 'Fuji' by Minuit

Alyx and Leila are working towards the video single for a new album – the track was recorded in London by Alex Morris at the Briggs Warehouse and features Leila’s vocals, rhodes & analog synths with De Santis (aka MDF) drums

Spring Update

Leila in Pisa, Italy by Dania Gennai

Leila Adu has completed the European leg of the ‘Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker’ CD Release Tour and she hits the States again in the Spring. She played in duo with Orlando Greenhill with Pitch Like Masses, Falsetto Teeth & Peter Mayer in LA and continued through Europe with the ‘Ode’ drummer Daniele de Santis, along with Mills Projects, Dead Days Beyond Help, Limeheaded Dog, Poino, Otto Fischer & Dave I.D.

‘Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker’ has garnered reviews by Beverly at MTV Iggy, Kambui at URB ALT, Gianluca Diana of Alias and Rock IT, Antonio Pellicori of All About Jazz Italy, Giancarlo Turra of Sentire Ascoltare and Enrico Bettinello of Blow Up, among others. The CD is available online and as a physical import in the U.S., as well as in selected European stores. Thanks to everyone who has already purchased ‘Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker,’ as well as Leila’s previous albums!

The ‘Fortuna’ video single directed by Boston Fielder has been viewed 660 times in 5 days, with an independent marketing campaign. Leila is already working on a new avant-garde electro song album with hot producers around the globe and will be represented at SXSW 2011.

Leila Adu finds Harmony with the Voiceless

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Leila Adu celebrates global CD release on Rai Trade/Tracce, the Italian National Radio label

New York, NY—Leila Adu reemerges to the international music scene on January 18th with her powerful new album “Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker.” The 11 song CD is a raw musical travelogue of uncertainty and triumph in the exciting nomadic life of the popular New Zealand/Ghanaian singer-composer-multi-instrumentalist. Touring the globe solo and with band throughout 2009-2010 in support of her Steve Albini produced “Dark Joan” LP, Leila received a spontaneous opportunity to return to the recording studio from Rai Trade/Tracce, the Italian National Radio label. The resulting album, “Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker,” primarily features her dark yet humorous songs in naked arrangements for solo voice and piano/electric keyboards. Accompanied on 4 propulsive tracks by drummer Daniele De Santis, Leila’s quirkily structured compositions speak the language of pre-war blues, sci-fi environmentalism, post-rock world music, immigration electronica and Bing Crosby.

TRACK LIST
Martian Raft
Brazen Hussey
Must Walk Slowly
Trojan Cow
Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker
The One Minute Pastry Song
Fortuna
Glass
Slick Department Store
A Moment of Peace
Cigarettes & Circus Puffs

Leila Adu has mastered the art of forging smart outsider music with a warm accessible pop core. The worldwide CD release of “Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker” on January 18 is a call for celebration and reflection. It is Leila’s determined step in the journey towards a new global folklore merging primal traditions with an electronic future.

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Leila Adu at All About Jazz

Original article

Artist Buzz Video & Europe Tour Dates

See Leila’s live performance and interview for Live from the ATL:

/// Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker CD RELEASE TOUR /// Tour Dates announced in Rome, Berlin & London

Cool people I met last year

Gidday,

So… of course I meet squillions of people who are cool every year. That means, I’ll focus on some artists whom I met whilst on tour etc.

Dearling Physique is a name you’ll be hearing a lot in the near future, they played at Urb Alt Fest last Summer and here’s their amazing new video!

Orlando “Oddrocker” Greenhill of Millions of Shaved Heads and more. I played a gig in LA with this dude and after one rehearsal he had the songs down.

Howard Amb – the nicest musos you could hope to meet in LA with an uncanny propensity for drinking bottled green tea

Maigin Blank in Chicago – super chick with a radio voice and DIY stylz (p’rhaps coz she spent some time in Chch as a teenager…)

Rachel in LA does heaps of stuff like VJ mashups, member of Dubbumba… um – yeah – rocker but here’s a ten second tribute

Met Twin Shadow at Urb Alt Fest last Summer too; they are a neat band from New York, currently garnering international acclaim and the members are real sweethearts

I was racking my brain to think of someone I met in Italy, as I lived there over two years but that was early in the year and my long term memory is getting a bit rusty… then it hit me! In Bologna, at Scuola di Musica Ivan Illich, I did a gig with the duo of Gianni Gebbia and Eiko Ishibashi. You can see them in Tokyo here:

Based in Atlanta (like Janelle Monae) maybe there is something in the water because the Dolldaze could sing the spots off a leopard. See for yourself:

I could go on but that’s enough for now. Stay tuned for more posts such as “Cool people I already knew that I saw last year,” “People I thought were cool who turned out to be tossers” and “People I suspect are cool but haven’t actually met yet”

 
P.S. I must confess at this point that I base my definition of cool on The Fonze and Madonna in Desparately Seeking Susan… Doesn’t everyone?

End of year report

OK, so I’m more of a “what’s next?” than a pat yourself on the back kinda girl. That means I have to make myself look at what I have achieved with the support of some beautiful people. Here’s a short chronological list:

— Toured to UK, Italy, New Zealand and US with Dark Joan album (see below)
— Launched Dark Joan video in London with director Stephen Bain, Nisha Madhan and school children from Ambrit Rome
— First shows with other musos in the US – Orlando Greenhill in LA and Federico Ughi & Andrew Weeks (New York) for URB ALT Fest 2010 @ 92Y, New York
— Produced ‘Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker’ album in Rome with drummer Daniele de Santis (Jan 18 2011 global release date)
— Had stunning shots with world-class Atlanta photographers Tania Calderòn (see above) and Leon Dale
— Recorded a new demo album of electro pop songs in the US
— Started this blog for photos, videos and impressionistic splashes of thought
— Transitioned with the sheep from facebook group to the snazzy new facebook musician/band page