London Sinfonietta/Kaziboni review — a striking programme of black composers

“There’s a fascinating, counterintuitive disconnection between Adu-Gilmore’s laid-back, ethereal musical style and her angry subject matter.” – Tom Howard, The Times of London

Classically Speaking: Leila Adu And The Fierce Guardian Of Compassion

“Leila Adu’s Mahakala Oratorio is still the right piece of music for this exact moment. The piece itself is well-timed invocation to a deity whose charge is to protect the good in all of us. Adu describes how meditation informs her music making, how she comes to her minimalism honestly, and how the project of premiering this oratorio took on new life during the COVID-19 pandemic.” – Classically Speaking

The Gamer – More Games Need To Learn From Death Stranding’s Music

“Beneath the majesty of the clouds, though, you’ll notice a contrastingly small ring of stunning cryptobiotic formula. At this precise moment, Asylums for the Feeling by Silent Poets and Leila Adu starts to play as the camera wrenches itself back into a more panoramic shot, creating a kind of sensory unison that exemplifies what makes Death Stranding such a special game in the first place: direction.” – Cian Maher, The Gamer

‘The Love EPs’ — ‘Love Cells’ & ‘Scary Love Monster’

“When Lady Gaga released ARTPOP in 2013, she gave us a fusion of art (in the form of the visual artist Jeff Koons’ cover) and pop music. But the term “art pop” more closely describes the music of Leila Adu. A New Zealand composer of Ghanaian descent, Adu is combining both “art music” (i.e, classical composition) with pop in her two new EPs. She pulls it off because she is a genuinely good singer, with a velvety, soulful voice, and because she is an accomplished composer who’s written music for symphony orchestras, string quartets, and the like. Scary Love Monster and Love Cells (collectively, The Love EPs) are full of songs that masquerade as R&B.  But pay attention and you’ll find unusual twists of harmony or rhythm that betray a composer’s hand. In the song “Love Cells,” the title itself a clever pun, listen to the unexpected falling figure on the word “cells,” and the sudden but subtle change in the keyboard accompaniment,” – John Schaefer, WNYC

LOVE CELLS Music Video premières on Afropunk
WNYC Soundcheck GIG ALERT: Leila Adu
WNYC John Schaefer’s Weekly Music Roundup ‘Love Cells’ Review
New York Music Daily: Leila Adu Brings Her Darkly Surreal Psychedelic Soul to Williamsburg
WNYC John Schaefer’s New Sounds “Women’s Voices and Electronics”
NYC Deli: Scary Love Monster EP Review
The Dominion Post/Stuff News: The Greatness of Leila Adu


“In the very first line, composer Leila Adu had Birrittella whip her voice up and down via on the repeated expressions of the word “high” followed by increasingly lengthened portamenti which served to break the musical spell created by the strings and arpeggiated harp; the voice shifted to a muted whisper a few phrases later; straighter tone followed on “we couldn’t find when we needed them near the front of the stairs, before Birrittella’s voice gained in weight and volume on “What did we call that space?” Then it would shift back to a spoken quality, the portamenti, the full-intoned high notes, creating a portrait of the character seeking out a vocal identity,” – David Salazar, Operawire

2016 Ojai Music Festival: Works by Shaw, Adu, and Yun
New York Times: At Ojai Peter Sellars Has A Personal Yet Global Playlist
New York Times: Women Rule At Ojai Festival Unannounced
KCSB Jack Fischer’s Sonic Earspace interview with Leila Adu
WNYC/WQXR’s Q2 Music at The Greene Space NYC Leila Adu Live Video Performance and interview with Peter Sellars and Helga Davis Music at 12mins 30secs
Resonance FM London Dexter Bentley’s Hello Goodbye Show, Ilia Rogatchevsk interview with Leila Adu and Live recorded session at the Briggs Ware House recorded by Alex Morris at 46 mins 20secs.

Past Album Reviews

Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker
Dark Joan
Cherry Pie
Dig A Hole

Live Gig Reviews

Articles and Interviews


“Her velvety, soulful voice might be the first thing that strikes you, but the smart instrumental flourishes give Leila away as a composer of striking originality.” — WNYC

“This young New Zealander of Ghanaian descent treats genre distinctions in much the same way that Godzilla treated those little cities made out of cardboard.” — MTV Iggy

“Leila Adu is a rebel-inspirer. And not in the way that calls for the raising of fists, or the hurling of sharp word-blades. Her defiance is decided… Anger isn’t its mother. Wonder may be.” — Purple Magazine

“The minimalist use of intimate watercolours make one think of Joni Mitchell brimming with melanin, White Magic (Cigarettes & Circus Puffs) or a modernist Nico who has Freudianly washed away the gothic (the splendid ‘Fortuna.’)”
— Sentire Ascoltare

“Her voice is extraordinary…both tender and terrifying.” — Sunday Star Times

“If you haven’t already acquainted yourself with Adu, go do it.” — The Dominion Post


‘Avante-garde pop that recalls Nina Simone and Tim Buckley from the headliner’ – Time Out

*****TOP TEN Sistas who Rocked the Decade*****