"A spine-chilling talent."
~The Toronto Star
“…Funky-Jazzy-Reggae conscious Folk-Pop that enters your ear like cotton candy melts on your tongue.”
- Northeast In Tune Magazine
“Stunning vocals…Emotionally compelling and multi-layered...”
Soul-Folk songstress Layah Jane is a hearty young musician with a mission. With soulful vocals and a poetic, articulate tongue, Layah’s sound recalls Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones and Ani Difranco, with a resonance all her own.
Both piano and guitar became tools for writing and accompaniment as Layah began to create and perform original material at the age of thirteen. Since the completion of her first demo in 2000, Layah has been invited to play countless shows and festival showcases including the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Winterfolk Festival, North by Northeast Music Festival, Toronto Indie Music Week, Toronto City Roots Festival, the Ottawa Folk Festival, and New Music West.
Following the release of her debut album Grievance and Gratitude (Grace Note Records, 2005), Layah won a 2005 CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award, and the award for Best Political Song in the Ontario Council of Folk Festival's 2005 songwriting competition. In 2006, she received a Toronto Independent Music Award for Best Jazz, and a nomination in the Best Live Acoustic Act category, as well as a nomination for an American Independent Music Award in the Folk/Singer-Songwriter category. In Fall 2007, Layah won an Ontario Independent Music Award (Best Folk), and received nominations for two Toronto Independent Music Awards (Best Folk and Best Female Fronted Band).
In the realm of television and radio, Layah’s songs have been licensed for Global TV’s “Blue Murder”, and ESPN’s primetime drama “Tilt”. Layah appeared on Toronto 1’s late night entertainment TV show, “The Toronto Show” in 2003, and on Calgary A Channel’s “Wired” in 2005. Through regular college and CBC radio play, as well as a fortunate invitation to be the
voice of the Dove Real Beauty/Self Esteem Fund’s 2006 “True Colors” TV Campaign, listeners all over the world are being introduced to Layah Jane through the airwaves.
Morphing from singer-songwriter to DJ, Layah co-founded the Move Collective, a Toronto dance jam that spread west to Calgary and east to Halifax. Voted Best Non-smoking Dance Event in Toronto by Now Magazine in 2003, rotating DJs pack dance floors each week.
Layah’s sophomore full-length release Brightness & Bravery (Grace Note Records, 2008), was produced by Oliver Johnson (Esthero, Divine Brown), and is as organic, rich and sonically intimate as ever. A collection of Canada’s finest players offered their musical blessing: Ben Riley (Bruce Cockburn), Mark Mariash (Ron Sexsmith, Sarah Slean), Bryden Baird (Feist), Lyle Molzan (Jann Arden), Marc Rogers (K’naan, Philosopher Kings), Burke Carroll (Kathleen Edwards), Roger Williams (Ivana Santilli), Brian Macmillan (Thin Buckle, Barenaked Ladies), and Dave Gouveia (Amanda Marshall, Ivana Santilli).
Personal, political and passionate, Layah Jane’s music will speak courageous and tender, to the hungry hearts of poets, activists, and lovers alike.