Q&A with “Yoga-pop” singer/songwriter Leyla

1. What’s it like being a singer/songwriter and healing artist based in New York City? Is that your full time job? If so, what’s that like and how long have you done that? If not, what else do you do to support yourself or did you do before that was your full time job?

I’m very grateful that I am able to do what I love and humbled to have been able to realize the dream of moving from Switzerland to Nyc, attending a Musical Theatre program and working on music. Before my time in the US I was teacher in Switzerland and worked with children. Being an artist is a full time job and requires not only to create but also to be a business person. New York is a city of inspiration and collaboration, because it’s a melting pot of many talented and creative people. At the same time I can get overwhelmed by so many different energies and I need to withdraw to re-connect with myself. For me to be able to create, I need a quiet space and a quiet mind and a daily mediation practice is essential.

2. With your new song, “Legion of Light” you were exploring how to combine pop songwriting with sound healing practices, how do you that and what’s that like?

My love for music has led me to continuously explore and learn as much as possible about the power of sound. I’ve studied Performing Arts and Healing Arts including Sound Healing, Reiki Energy Healing and am now training as a Kundalini Yoga teacher. At a certain point in my journey, I was asked to make an intention regarding my musical offering. I realized that I wanted to help building a bridge between spirituality and pop music. I then searched to understand what makes pop music healing and how to utilize Sound Healing tools to create conscious/restorative pop music ‘Yoga Pop’. ‘Sound Healing uses vibration, frequency, sound, toning, chanting, song and music to create shifts in the body, mind and spirit.’ ‘Frequency + Intent = Healing’.

Within my music and through classic Pop songwriting, Sound Healing techniques and frequencies (vibrations) are being used that assist in healing and special instruments and mixing at various HZ to maximize the different tones that each of the instruments provide – to help tuning in with each of the seven chakras.

Chakras are the centers in our bodies in which energy flows through and each chakra is associated with a certain part of the body and a certain organ which it provides with the energy it needs to function. Because they connect to our well being, psychological, emotional and spiritual, it’s important to maintain balance. All meditation and yoga systems seek to balance out the energy of the chakras.

For Legion Of Light Katherine Hamer, a New York based sound healer, played with ancient Tibetan Singing bowls to open the flow of energy by touching every part of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. The Legion Of Light song is also written in a specific musical key that corresponds with the crown chakra. Associated with the cerebral cortex, central nervous system and the pituitary gland, the crown chakra is concerned with information, understanding, acceptance and bliss. It is said to be your own place of connection to God, the chakra of Divine purpose and personal destiny.

Legion of Light is about is about connecting with your inner power, to the person that you truly are, your Devine blue print. It’s about remembering that you have the power inside of you to change the world. It’s about self love and self acceptance, owning your voice and healing the world with your true authentic self.

3. How can music or sound have a healing effect on people?

Every atom in the universe and cell in the body is vibrating constantly and this can be directed and enhanced through the power of sound frequencies in the form of words and music. Sound work is creating a frequency and vibration for someone that’s conducive for him or her to heal. When we ‘entrain’ with healing frequencies, our bodies and minds vibrate in harmony. Whether we are musically inclined or not, it is most likely the one thing that truly connects all humans from all cultures, creeds, and corners of the earth.

When sound waves reach our ears , they are converted into electrical signals that travel up the auditory nerve into the auditory cortex*,* the part of the brain that processes sound. Once sound waves reach our brains, they trigger responses in our bodies. This process alters our emotions, releases hormones and chemicals that affect both our bodies and our moods, and triggers certain impulses (for example, singing and dancing).

Sounds and songs also create memories in us, and this can be used to help patients who are traumatized or depressed. This is possible because music activates the entire limbic system, which is involved in processing of emotions and in controlling memory.

There are a number of methods for achieving sound healing therapy, and a number of instruments and tools that can be used to help the patient through it. However, at its foundation it is based on the premise of entrainment. Entrainment is a method of synchronizing our brainwaves, which fluctuate, by producing a stable, solid frequency that our brains adjust to and then match. Healing with sound can improve and help with: Psychological and behavioral disorders including autism, depression, learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, stress, PSTD, pain, mood swings and negative emotions, clarity and balance, relaxation, memory and concentration, sleep, creativity, awareness and strengthen the immune system.

5. What have you learned about yourself as your pursued your passion to be a musician?

I have learned that it is important to always stay true to yourself, to your authentic self and listen to your inner voice. We are each born with a great, unique potential. All of us have a different call or purposive in life and I do believe that is important to honor ourselves. Can we love ourselves enough to move towards what makes us truly happy to live a fulfilled live? Every person has a unique value and perspective on life and that makes them inherently beautiful and amazing. No one else in the universe is like you. You are one of a kind.

While it’s important to reflect on yourself, there will always be different voices trying to influence you, and having a different opinion. If I would have listened to all the voices of doubt around me, I would have never made it here. There will always be so called boundaries and obstacles to overcome, but we can take baby steps to align with our goals and even small steps lead you closer to a goal. I’ve been learning a lot and am still learning about how we are influenced by our subconscious mind, collective consciousness, lineage, ancestors and DNA, but I do believe that there are ways to change and overcome trauma and limitations, so that we can find back to our truest essence. Overall I think it’s import not to judge and practice compassion and kindness, because everyone has their their story and difficulties to deal with.