The term ‘World Artist’ holds a meaning which resonates in a number of ways, but it might take a few moments to get your head around the cultural heritage of an artist who’s Belgian by birth with Iranian parentage, now an Australian national living and working in the UAE. ‘Saved‘ is an impassioned and raw album from Layla Kardan which expresses themes of an unfeigned vulnerability transformed, breaking free from cultural shackles while also reflecting her upbringing.
Having been named ‘Emirates Woman Artist of the Year – 2017‘, Layla’s music has been described as ‘heartfelt and soulful’, as you might well imagine of an artist unveiling a very personal story detailing the rise of a woman from a regressive society. Marrying her smoky soulful voice with pop, jazz, Middle Eastern and R&B rhythms and melodies, Layla’s sound is evocative and achingly poignant – an international star with a global message.
The circumstances surrounding the social empowerment of a Middle Eastern woman becoming a musician in her own right is not one that is typical around the globe. Layla’s music deals specifically with a story of being ‘saved’ from these conventions – finding her own voice and spiritual balance and, furthermore, finding the courage to share this inner light with others.
Whether by coincidence or not, in utilising an interesting idea of predominantly using band members where they have no common language with Layla ensures that any communication between them is purely musical, which in turn amplifies the chemistry that draws them together and overcomes any prevalent cultural barriers to produce an isolated experience that transcends universally.