Leyla McCalla -  'The Capitalist Blues' (Album Presentation)

I'm working on my third album it's called the capitalist blues and it's really different than a lot of the things that I've done before the title the capitalist blues is me thinking about a lot of the psychological and emotional effects of living in a capitalist society took me about 15 years to decide that I wasn't going to be a classical musician professionally and more and more I'm realizing sort of the power of my voice in a way that is relatively new to me both of my parents were human rights activists like kind of have this activist formation you know this activist education just from the culture and my family and and I think that that's something that has greatly affected my work it's something that I think that the more that I embrace the stronger I feel as an artist and the stronger of a statement I feel like I'm making I am just so grateful that Jimmy Horn decided to work on this record I feel like he fully put his heart into these songs he fully believed in every single moment even sometimes more than me he's not afraid to say what he has to say he's not afraid to dance if he needs to dance for you to get the right take like we had a few moments where I was like I need you to dance over in the corner like let's not make any eye contact but like you know move in a way that like I feel the vibe of what I'm supposed to be singing or playing or whatever you know we just laughed a lot we've really really laughed a lot believe I wrote this so I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to work with goat at his studio just a five minute bike ride from my house and in New Orleans he brought so much focus and care to each of these songs and it was just a absolute pleasure to work with him he's getting his taxi driver singing background vocals bringing Jimmy into this project and being in New Orleans we were able to work with musicians from the Haitian diaspora Cajun and zydeco musicians some of the best jazz musicians in town and of course my my trio that I've been touring with the past couple of years there's something about singing that just kind of like frees you and to feel my voice growing into this thing that can convey all these different emotions can connect to people in this way that only a human voice ten it's very satisfying a lot of my work has been connecting you know what I've been learning about Haitian history and Louisiana history to these songs that I you know put on my records and I feel like I'm just getting deeper and deeper into that and into the stories of people's lives into the different moments of political upheaval or social upheaval and that's something that has been really inspiring and impactful it was just extremely serendipitous and fortunate that lucky music was playing a jazz fest like who music is a collective from Haiti and I've been watching them from afar for a long time they came into the studio and I had all these words written and I had a melody and I didn't know exactly how it was all gonna come together but I had this idea to do you know part of it in Creole and part of it in English and so to have them in the studio and to be able to consult with them you know in real time about how does this sound these were my ideas of how to say this and they're like no that doesn't make any sense and so they really helped me was writing the song the song is called settle down I wrote this song thinking about how there's all these anti-protest laws on the table everyone is saying you know settle down and take your place and that's exactly what we're not going to do it's an almost two resisting complacency even in the face of being overwhelmed it's okay to be overwhelmed but don't don't let yourself be overcome I feel like we are hitting a boiling point in our American culture and in our society we really are in a moment of reckoning with our true values and our true desires and there's a lot of forces at conflict right now I hope that this album is a bit of respite from that for other people and also a reminder of you know the joy that it takes to lead a fulfilling life

  1. I love the Carolina Chocolate Drops and saw a live video of them with a 4th member. I was curious and explored Leyla's music because of that performance. Holy shit, what a blessing that was. I love her music so much!

  2. I am so glad I found your music. You are an incredible artist spreading such important messages beautifully. Thank you for putting it out there.

  3. love your approach, just touches my young old heart to hear music return to roots and soul without becoming a museum´s thing, stumpled across native daughters too and sure wish you all the sucess you deserve.

  4. loved the album and loving this inside view of the music, esp the Jimmy horn inspirations.

  5. Check out my review of the album Capitalist Blues here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWqVZnqWqT0
    Johnny Radio's Album of the Month – January 2019

  6. Wonderfull ! Do you also play cello on this new album ? When will you come back to Belgium ? Thank you so much and congratulations to you and all the musicians who collaborated on the album !

  7. This is the guiding conflict of my life right now, and of many others I'm sure. Thanks for your music and your ideas, I really can't wait

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