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Offline BrownSugar  
#1 Posted : 10 March 2021 08:43:17(UTC)
BrownSugar
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Artist: Layla
Title: Feel No Fear
Genre(s): Pop, Indie Pop, Latin, Electropop, Synthpop
Length: 32:40
Writers: L.Sanchez, Various
Producers: Layla, Bloom, Joshua Grimmie, Orion Washington, Preeti
Format(s): CD, Vinyl, Cassette, Digital Download, Streaming
Label: Five Pesky Kids
Singles Released: No Trouble in Paradise (#1), Forbidden Honey (#1), Some Kind of Magic (#1)

Feel No Fear is the debut studio album by American singer and songwriter Layla Sanchez, known mononymously as Layla. It is set to be released in March 2021, through Five Pesky Kids Records. Work on a solo project initially started as far back as 2014. Sanchez released two singles in 2015 during her tenure in SYNCO, "Love Me Right Now" and "Bleeding Out", with the former peaking at #1. Due to personal turmoil, all work on her album was indefinitely halted in 2016. Sanchez would then go on to quit SYNCO and enter a period of reclusiveness. Work eventually resumed on her album in late 2019. "No Trouble in Paradise" was released as the album's new lead single in October 2020, debuting at #1 on the Chart Heat Top 20 and achieving critical success. "Forbidden Honey", a collaboration with ex-boyfriend Joshua Grimmie, was released as the second single in February 2021. The track received universal praise but stirred controversy due to the pairing's past as well as the sexual nature of the visuals surrounding the song. Primarily a pop record, it also incorporates elements of R&B, Latin, Alternative and Electronica. "Feel No Fear" features production from Layla herself, Joshua Grimmie, Bloom, Preeti and Orion Washington. Sanchez serves as the executive producer.



BACKGROUND

Layla rose to prominence as a member of girl group SYNCO, formed by the popular and highly successful boy band Weekend in 2012. Wanting to launch a "female counterpart" band under their newly launched label Five Pesky Kids, the members of Weekend held auditions across the UK and the USA. Layla was one of five hopefuls to secure a spot in the group that would go on to become SYNCO. The band experienced global success, topping the Chart Heat Top 20, garnering acclaim and collecting several awards. SYNCO released three albums, all with Sanchez in the line-up. During production of the group's "Our World" album, Layla simultaneously worked on solo recordings. In early 2015, "Love Me Right Now" was released. It was Layla's first official recording and release outside of the group and went on to top the Chart Heat Top 20. She would go on to feature on Natasha Iver's single "Okay" and release another solo track titled "Bleeding Out" later in the year. SYNCO released "Our World" in the summer of 2015 before embarking on a world tour in 2016. Many fans and media outlets speculated that there was a rift within the band and that a split or the departure of Sanchez was imminent. This was due to Layla's hectic private and professional life, with many also suggesting that her fellow bandmates were growing jealous of her solo success and high-profile relationship with Austin Nimmo.

In December 2016, SYNCO released an official statement on their Twitter page which claimed that Layla was taking an "extended break" from work commitments, citing personal turmoil and the interest of her safety as the reason for her downtime. Layla had numerous threats and attempts on her life over the course of 2015-16 at the hands of a serial stalker. In early 2017, however, it was confirmed that Sanchez had officially departed from SYNCO, leaving the band as a quartet. The group vowed to continue without Layla but nothing materialised and SYNCO quietly disbanded with no major press release. In an interview with Culture Uncut, which would be her last for almost four years, Layla clarified her decision to leave the band, commenting;

"My head and heart just weren't in it anymore. It was nothing personal. I love those girls and I know people want to drive a wedge between us and make the situation something it's not. We were teens and fresh to it all when we got together. It was all bubbly and fun. We were told what to do, what to sing for a while. Then we started to grow into women. We started developing as artists. Our tastes expanded. Our visions changed. We were no longer five peas in a pod. We were trying to blossom into our own beautiful flowers but couldn't move to find the light. Being 15/16 is totally different to being a 20 year old. I had to find myself. I think we all do. Add in everything that has happened to me these last two years, I'm pretty burnt out in all honesty. I just need to lay low, recharge my batteries and really take time to sit with myself, discover who I am and what I want. You can't do that as part of a huge girl group in the big pop machine."



RECORDING & DEVELOPMENT

Layla initially began recording for her debut solo project in late 2014 whilst simultaneously working on SYNCO's "Our World" album. The record, although worked on in her spare time, was set to be a major project for Five Pesky Kids, with them arranging several sessions for Layla with many well known writers and producers. Sanchez was often viewed as SYNCO's "leader" in the public's eyes due to her featuring heavily on most of their biggest hits, famous friendships within the industry and relationship with multi-platinum recording artist Austin Nimmo. Many fans of the group objected to Pesky's focus on Sanchez, claiming favouritism and alleged she was "groomed" for a solo career from the start. This rhetoric was spun further when her debut single, the Brandon Grey produced "Love Me Right Now", was released to instant success, topping the Chart Heat Top 20 for two consecutive weeks.

During early recording sessions, Layla also cut vocals for Natasha Iver, going on to feature on Iver's "Okay". It became another top 10 success. Fellow band member Alexis Brooke penned the song "Bleeding Out" for Sanchez. The track was not initially intended as Layla's second solo release as another track was already lined-up. However, due to her personal connection and love for the song, "Bleeding Out" was released in late 2015. Despite being another top 10 hit, no further material would be released for five years. Layla would continue to record with high profile writers and producers in 2016, with a rumoured full body of work ready and waiting to go. The project, however, was indefinitely shelved, with Layla withdrawing from the public eye and all records remaining unreleased. It is rumoured that collaborations with Dustyn Blue and Ellie-Grace Summers remain in the vault to this day.

Recording for what would now become "Feel No Fear" officially went underway in November 2019. One of the earliest songs recorded was the future title track. Even in its rough demo form, Sanchez knew the song was important, feeling empowered by her own words and the sentiment of the track. Prior to the recording of the song, Layla claimed she felt "ready but rusty", eager to finally record music again but finding inspiration and confidence thin on the ground. She then admitted that the concept of the song and later, the entire album, was born out of "faux-confidence" and that the words she was writing didn't necessarily reflect how she was feeling at the time, however, repeating the "bold" and "confident" lyrics over again helped her to finally reach that place and believe in herself.

Layla initially worked exclusively with singers, writers and producers signed to the same label, Five Pesky Kids. This was due to her not only wanting to give the album a contained and tightknit feel, but for security reasons. Sanchez admitted she felt "safe" working with "familiar faces" and that she felt "extremely uncomfortable" with the idea of letting outsiders in to such a personal project. Producers such as Orion Washington, Bloom and Preeti, worked with Layla over the course of a year, already knowing her for quite some time prior to recording. Layla dubbed the group as her "little safety bubble" and stated that those involved in the creation of the album were a "rock" to her, allowing the singer to take as much time needed to adjust back into a busy working environment whilst also lending sympathetic and understand ears to her story, struggles and vision.

Mariko, Younghood and Christopher Hudson are the only acts not signed to Five Pesky Kids that are involved in "Feel No Fear". Sanchez cites Mariko and Younghood as two of her favourite artists and that she always envisioned them on her songs but "dragged [her] heels" in asking them, debating whether or not they would be interested and still rather uncertain about reaching out beyond her close circle. Christopher Hudson is a close friend whom she worked with as far back as 2014. The other featured artists, Serenity Scott and Joshua Grimmie, are both under the same label as Layla. Grimmie in particular has a very close connection to Sanchez, being long-term friends and briefly dating during the early conception of the album. Joshua and Layla worked together on "Forbidden Honey" in the summer of 2020, with Grimmie producing the track. Although a controversial decision, Sanchez stood firm in her choice, saying that she has "never felt more proud of a song" before praising Grimmie, calling him "such a talent" and "one of the finest writers". On the multiple collaborations on the album, Layla commented;

"Everyone who is on "Feel No Fear" is there for a reason. This album is my story and that means I also get to involve those I have a personal connection with. Whether it is due to years of friendship or me just being a huge fan girl, inspired by them and their work, they're all important to me and play a part in the telling of these stories. I personally reached out to them all, wanting to share a moment with these artists because I really admire them and it all just makes sense. They aren't just thrown together collaborations for a radio hit. I wanted all those talents on the album because I knew they would do their songs justice and it'd be an honor for me to share the same space as them."



MUSIC & LYRICS

"Feel No Fear" is a personal record with a "concept", documenting and addressing some of Layla's time out of the spotlight over the last five years. It tackles losing and finding self-confidence, media interference, sexism, patriarchy, her relationship with former SYNCO band members, breakup with Austin Nimmo, fling with Joshua Grimmie as well as hinting that she is in a new relationship and looking towards the future. It is primarily a pop record, with many elements such as; R&B, Latin, Indie Pop, Electronica, Dance and Trap being woven throughout. "Feel No Fear" contains an overall "subdued" vibe with many mid-tempo tracks and a much "calmer" vocal delivery throughout the majority of the tracks opposed to the belts, rifts and runs she was initially known for during her time in SYNCO.

Layla describes it as a "coming of age" record. On "Feel No Fear", she tackles subjects that were once deemed "too heavy" as part of a girl group as well as controversial personal stories, finally addressing them head-on for the first time in years. The lyrics throughout are "brutally honest", "fierce", "heart breaking" and "eye-opening".



SINGLES

No Trouble in Paradise was released as the album's new lead single on October 7, 2021. The song was her first musical output in five years and was released a mere two hours after she announced it in a surprise manner that day. It was co-penned by Layla alongside Christopher Hudson and Orion Washington. "No Trouble in Paradise" was met with instant acclaim and success, debuting atop the Chart Heat Top 20, giving her a second #1 record which is so far the most for a former SYNCO member.

Forbidden Honey was released as the second single on February 26, 2021. It is a collaboration with Joshua Grimmie, Layla's ex-boyfriend. The indie pop single was met with extremely positive reviews and went viral due to the raunchy nature of the promotional images surrounding the song's release and its future video. "Forbidden Honey" also received minor backlash from fans of Austin Nimmo, viewing the collaboration as a dig towards her ex. Like its predecessor, "Forbidden Honey" debuted at #1 on the Chart Heat Top 20. The single went on to top the charts for five consecutive weeks, tying Weekend's record for longest-running #1.

Some Kind of Magic was released as the third single on August 29, 2021. It is a collaboration with rapper Younghood. The song was originally pencilled for a May release but was pushed back due to an unexpected six month hiatus from Layla, halting all promotional activities following the hospitalisation of close friend, Joshua Grimmie. "Some Kind of Magic" was met with acclaim and debuted atop of the Chart Heat Top 20, earning "Feel No Fear" a third consecutive #1 single.



LAYLA'S COMMENTS

Layla wrote:
"It has been a long time coming. This album was meant to be a healing process for me and while it certainly was, it became so much more than that. Not only did I find my confidence and love for music again, I realized just how lucky I am to be in the position I'm in. Through telling my stories, I realized that I was also telling a lot of yours too. Working on these songs, it soon clicked that it wasn't just a "me" thing. I was shining a light on situations a lot of people are enduring out there, especially young women. When I got out of my own head, I started to see the bigger picture. Sure, the creation of this record still helped me in ways I can't even begin to describe but when I realized that this was going out for the world to hear; to either influence or be dissected, I knew I had to step it up and put everything I had into these words so I could stand by them proudly. Was time for me to step up to the plate after so many years running and hiding.

"Feel No Fear". It's exactly what it says on the tin. A lot of the fear we experience is irrational. Your biggest challenge and opponent is your own mind. You fear doing certain things because of potential scenarios you've conjured up inside your own head. Once you fight through that, stand proud in your decisions and own it all, you're pretty untouchable. Opinions are just water off a duck's back. It's hard to get to that stage, however. I know that all too well. I've been at rock bottom and then some. I didn't have a voice. Literally, there was a period of time when I just didn't even speak. Now, I'm shouting from the rooftops, baby!

I want this record to inspire the underdog, the people who never seem to get a fair deal in life. I want to speak up for young women being mistreated in the industry. I've acknowledged my past, learnt from mistakes, embraced my flaws and set them free. I hope that some of my lyrics can do the same for others too. No matter our baggage, we are beautiful, pretty damn awesome and so worthy of love. We are more than what society, old men in suits and loudmouths on social media tell us we are. We're breaking out of the boxes they put us in. We're washing away the shame they cast over us. We're proud of who we are and the paths we've taken to get where we are today. We FEEL NO FEAR."




TRACKLIST

Feel No Fear
In My Mouth
This Is Woman (feat. Serenity Scott & Mariko)
Forbidden Honey (feat. Joshua Grimmie)
Snow White
Some Kind of Magic (feat. Younghood)
Loved Me The Most
Round Again
Miami Smooth
No Trouble in Paradise

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Edited by user 19 September 2021 11:38:14(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline BrownSugar  
#2 Posted : 11 March 2021 11:38:51(UTC)
BrownSugar
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Artist(s): Layla
Title: Feel No Fear
Genre(s): Pop, Tropical, Trap
Length: 2:45
Writer: L.Sanchez
Producer: BLOOM
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

Feel No Fear is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Layla. It is the opening track on her debut solo album of the same name. The track was written solely by Layla with production behind handled by BLOOM, a Colombian producer also signed to Five Pesky Kids. "Feel No Fear" was initially composed in December 2019 and was completed via Zoom calls between the pair during the spring of 2020, with BLOOM isolating with his family in Medellín whilst Layla worked from her L.A. home. "Feel No Fear" is a tropical pop song with underlying hip hop and trap beats infused, creating a "laid back" sound. The chilled, relaxed sonics reflect the confident lyrical content. "Feel No Fear" centres around Layla looking towards the future after years of personal turmoil. The track also sees her addressing ex-boyfriend Austin Nimmo for the first time, wishing him well and apologising for the period of unrest in their relationship.

In late 2016, Layla recoiled from the spotlight after two attempts on her life at the hands of a serial stalker. What was initially an extended hiatus from SYNCO in order to focus on her mental health became an official departure in 2017. Sanchez then began to lead a reclusive life, making no public appearances or social media posts for almost three years. During that time, Layla and long-term boyfriend Austin Nimmo ended their relationship. Coinciding with her public re-emergence was a short but controversial relationship with Joshua Grimmie, a considered "rival" to Nimmo. Following her return to music and the spotlight, Layla found herself under scrutiny with many questions regarding her downtime being asked. "Feel No Fear" is the line drawn under her turbulent past, no longer wishing to dwell or relive any of the drama whilst looking to the future of both her personal and professional lives.

Layla wrote:
"This is the most important song on the record. I don't know what the project would be if "Feel No Fear" wasn't birthed. It set the tone for the entire project, hence why it's the title track. I was really eager to create again but was super rusty. I had no real direction and wasn't as confident in the studio as I was all those years ago. I felt a little lost. I tried to create something practically every day for almost two months but nothing was sticking until "Feel No Fear" came out. It was like DING! - lightbulb moment! It was the first time I was truly honest in the studio and it was just unbelievably easy. Being my first album but also a comeback at the same time, I felt a lot of pressure and worry. I was trying to create a hit and also avoid certain topics but come on, everyone would see through that. I'd be doing a disservice to myself, my fans and would also just create more questions. "Feel No Fear" was faux-confidence at the time. I was singing all this stuff about leaving the old me behind, setting off down a new path and owning everything when, at the actual time of recording, my head was still all over the place. The more I worked on the song, the more I tricked my mind into believing the words. Now they actually ring true! It's a cliché but the process really was therapeutic. Because of this song, I can now stand proud and say what I have to say, publicly share my story after years of denial and suppressing things and can finally give my whole album to the world."




"Feel No Fear"

Hold on, there's been a change of plans
I'm no longer where the world left me
Packed up my troubles in an old kit bag
Didn't have time to leave the house empty
Feel like I've left something behind
But I'm sure it was probably tainted
No time to double back or think twice
Tomorrow's around the corner, waiting

I haven't met the new girl yet
Though something tells me she's a queen
Universe tried to make her bed
But I don't think she'll be the type to sleep

Blue washed all over,
From my mood, to the ocean of tears
Went and drenched your shoulder
Think we aged a good few years
Merely existing, could hardly call it living
Owed a little happiness for all the years we've given
Only one rule from now, feel no fear


Used to bring knives to a gun fight
Now I don't see any need for weapons
When bullets fly, I go and take a bite
Learned a lot from those enervating lessons
Hope we didn't waste all of our good years
At least we can move on with safe passage
Destinations on different paths, changing gears
Green light, leaving behind the baggage

You haven't met the new girl yet
Don't worry, I know she'll be cool with me
Can't say I don't have any regrets
But, hey, let's not get in too deep

Blue washed all over,
From my mood, to the ocean of tears
Went and drenched your shoulder
Think we aged a good few years
Merely existing, could hardly call it living
Owed a little happiness for all the years we've given
Only one rule from now, feel no fear


Some things are better best forgotten
They're so much sweeter in history
In time, all the edges will soften
The slope was getting too slippery
Fly high and away from here
Spread your wings, feel no fear

Blue washed all over,
From my mood, to the ocean of tears
Went and drenched your shoulder
Think we aged a good few years
Merely existing, could hardly call it living
Owed a little happiness for all the years we've given
Only one rule from now, feel no fear


Blue washed all over,
From my mood, to the ocean of tears
Went and drenched your shoulder
Think we aged a good few years
Merely existing, could hardly call it living
Owed a little happiness for all the years we've given
Only one rule from now, feel no fear



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Offline BrownSugar  
#3 Posted : 12 March 2021 01:14:18(UTC)
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Artist(s): Layla
Title: In My Mouth
Genre(s): Electropop
Length: 3:40
Writer: L.Sanchez, C.Hudson
Producer: Preeti
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

In My Mouth is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Layla. It is the second track on her debut solo album, "Feel No Fear". The track was written by Layla alongside long-time friend, Christopher Hudson, who also helped co-pen her comeback single, "No Trouble in Paradise". Production behind handled by Preeti, a producer also signed to Five Pesky Kids. "In My Mouth" was written and recorded in July 2020. Due to the quick and positive final outcome of the sessions, Sanchez and Hudson continued working together and created "No Trouble in Paradise" the following week. "In My Mouth" is an electropop song based on simple synth chords that build throughout with heavier bass each chorus and the inclusion of strings, giving the track a "cinematic" feel. The "defiant" sounds on the "punchy" pop record compliment the "fiery" lyricism, which is a tongue and cheek jibe at the media and trolls online. Throughout the verses, Layla plays up to rumours that have been circulating about her for years such as; her relationship with former SYNCO members, the flack she received for dating a famous pop singer as well as her ordeal with her stalker. The chorus sees Layla warning people to stop putting words in her mouth and twisting stories to suit their own narratives.

Throughout her time in the spotlight, Layla has found herself at the centre of controversy and high profile stories repeatedly. Layla once stated that she "doesn't look for it" and that "certain people and publications" have an agenda, putting a target on her back because of a personal dislike. During her time with SYNCO, it was often speculated that Layla was being groomed for a solo career by Five Pesky Kids. This was due to her close connections with many high profile celebrities and featuring heavily on SYNCO's biggest hits. Many fans believed Layla was receiving special treatment whilst publications began pitting the girls against each other, claiming turmoil within the group due to jealousy over Sanchez. Fans of Austin Nimmo also scrutinised the singer, believing the relationship to be "fake" and that Sanchez was using Nimmo solely for his name in order to advance her status. Many trolls also mocked her traumatic experiences with a stalker, claiming that she "enjoyed the attention" and that Layla has a "victim complex". "In My Mouth" sees Layla finally swipe back at all of the slander she has endured and the bogus claims over the years.

Layla wrote:
"I can't wait to perform this song live. I know it's going to be an anthem for those who have been riding with me from day one. It's hard to pick a favorite. They're all my babies. They've made it onto the album because I love them all. They're all special in their own way but in terms of sonics, I may have to say "In My Mouth" is my favorite. I never get tired hearing it back. Sometimes it's weird listening to my own stuff but this one just gives me such a rush. In the spirit of "Feel No Fear", I'm reclaiming my power and narrative on "In My Mouth". I address a LOT of important stuff on here, some things that REALLY hurt me over the years but rather than go down the "woe is me" route, I've dressed it up in sparkly synths and a killer base. It's a real cocky, tongue in cheek, middle finger to the face VIBE! Christopher is very passionate, very fiery and real silly. We laughed and laughed creating this song. Like, it sounded so dumb saying some of the stuff written about me out loud. Couldn't believe that used to get me down and some people would eat it all up with a big spoon. Don't always believe what you read, folks. "In My Mouth" is just such a release. I get to live out my Britney Spears style pop star dreams whilst also flipping off the people who tried to tear me and those around me who I love down."




In My Mouth

Yeah, I guess I hate the population of women
I'm so quirky, I'm not like the other girls
Guilty as charged for all the pushing and pulling
I kicked them down from the top of the world
Ain't it mad what you read on the front page?
Another day, another link to some clickbait

You're right, I used the boy for his name
Faked it for the camera all those years
Cold-hearted, he was just a pawn in my game
Got a kick out of reducing him to tears
Ain't it funny how opinion becomes fact?
Another day, another claim to redact

Boast that you're serving something juicy
Well I've already lost my appetite
I think it must be a real slow news week
Piecing together crumbs for a little bite

Now who went and said all of that?
'Cause not a syllable escaped these lips
Don't you put words in my mouth, my mouth
Bending the truth just to make it fit
But, hush, let me whisper
Boy, I got a little something to tell ya
Don't you dare put your words in my...


In my-my-mouth-mouth
In my-my-mouth-mouth
In my-my-mouth-mouth
In my-my-mouth-mouth


I confess, I made up every little detail
I struck the match and opened the wound
Guess I just wanted to look frail
A cloak for my hat and flying broom
Ain't it scary what some people broadcast?
Another day, another doubt cast

Throwing accusations too loosely
Starting to think it's all out of spite
It's all sounding like a blockbuster movie
Man, I hope they get the casting right

Now who went and said all of that?
'Cause not a syllable escaped these lips
Don't you put words in my mouth, my mouth
Bending the truth just to make it fit
But, hush, let me whisper
Boy, I got a little something to tell ya
Don't you dare put your words in my...


I got a soundbite, come and lend me your ear
"Don't believe what you read"
"Don't believe what you hear"
I got a soundbite, come and lend me your ear
"Don't believe what you read"
"Don't believe what you hear"

Now who went and said all of that?
'Cause not a syllable escaped these lips
Don't you put words in my mouth, my mouth
Bending the truth just to make it fit
But, hush, let me whisper
Boy, I got a little something to tell ya
Don't you dare put your words in my...


In my-my-mouth-mouth
In my-my-mouth-mouth
In my-my-mouth-mouth
In my-my-mouth-mouth



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Offline BrownSugar  
#4 Posted : 02 April 2021 01:38:45(UTC)
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Artist(s): Layla, Serenity Scott, Mariko
Title: This Is Woman
Genre(s): Pop, Ballad
Length: 3:01
Writer: L.Sanchez
Producer: Preeti, Layla
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

This Is Woman is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Layla, with featured guest vocal appearances from Serenity Scott and Mariko. The track was written solely by Sanchez herself in July 2020 and initially penned as a solo track before being reworked into a collaboration later in the year. Production of the track was handled by labelmate Preeti alongside Layla herself. The reworked three-piece collaboration was completed in October 2020, around the same time as the release of "No Trouble in Paradise", her comeback single. "This Is Woman" is a pop ballad featuring prominent acoustic guitars and stacked, harmonious vocals, creating a very "light" and "airy" soundscape throughout. Layla sings the first and third verse as well as the bridge. Serenity Scott takes on the second verse and second pre-chorus while Mariko provides vocals on the first pre-chorus and fourth verse. All three artists sing the chorus together. The lyrics refer to the sexism and misogyny that women experience in the world alongside celebratory themes of womanhood.

Frustrated and simultaneously inspired by her personal experiences as a young women in the music industry, Layla took to the studio herself with the ambition to create a "woman's anthem". Throughout her career, Layla has endured endless criticism steeped in misogynism from internet trolls, to critics, to fellow creatives within the industry. Despite being a proud and vocal feminist, Sanchez has often been accused of "jealousy" towards other women, most notably her former SYNCO members. Her time in the band also saw her pitted against the other girls, with many constantly comparing, critiquing and ranking everything from the looks, to their body shape to their vocal abilities. "This Is Woman" was written in response to the vulgar and derogatory views. Layla wanted to "champion" and "embrace womanhood", expressing a unity between her contemporaries by turning the song into a collaboration.

Layla wrote:
"This was one of those songs that basically just wrote itself. I didn't have to think too hard on what the next line would be and when it was finished, I didn't refine it too much. I didn't care about the smartest word choice or the catchiest hook. This song is just a natural, raw expression of my love for women and how proud I am to be one. That's why it was so quick to write. These thoughts had been brewing inside me for the longest time and just came pouring out. We're subjected to a lot of scrutiny and unfair treatment, especially in this business. You have sleazy bigwigs behind the scenes treating you like a piece of meat, you try to appease them to stay above the fray. Then you're torn apart by people online who don't know you. You then try to block that out only to be featured on some trashy magazine or gossip show with some strangers commenting on your boobs. "This Is Woman" is us standing proud and telling these people that we're not just playthings. We're not inferior. We're complex and beautiful individuals with bright minds and brilliant bodies that are capable of the most extraordinary things."

"I had initially written this as a solo track but pretty much after it was completed, I knew that it HAD to have another woman or two on there. It's a song celebrating us gorgeous ladies, come on! When I was brainstorming ideas with my team, I also wanted to get the point across that I didn't want this to be marketed as "Lady Marmalade 2.0". This wasn't gonna be a big showstopper. It's a very honest, introspective and delicate sounding song. I wanted women who I love and admire on this song to share the moment together. It just had to make sense. Serenity, I've known for many years. She's on the same label as me and she just has this glorious, sunny energy and a beautiful voice that I don't think gets enough credit. It made sense to have her on the track with me. For the second vocalist, I started to think outside the box. I wanted it to be as inclusive as possible so I got in touch with Mariko, who navigates her career in a totally different way. She's not entirely left field but she isn't straight-up mainstream. She hasn't really done the whole pop collaboration before despite her talents, which are vastly underrated. Mariko also knows what it's like to be a young woman scrutinised by the world. She was the last beautiful piece of the puzzle."





"This Is Woman"

All
Layla
Mariko
Serenity


Cruellest words come from my own mouth
Don't need to be adding to my own doubt
This world is so quick to leave me on the shelf
Not waiting on validation, gotta love myself


They say it's a man's world after all
But united we stand and divided we fall
Warrior goddess, believe me, you are enough
Hold that gorgeous head high, time to woman up


How they gonna win these fights without us?
How they gonna bring new life without us?


Scar tissue and a bunch of complex issues
All these stretch marks and no head starts
Baby, this is woman, this is woman
Tummy, hips and thighs, beauty in every size
Looking out for each other, stand in every color
Baby, this is woman, this is woman
You can't win without us


Chasing standards that we didn't even set
Can't be achieved, you can place your best bet
Crushed hopes, low blows, pulled in all direction
We're still all beauty queens with our imperfections


Wipe your teary eyes, my dear sister
It's hard at times but I'm right here with ya
There's still that big glass ceiling to break
Holding us down might be their biggest mistake


How they gonna make these moves without us?
Oh, they're surely gonna lose without us


Scar tissue and a bunch of complex issues
All these stretch marks and no head starts
Baby, this is woman, this is woman
Tummy, hips and thighs, beauty in every size
Looking out for each other, stand in every color
Baby, this is woman, this is woman
You can't win without us


You got this, my goddess, we got this
Got your back and you're leaning on me
You got it, we can't quit, we got it
Though some might say that we're mean

You got this, my goddess, we got this
Got your back and you're leaning on me
You got it, we can't quit, we got it
Though some might say that we're mean


Scar tissue and a bunch of complex issues
All these stretch marks and no head starts
Baby, this is woman, this is woman
Tummy, hips and thighs, beauty in every size
Looking out for each other, stand in every color
Baby, this is woman, this is woman
You can't win without us


Baby, this is woman, this is woman
Baby, this is woman


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#5 Posted : 02 April 2021 03:15:52(UTC)
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Artist(s): Layla Sanchez, Joshua Grimmie
Title: Forbidden Honey
Genre(s): Indie Pop, Pop
Length: 3:37
Writer: L.Sanchez, J.Grimmie
Producer: Joshua Grimmie
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

Forbidden Honey is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Layla Sanchez, featuring a guest appearance from fellow recording artist, Joshua Grimmie. The song was released on February 26, 2021, after being announced by Layla on her Twitter feed 8 days prior on the 18th of the month. The track's existence was initially teased in November with Sanchez posting images of flowing strands of honey on her Instagram page. Since the official announcement of the track, its release and future music video have been heavily promoted by both Sanchez and Grimmie, using the honey pot emoji in their social media posts as well as GIFs of the forthcoming video, set to drop in March. "Forbidden Honey" was written by both Layla and Joshua, with production being handled by Joshua himself. The lyrics tell the story of an on-again, off-again couple who have too many complications and reservations to become exclusive, but always find themselves in each other's arms, worsening the situation and making it harder to let go each and every time. Many speculate that the song itself is about Sanchez and Grimmie's brief affair as both are the sole writers of "Forbidden Honey".

The song was recorded in 2020, alongside the bulk of what will appear on Layla's forthcoming debut album, "Feel No Fear". Many fans speculated a collaboration was in the works between the pairing due to both musicians having a close relationship for many years, with rumours being fuelled further when Layla and Joshua began dating. It is believed that "Forbidden Honey" was set for a December release, following initial teasers for a "honey" themed track on Layla's Instagram in late December. The release was supposedly pushed back due to Grimmie's hectic schedule following the release of his hugely critically and commercially successful album "GOLDENHEART" on December 4th. Even prior to the song's official release, it stirred some controversy due to the relationship of Grimmie and Sanchez as well as the seemingly raunchy nature of the forthcoming video. Many fans of Austin Nimmo, Layla's ex-boyfriend, responded negatively to the news.

"Forbidden Honey" is an indie pop track, featuring a prominent use of guitar, subtle use of vocoder within the chorus and layered backing harmonies to create a "light", "spacey" and "heavenly" sound in contrast to the heavier, more intense lyrical content. The soundscape marries the styling of both Layla and Joshua, making use of Grimmie's love of live instrumentation and the catchy pop style of vocal melodies akin to Layla's past musical output. The creation of the track was dubbed a "joint effort" by Layla, with both of them creating every aspect of the song together from scratch.

Layla wrote:
"This song is the one of my proudest moments as an artist. Forget all the success I had with the band and even my last single. As much as I love those songs and am grateful for everything they gave me, nothing hits quite like "Forbidden Honey". I've been in the music business for nearly 10 years now and I've never felt so proud of a song! It was a dream of mine to create a record with Joshua. He's such a talent and one of the finest writers we have today. We also have a wonderful friendship and deep connection so I KNEW there was a collaboration inside of us. I knew it was going to be special too. It's really weird building something up so high in you're head for it to be everything you wanted and more. Usually, things never turn out as planned. Believe me, I've gone into the studio with such a buzz only to be underwhelmed with what sessions produced. Not this one, though. Joshy and I just sat down in a hired rehearsal space, he brought his guitar and we just started bouncing ideas off one another. Honestly, the song wrote itself. It felt so natural. He'd give me a line that just floored me, I'd hype him up and bounce back with a line myself and we just kept on feeding on one another's positive energies and before we knew it, we basically had the song. I truly think we had the main body of this song done in under an hour. And I was so worried about the session being fruitless. Feel No Fear, indeed."




"Forbidden Honey"

Layla
Joshua
Both


This big city's too rough without you
And the cold air is far from forgiving
Tripped before I even planned my move
Dice got lost but I still think I'm winning
We really shouldn't be here
Only gonna get hurt in the end

Wrapped around you on the back of your bike
Hope we catch red lights on the way home
Something real beautiful about the dark nights
Intensified when I have you to hold
Oh, we really shouldn't be here
But let's keep on playing pretend

Said we wouldn't get in too deep
The strings we said we'd never attach?
Well they keep me tethered to your reach
And I'm sure that I'm gonna regret that
But I wouldn't turn the time back


I crave the taste of this forbidden honey
Feels like I've got a damn dependency
I was never one to go and dance with danger
Now I'm strung out waiting on my favorite flavor
And I know that too much is no good for me
But honey's still honey and honey's oh so sweet


Contorted inside a web of complications
Didn't want to drag you down to the depth
But I've never won a battle against temptation
Saccharine waters, way in over my head
Tried my best to stay clear
But, damn, here we go again

I knew that it was playing with fire
We'll only walk away broken and burnt out
Do I suppress what the heart desires?
Or smother the little voices of doubt?
God, we really shouldn't be here
We both know how this one ends

Said we wouldn't get in too deep
The strings we said we'd never attach?
Well they keep me tethered to your reach
And I'm sure that I'm gonna regret that
But I wouldn't turn the time back


I crave the taste of this forbidden honey
Feels like I've got a damn dependency
I was never one to go and dance with danger
Now I'm strung out waiting on my favorite flavor
And I know that too much is no good for me
But honey's still honey and honey's oh so sweet


We don't say that word, 'cause we know it'll hurt
We don't say that word, 'cause we know it'll hurt
We don't say that word, 'cause we know it'll hurt
We don't say that word, 'cause we know it'll hurt

I crave the taste of this forbidden honey
Feels like I've got a damn dependency
I was never one to go and dance with danger
Now I'm strung out waiting on my favorite flavor
And I know that too much is no good for me
But honey's still honey and honey's oh so sweet


I crave the taste of this forbidden honey
Feels like I've got a damn dependency
I was never one to go and dance with danger
Now I'm strung out waiting on my favorite flavor
And I know that too much is no good for me
But honey's still honey and honey's oh so sweet



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#6 Posted : 19 September 2021 04:23:25(UTC)
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Artist(s): Layla Sanchez
Title: Snow White
Genre(s): Indie Pop, Pop, Electronic
Length: 3:39
Writer: L.Sanchez
Producer: Layla, Orion Washington
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

Snow White is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Layla. It is the fifth track on her debut solo album, "Feel No Fear". The track was written solely by Layla in July 2020. Production was handled by Layla and Orion Washington, who also produced and co-penned her comeback single, "No Trouble in Paradise". "Snow White" is an electropop song with an overall downbeat sound with low, throbbing synth layering the verses. As the song progresses, heavy percussion kicks in to create more urgency in the soundscape while still maintaining a "sombre" and "moody" atmosphere. The "dark" and "brooding" sounds within the production reflect the "heavy" lyrical content, which details the struggles of being a woman in a patriarchal society, tapping into issues such as sexism, misogyny and unwanted and non-consensual sexual attention. The lyrics heavily reference classic fairytales, most of which were adapted into animated films by Disney, and uses characters and plots from them in order to fight back against specific tropes and unfair societal standards and ideas which the stories have set for generations.

Written around the same time as fellow 'feminist anthem' "This Is Woman", which also appears on the album, Layla decided to write another song which delves in deeper to the sexualisation and objectification of women. While "This Is Woman" boasted about the power of women uniting and embracing all shapes and sizes, "Snow White" taps into a darker underbelly, highlighting some exact reasons why millions of women feel insecure, scared and unworthy. In September 2021, Layla posted a series of tweets in regards to the backstory and conception of "Snow White". Sanchez took to the social media platform to express her frustration of being sexualised by the public and people within the industry alike for nearly a decade. She then went on to criticise the idea of a woman's virginity factoring into their worth, status, personality or moral compass at all. Layla also stated that she felt "uncomfortable" with many male spectators fixating on her 18th birthday, the "legality" of her age and the "creepy" obsession and speculation surrounding her sex life.


Layla wrote:
"I think that "Snow White" is the track that I'm most proud of. I wrote it pretty much off-the-cuff myself, I had a hand in producing the record and the lyrics were just so natural and such a relief to get off my chest. I'd been battling issues like this, having worries over my own femininity, keeping frustrations regarding my treatment within the industry for the best part of a decade. It was so freeing to finally address it, put it out into the world and take a stand. Women are objectified and vilified for merely existing. We're sexualized because of our bodies. When we cover up our bodies, we're called 'frigid', 'boring' and pressured into stripping down to be deemed 'sexy'. Men are so hung-up on a woman's sexuality, her sexual appetite, her virginity. I remember being 17 and asked by some old guy in an interview if I was still a virgin. It's like they use that as the pinnacle of purity, that it makes you a 'good girl', more valued and respected. In the same breath, however, there are dudes foaming at the mouth, wanting to 'take' that from us and waiting with bated breath for us to turn 18. There are a lot of creeps like that in the industry and media who then sell and push those ideas out onto the public. This track is basically saying; 'I'm no Snow White!' in a manner of ways. I'm not this innocent, picture-perfect little girl who needs protecting and saving from the world nor am I as one-dimensional as those fictitious fairytale princesses. None of us are. We are complex, we make our own choices, we are more than pretty dresses and have ambitions higher than waiting on some guy to sweep us off our feet."




"Snow White"

Don't want a so-called Prince Charming by my side
They're all fictitious and dead behind the eyes
When I nervously smile just to seem polite,
They see all my kindness as a green light
This can't be reality, must have pricked my finger
I rub my eyes but the monsters all still linger

Want to wear a dress without any questions
Want to love my curves without objections
Shouldn't have to fear any unwanted attention
But they waited on my 18th like a sick obsession
Wish I could stay out past the stroke of midnight
But the critters around here don't play nice

No one's gonna give me a happy ending
It's all puppets and wolves pretending
Gotta do what I do all for myself
Never trust the hand the elders dealt

How do you feel about true love's kiss?
Well, I got some poison apple on my lips
Does the mighty warrior wish to take a bite?
Forgot to mention that I'm no Snow White
Little men always making a fuss
Wouldn't blame her if she didn't wake up
Shame there's no magic mirror in sight
You'd see you're no Prince for any Snow White


Another one wanting to be man of the hour
Trying to keep me sweet when the vibe is sour
I'd gladly take eternity in my own little tower,
Than get whisked away to be made a wallflower
Not every beauty needs their own beast
And you don't need to know what's underneath

Why care what color I wear at my wedding?
Not as if you'll ever be attending
Gotta do what I do all for myself
Never trust the fruit the stranger dealt

How do you feel about true love's kiss?
Well, I got some poison apple on my lips
Does the mighty warrior wish to take a bite?
Forgot to mention that I'm no Snow White
Little men always making a fuss
Wouldn't blame her if she didn't wake up
Shame there's no magic mirror in sight
You'd see you're no Prince for any Snow White


Can't vent out my frustrations
Without being seen as a complication
Keep on saying that I overreact
You just don't like when I answer back
It's a tale as old as time
Please change the song, change that damn rhyme

How do you feel about true love's kiss?
Well, I got some poison apple on my lips
Does the mighty warrior wish to take a bite?
Forgot to mention that I'm no Snow White
Little men always making a fuss
Wouldn't blame her if she didn't wake up
Shame there's no magic mirror in sight
You'd see you're no Prince for any Snow White



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#7 Posted : 19 September 2021 11:39:59(UTC)
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Artist: Layla, Younghood
Title: Some Kind of Magic
Genre(s): Pop, Hip-Hop, Electronic
Length: 3:34
Writers: L.Sanchez, Younghood
Producer: Orion Washington
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

Some Kind of Magic is a song by American singer-songwriter Layla Sanchez, now known simply as Layla. The song was released worldwide on August 29th, 2021 and serves as the third single from Sanchez's long-awaited debut studio album, "Feel No Fear". "Some Kind of Magic" follows the globally-successful collaboration with Joshua Grimmie, "Forbidden Honey". The overwhelming success of the single alongside the tragic overdose of her singing partner caused Layla to halt any further releases, resulting in a small 6 month hiatus. "Some Kind of Magic" was originally written as a solo track in late 2020. Younghood wouldn't be brought to the project until early 2021, with Sanchez believing that the song needed "another voice", personally reaching out to Younhood, finding the rapper to be the "perfect fit". Production of the track was handled by Orion Washington, who also produced and co-wrote Sanchez's #1 comeback single, "No Trouble in Paradise".

"Some Kind of Magic" is a pop song with elements of hip hop and electronic music incorporated throughout. Unlike previous collaboration, "Forbidden Honey" which boasted a more duo-style delivery of the vocals, "Some Kind of Magic" sees Layla belt and power her way through most of the experimental electronic-cum-hip-hop bassline as a lone-ranger until Younghood makes his appearance towards the latter half of the track. Lyrically, the song reflects on people who seemingly bring nothing but negative energy and have an unhealthy obsession with trying to tear others day. Layla's parts appear to be based on an ex-lover whilst Younghood focuses on industry peers and fake friends. Since it's premier, fans and critics were quick to assume that the lyrics were a direct reference to ex-boyfriend and fellow singer, Austin Nimmo. Sanchez, however, disproved such claims in the official press release of the single, claiming that the official idea of the song was inspired by online trolls and that the subject matter was switched in order to make the song more "universal".



Layla wrote:
"First of all, I just want to say that it was SUCH an honor to work with Younghood. I think he's one of the finest talents we have in the business today and I feel like people are slowly recognising that, which is wonderful. After I completed the track, I just knew that it needed another voice. Something to give it a little more oomph and a different perspective. Younghood was the first and only choice, really. I could hear him on the beat. When I reached out to him, I was so stoked when he agreed. I hadn't even fully collected myself and he floored me again when he came back with his part which felt like almost instantaneously! He was a real professional and the enthusiasm he brought to the project really made it feel alive. I knew as soon as I heard his verse that the song was well and truly ready."

"The song was inspired by a really crappy time I was having online. I was scared to check messages, notifications, and post anything out of fear of being attacked for like...existing! Then I reminded myself; "Uh, this project is titled 'Feel No Fear', girl! Come on!'. Writing really took the power back. Now I just laugh when I see stupid things aimed at me. It's never anything with any grounds. All these anonymous profiles with pictures of other celebrities throwing all kinds of unwarranted hatred towards me...it's bizarre. Go focus on the person in your avi and share some light and love on them. Don't get the odd obsession with me or indeed other friends of mine who seem to get it bad. That was the basis of the song. You claim to hate my guts but you ACTIVELY come searching for me. Must be some kind of magic, baby!"

"I know that a lot of people are going to be asking 'WHO HURT YOU?!' when the song drops but it's honestly not about a relationship. That part's fictitious. I just embellished and improvised the subject matter so that more people could relate. It's more universal. Unless you're a pop recording artist or an avid part of Stan Twitter, you can't really relate to being harassed by hundreds of accounts with Billy Khan and Isabel as their display pics!"





"Some Kind of Magic"

Layla
Younghood



From the stories you tell,
Seems you're under a spell,
Must be a living hell


So go ahead and call me evil, a psycho
How I'm out there shaking your tightrope
Quick to say you hate me
But I'm always on your mind though
So go ahead and call me crazy, a real bitch
Thorn in your side, a stubborn itch
How every waking moment is so tragic
Yet you're craving my attention
Baby, this must be some kind of magic


Still lurking in your favorite hiding spot
By now I thought that you'd have given up
Pulling moves when the music clearly stopped
Dissecting my words as soon as they drop
I'm not the one with the bad intentions
Just trynna get on with my reinvention

Didn't some take that spot next to you?
Why are you so hung up on my every move?
Pouring salt all over your own wounds
About time you stop pressing on that bruise


So go ahead and call me evil, a psycho
How I'm out there shaking your tightrope
Quick to say you hate me
But I'm always on your mind though
So go ahead and call me crazy, a real bitch
Thorn in your side, a stubborn itch
How every waking moment is so tragic
Yet you're craving my attention
Baby, this must be some kind of magic


In my story, you were never the villain
But I guess things can always be rewritten
Another day, another fond memory you're killing
Sure this isn't what we ever envisioned
I never wanted us to end up as enemies
But you're making it harder to fake these niceties

Now between us lies a great divide
Don't think it'll ever see a sunrise
Sure it's lonely over on the other side
Maybe you should learn to pay no mind?


So go ahead and call me evil, a psycho
How I'm out there shaking your tightrope
Quick to say you hate me
But I'm always on your mind though
So go ahead and call me crazy, a real bitch
Thorn in your side, a stubborn itch
How every waking moment is so tragic
Yet you're craving my attention
Baby, this must be some kind of magic


Alright Layla, let me break it down right quick.
Make sure they get the picture

Imagine you come from a city that’s an urban jungle
Steel and metal, with everyone ready to watch you crumble
Some friends just around when it’s right,
Trying to get groupies smashed in out of town city nights
Don’t be around when shit hits, they got to be fresh and clean
But things going well, bandwagon, pom poms leading the team
They’ll smile in your face and bring you roses full of thorns
While when your back is turn, they bad mouth you, fueled with scorn
Like it’s their spot you’ve taken, they hot for you make’n
It's not cool, you the fool for not bending the knee,
And kiss the ring - They helped this thing
And shame on you for not following through
They deserve the credit when it due,
But, you only popping if a hater got something say
So I laugh, at the comments and continue on with my day
Trolls lived under bridges, clutching their keyboards
Stay down there while my name is the marquee breaking records


So go ahead and call me evil, a psycho
How I'm out there shaking your tightrope
Quick to say you hate me
But I'm always on your mind though
So go ahead and call me crazy, a real bitch
Thorn in your side, a stubborn itch
How every waking moment is so tragic
Yet you're craving my attention
Baby, this must be some kind of magic


From the stories you tell,
Seems you're under a spell,
Must be a living hell


From the stories you tell,
Seems you're under a spell,
Must be a living hell



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#8 Posted : 22 September 2021 06:28:51(UTC)
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Artist(s): Layla
Title: Loved Me The Most
Genre(s): Pop, Ballad
Length: 3:18
Writer: L.Sanchez
Producer: Preeti
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

Loved Me The Most is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Layla. It is the seventh track on her debut solo album, "Feel No Fear". The track was written solely by Layla in the winter of 2020, becoming one of the last songs. Production was handled by Layla and Preeti, who also worked on several other songs with Sanchez during the process of making the album. "Loved Me The Most" is a pop ballad with an overall 'cinematic' and 'heart-wrenching' sound with big, powerful and emotional vocals from Sanchez. The verses showcase an extremely delicate, vulnerable aspect of Layla's voice before erupting into guttural, raw belting within the chorus. The lyrical content has sparked debate amongst fans and critics alike as many believe the song to be about Sanchez's high-profile ex-boyfriend, Austin Nimmo. Centring around the aftermath of a breakup, "Loved Me The Most" sees Layla own up to her destructive tendencies and try to explain the reasoning behind her behaviour despite not even understanding her motives herself, possibly due to the impact of personal trauma the star has suffered. She acknowledges that her ex-partner was extremely devoted and did not deserve to be treated the way they were. Despite the raw, explosive ending, Layla still believes that this ex-boyfriend loved her more than anyone and that she potentially ruined the 'good years' of a 'good man'.

The song was written in November 2020, after the official campaign for the album had already started. 'Loved Me The Most' was a late yet 'necessary' addition to the tracklist, taking the place of a now discarded song. The huge, soaring vocals are reminiscent of Sanchez's days as a SYNCO member which saw her demonstrate her impressive vocal chops on an array of material. It has been dubbed by Layla and critics as the 'most personal' track on the album, really tapping into an extremely private and vulnerable side of the often-guarded songstress. Due to the lyrical content of 'Love Me The Most' revolving around the devastating end of a relationship with a long-term boyfriend, it is highly believed that the song is dedicated to Austin Nimmo. The pair were involved in a high-profile relationship in their late teens and early twenties, controversially breaking up only to be followed by Sanchez briefly dating Joshua Grimmie, a singer often regarded as a 'rival' of Nimmo's. Austin also stayed by Layla's side during her most traumatic years which involved an attempt on her life and a deep depression. Nimmo's devotion during this period may very well be the reasoning behind the song's title and conception.

Layla wrote:
"I don't want to speak to much on this song and I'm sure you know why. It's the most eye-opening and personal track that I've ever released. I just want the song to do most of the talking. It was difficult enough writing it and having to really put myself under the microscope let alone putting it out for the world. I think music and the arts have true healing powers, however, and I feel like this song was owed to everyone involved in the situation. It was necessary. I took a whole song out of the original tracklist just to put this one in. I feel like 'Loved Me The Most' is probably going to get a lot of people talking and I'm glad that I waited with this one. I took my time to craft this track and really marinate, take in and accept the situation, the emotions, the words I was saying, before throwing it out into the world. I'm at a place where I'm OK with certain noise now. I think as humans, not many of us are willing to admit to being the bad guy. It's not a nice feeling, especially when it's not within your character and doesn't align with your beliefs, to be disappointed in yourself and realising you really screwed up - that you were HORRIBLE. It's also not a great feeling to realise that your own trauma, caused by someone else, hurt another innocent person. The vicious cycle of trauma. Hurt people hurt people and all that wonderful stuff. The whole track is one big cry of admission, really. I won't dissect the whole story. Like I said, the song does the talking."




"Loved Me The Most"

I don't expect you to ever empathize
I don't blame you for having me demonized
Used to play out 'into the sunset' scenarios
Skewed off in a way I didn't think it'd go
I shot a good man down and all for what?
To save a little face from inevitable bad luck?

Try to tell myself to feel no fear
But I'm scared I wasted both our good years
You held on when you had it all to lose
I sent you overboard without a parachute

Cracks of light in the bleakest winter
Barefoot over all those wooden splinters
A chill crept in and I went ghost
Built us a home and I reduced it to cinders
Struck the match and gave into the whispers
Hurt the man who loved me the most


Intertwined lovers to apprehensive strangers
Damn, I don't think there's anything stranger
Hard to explain myself when it's not rational
Right now, you're in no place for the nonsensical
With misty eyes, I resist the urge to call
Trapped in the clutter of the ungodly fall

I know they say that time is a healer
But right now I'm the most wanted killer
I wish that we could remain in the same room
But I don't want to deepen your wounds

Cracks of light in the bleakest winter
Barefoot over all those wooden splinters
A chill crept in and I went ghost
Built us a home and I reduced it to cinders
Struck the match and gave into the whispers
Hurt the man who loved me the most


Cracks of light in the bleakest winter
Barefoot over all those wooden splinters
A chill crept in and I went ghost
Built us a home and I reduced it to cinders
Struck the match and gave into the whispers
Hurt the man who loved me the most


Some things are romanticized in history
Guess I've even ruined that for you and me
Once the greatest love story you'd ever read
Now it serves as a warning, never to repeat
Don't think that any little verse of prose,
Could do justice to the man who loved me most
I was the thorns around his delicate rose
And, now out of the dark, I hope he grows

Cracks of light in the bleakest winter
Barefoot over all those wooden splinters
A chill crept in and I went ghost
Built us a home and I reduced it to cinders
Struck the match and gave into the whispers
Hurt the man who loved me the most


Cracks of light in the bleakest winter
Barefoot over all those wooden splinters
A chill crept in and I went ghost
Built us a home and I reduced it to cinders
Struck the match and gave into the whispers
Hurt the man who loved me the most


A chill crept in and I went ghost
Hurt the man who loved me the most

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#9 Posted : 26 September 2021 10:02:10(UTC)
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Artist(s): Layla
Title: Round Again
Genre(s): Pop
Length: 3:24
Writer: L.Sanchez, C.Flores
Producer: BLOOM
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

Round Again is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Layla. It is the eighth track on her debut solo album, "Feel No Fear". The track was written in the summer of 2020 by Layla and Cristian Flores, aka BLOOM, who also handled the production of the song. "Round Again" is a mid-tempo pop song with an overall 'joyous' and 'uplifting' sound, fuelled with an 'anthemic' chorus featuring a backing choir, juxtaposed with 'apprehensive' verses which feature 'grumbling' synths. Layla's vocal delivery is softer throughout the verses, delicately singing about her reservations over the low, heavy beat. The optimistic chorus has Layla brightly belt out aided by a prominent group of backing vocalists. The lyrics of "Round Again" ironically details how Sanchez is ready to enter the world of dating again and prepared to 'endure' what it has to throw her way. Sanchez sings about reservations she's had in the past however, her fondness for this new potential lover far outweighs the negatives and thus, she proclaims that she will take a leap of faith and pursue things further.

The song was written in August 2020, alongside BLOOM, who also went on to officially produce the track. "Round Again" is seen as the "turning point" of "Feel No Fear", with Layla proclaiming to move forward and take a more positive approach to life after addressing numerous "darker" issues of her past on the previous tracks. Layla described the song's lyrics as "tongue-in-cheek" but despite that, also dubbed the track as "that glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel". Many are unsure if the track was inspired by her breakup with Austin Nimmo, thus making the lyrics about Joshua Grimmie, or if it relates to her present day life. This would suggest Sanchez is currently in an undisclosed relationship. The singer has remained vague regarding the inspiration. "Round Again" is stated to be a "precursor" to following song "Miami Smooth", another BLOOM co-production. Due to the lyrical content of both songs worked on solely by the pair, it has further fuelled the dating rumours surrounding Sanchez and Flores.

Layla wrote:
"Dating is HARD. It's rough at the best of times. It's a scary world out there and that's before you factor in your feelings, your goals, your dreams and all the stuff that really holds a place in your heart. I think there's a whole other level of fear and rawness when you step back into the dating pool after you've been in a long-term relationship. Something you thought was end game. It was more than just dating. Love was involved. Going from that to being single is a punch in the gut. You feel like you have to rebuild yourself from the ground up. I wanted to tap into that but lean more towards the idea of a positive outcome being on the cards. The lyrics are kinda sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek because I feared it could come across as too soppy but the sentiment and message is still there. I wanted to show that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. We're all deserving of love and you can find it again, sometimes at the most unexpected places and points in time. It's out there. It's not just one person for everyone and then that's it. It's difficult. Like I state in the song, there's so many fears and things to battle through. You'll get there in the end. Life isn't easy or perfect. We just have to make the most of it and I think it's so much better sharing the journey with someone. Love is a strange thing but ultimately, so wonderful."




"Round Again"

I wouldn't say that I'm a masochist
Though I don't know why I keep enduring this
A lot of high hopes met with low blows
Sweaty palms, wondering where the night will go
Can't say I don't have any reservations
But I'm hung up on every word of his conversation

Don't want to get too ahead of myself
Fall head over heels only to go back on the shelf
I'm so tired of having to think twice
No thoughts, just falling into his eyes

I guess I'm ready to go round again
I guess I'm ready to go round the bend
We all want love and I'm just too impatient
Done with bitter, I want sweet temptations
I guess I'm ready to go round again
Hello, Boy Problems, my dear old friend


Used to be a prisoner of past defeats
Wasn't much fun keeping company with misery
Never allowed myself to give a second glance
Might not be the one but I want to take a chance
Red blooded woman, can't suppress my desires
Waiting for his touch, feeling like a live wire

I could so easily keep living in the past
Nobody would blame me but there's no fun in that
Has anyone ever figured this game out?
Now that's something that I highly doubt

I guess I'm ready to go round again
I guess I'm ready to go round the bend
We all want love and I'm just too impatient
Done with bitter, I want sweet temptations
I guess I'm ready to go round again
Hello, Boy Problems, my dear old friend


I guess I'm ready to go round again
I guess I'm ready to go round the bend
Heart is screaming out, begging for emancipation
Can't keep her locked up, tangled in frustration
I guess I'm ready to go round again
Hello, Boy Problems, my dear old friend


La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Uh-whoa-oh, uh-whoa, oh, oh
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Uh-whoa-oh, uh-whoa, oh, oh


I'm done with trying to gauge it
It's way too cold and calculated
My anxiety is far too opinionated
That little voice leaves me jaded
There's a chance and I'm gonna take it
We all want love and I'm just too impatient
Done with bitter, I want sweet temptations

I guess I'm ready to go round again
I guess I'm ready to go round the bend
We all want love and I'm just too impatient
Done with bitter, I want sweet temptations
I guess I'm ready to go round again
Hello, Boy Problems, my dear old friend


I guess I'm ready to go round again
I guess I'm ready to go round the bend
Heart is screaming out, begging for emancipation
Can't keep her locked up, tangled in frustration
I guess I'm ready to go round again
Hello, Boy Problems, my dear old friend


La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Uh-whoa-oh, uh-whoa, oh, oh
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Uh-whoa-oh, uh-whoa, oh, oh


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#10 Posted : 27 September 2021 05:03:05(UTC)
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Artist(s): Layla
Title: Miami Smooth
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Tropical
Length: 3:16
Writer: L.Sanchez, C.Flores
Producer: BLOOM
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

Miami Smooth is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Layla. It is the ninth track on her debut solo album, "Feel No Fear". The track was written in the summer of 2020 by Layla and Cristian Flores, aka BLOOM, who also handled the production of the song. "Miami Smooth" is a tropical pop song infused with elements of R&B, hip-hop and reggae music throughout, creating a "hazy", "chilled" and "dreamy" soundscape which aids the "swooning" lyrics. Layla's vocal performance is the most subdued on the album, minus a few belting ad-libs during the song's last chorus. Sanchez's delivery can be described as "sensual" and "teasing" as she paints vivid pictures of her new partner over a light guitar riff and simple hip-hop beat. The song is seen as a continuation of previous track, "Round Again". The track itself also serves as a precursor for closing song, "No Trouble in Paradise". Lyrically, "Miami Smooth" sees Layla in the throws of love with her brand new partner after initially behind apprehensive. She describes her new love as "Miami smooth", essentially "effortlessly cool" and also indicating that he is from the area.

The song was written in August 2020, alongside BLOOM, who also went on to officially produce the track. "Miami Smooth" was written by the pair in the session that followed on from the one which birthed "Round Again". Sanchez decided to build upon the creative energy they had and continue the story they had created previously. "Miami Smooth" directly follows "Round Again", further expanding on the positive, forward-thinking vibes and sees Layla finally happy in a brand new relationship after a lot of apprehension and unresolved issues. "Miami Smooth" also briefly references the track "Some Kind of Magic" within its first pre-chorus, furthering the idea that the songs are in the same universe and tell one big story. The track details the intimacy, love and strong bond between the pair. Sanchez continuously compliments her new boyfriend, painting a picture of a "perfect man" for the listeners. It is unknown if the song is indeed fictitious or relating to Sanchez's current love life. It has been disproven that the song was inspired about her whirlwind romance with Joshua Grimmie as he hails from New Jersey, not Miami. The lyrical content further fuels rumours that Layla and BLOOM are dating. While originating from Colombia, Flores resides in Miami. The word "bloom", his stage name, is also mentioned within the first verse. The artists have neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

Layla wrote:
"Well, "Miami Smooth" is a naughty little track, isn't she? It was oddly liberating to write and record such a track. Even though it's hardly anything explicit, there's zero cuss words on it, it was still real fun to get a little sensual on a record. After leaving the band, going through all the personal turmoil, losing my love for music and creating, I didn't think I'd be able to perform and write again let alone really own my sexuality and get a little freaky. It's definitely a song that makes me feel very confident. That slinky, dreamy beat that BLOOM provides. Ugh, yum! This was literally the next writing session we had after creating "Round Again" and I thought that we should continue that story. "Miami Smooth" moves on a little and we're now in this relationship. There's no "ifs", "ands" or "buts" about it. It's about that sweet spot where it feels like the stars have aligned. You've got this amazing partner who is like sex on legs, they dote over you, you're head over heels for them, together you're just unstoppable and at your happiest. With the production, the story, the image I paint of this guy, this track really does sound like a dream. It's like the ultimate happy ending fantasy. A little escapism with a hottie. We're all allowed to tap into that side of our minds from time to time, right?! "




"Miami Smooth"

Some boys are over once the cameras flash
When he puckers up, he knows how to make it last
Wear his kisses like my favorite perfume
Notes of rose in the height of its bloom
Like it best when it's just us and the sunset
Immaculate horizons, knowing no regret

His vibe's a new kind of classic
Turn up the dial and just blast it
Off the scale with his chromatics
Swear it must be some kind of magic

Might as well give it up and turn it loose
'Cause me and my baby ain't got nothing to prove
Basking in the rays, sipping on his juice
Goes down a real treat, yeah he's Miami smooth
Oh mi, oh my-ay-ay-ay-ay, uh

For a while there I thought I lost my groove
Turns out my dancing partners didn't have the moves
Rough and ready but with a touch that soothes
Incomparable, yeah my boy's Miami smooth


I know he has something different on his mind
When he says he wants to take me for a ride
Hot nights, steamed up glass, nobody does it better
Takes me to new heights that soar above the weather
All feels like the most colorful of daydreams
Pure euphoria pumping through my bloodstream

This love's a new kind of classic
Second nature, feels like it's automatic
Off the charts but no need to panic
I kinda like it when it gets volcanic

Might as well give it up and turn it loose
'Cause me and my baby ain't got nothing to prove
Basking in the rays, sipping on his juice
Goes down a real treat, yeah he's Miami smooth
Oh mi, oh my-ay-ay-ay-ay, uh

For a while there I thought I lost my groove
Turns out my dancing partners didn't have the moves
Rough and ready but with a touch that soothes
Incomparable, yeah my boy's Miami smooth
A different kind of cool


Oh mi, oh my-ay-ay-ay-ay, uh
Oh mi, oh my-ay-ay-ay-ay, uh
He's Mi-ia-ia-ia-uh
Oh mi, oh my-ay-ay-ay-ay, uh
Oh mi, oh my-ay-ay-ay-ay, uh
He's Mi-ia-ia-ia-uh
He's Miami smooth
A different kind of cool

Might as well give it up and turn it loose
'Cause me and my baby ain't got nothing to prove
Basking in the rays, sipping on his juice
Goes down a real treat, yeah he's Miami smooth
Oh mi, oh my-ay-ay-ay-ay, uh

For a while there I thought I lost my groove
Turns out my dancing partners didn't have the moves
Rough and ready but with a touch that soothes
Incomparable, yeah my boy's Miami smooth
A different kind of cool


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#11 Posted : 27 September 2021 05:42:52(UTC)
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Artist(s): Layla
Title: No Trouble in Paradise
Genre(s): Pop
Length: 3:33
Writer: C.Hudson, L.Sanchez, O.Washington
Producer: Orion Washington
Label: Five Pesky Kids
From The Album: Feel No Fear

No Trouble in Paradise is a song by American singer-songwriter Layla Sanchez, now known simply as Layla. The song was released worldwide on October 7th 2020 and serves as the lead single and closing track from Sanchez's long-awaited debut studio album, "Feel No Fear". "No Trouble in Paradise" was Sanchez's first musical output since 2015, following two solo singles as well as a guest appearance on Natasha Iver's "Okay". Since her departure from SYNCO and lukewarm reception to her initial releases, Layla entered a period of personal turmoil which resulted in an extended hiatus from the spotlight - shunning the studio, personal appearances and even social media for the most part. "No Trouble in Paradise" sees Layla return to the pop roots of her former girl group. As opposed to her debut solo release "Love Me Right Now", this track wasn't entirely self-penned as acclaimed writers Christopher Hudson and Orion Washington also had a hand in crafting the song with the former also handling the production. Lyrically, "No Trouble in Paradise" is a love song and ode to the perfect lover after being unsuccessful and hurt in love several times before. Sanchez uses many words associated with beachscapes, claiming that her lover can make anywhere in the word feel like paradise.

Layla unexpectedly announced the song a mere two hours before its official release, taking to her Instagram account for the first time in years to post the official cover art with the caption of "7 P.M. EST". In her social media silence Layla has endured; a serious stalking incident, threats on her life, the breakdown of her long term relationship with fellow singer Austin Nimmo and a controversial fling with close friend Joshua Grimmie. Despite being the first offering from the project and comeback release, "No Trouble in Paradise" actually serves as the closing chapter to the stories told throughout "Feel No Fear". On the track, Layla addresses and references previous relationship doubts showcased on the album as well as nodding to some other songs. A direct continuation from "Miami Smooth", Layla makes a point of maintaining that "beachscape" vision she previously painted. Just like on "Round Again", Sanchez continues to refer to the beautiful colour of her partner's eyes. The line "Wake up to find a sun kissed prince by my side" is a nod to fellow album cut "Snow White", a song which ultimately swears off men and has the opening line of; "Don't want a so-called Prince Charming by my side". "No Trouble in Paradise" is the ultimate conclusion, having conquered all the issues and fears that plagued her throughout the entirety of the process of making this album, drawing a line under her past and allowing the singer to move and look forward in her life as well as her next project.

Layla wrote:
"The album wasn't complete when I recorded "No Trouble in Paradise". Hell, it wasn't even complete when I released it. I knew that with the message of the song, however, that it was always going to be both the lead single and the closing track. I put it out first because I was away for a long time, people were worried about me and I also had a bunch of heavy stuff to come on the album. I didn't want to return with anything too serious because I didn't want a negative energy or narrative surrounding the album, which is about fighting through. It's not about giving up. I really wanted to push something joyous out first as a way of re-writing the script and redefining my public persona. Similar reason as to why it ends the album. The opening track "Feel No Fear" is all about finding that new mantra and gearing up to fight the demons. The rest of the album mostly does that. It picks apart topics, I relive them, I grieve, I feel, I heal and move on. "No Trouble in Paradise" is after the chaos. It's like the end of a movie. It's a new morning. It's quiet. The evil has been defeated. It was such a battle but we survived. We're good. I've learned what I had to learn. Felt what I had to feel. Time to pick myself up, take those valuable lessons and move on. Here's to the future."




"No Trouble in Paradise"

Sunglasses at night, trying to make me a believer
Been bitten too many times by those American dreamers
But in a place that turns honest men to thieves
You blossom and rise up from among the weeds
Finally, the waters are running crystal clear
Heaven can be anywhere as long as you're here

Falling into the pool of hazel in your eyes
Guilty of daydreaming, too hard to disguise
And on evidence, they'll surely take me alive
Under the influence of something so sublime

Oh, come caress me like a tropical breeze
For once there ain't no trouble in paradise
Riding waves of these diamond seas
Kiss me once and I'll sure kiss you twice
Don't ever let me go
On these golden sands, take me down sweet and slow
Yeah, as the sun sits low


There was once an ocean between our fingertips
Now I run them through your salty hair, yours on my hips
Wake up to find a sun kissed prince by my side
When so many others just sailed off into the night
And when it gets too hot, you come with that precipitation
Always mixing it up, you know I love the anticipation

Falling into the pool of hazel in your eyes
Guilty of daydreaming, too hard to disguise
And on evidence, they'll surely take me alive
Under the influence of something so sublime

Oh, come caress me like a tropical breeze
For once there ain't no trouble in paradise
Riding waves of these diamond seas
Kiss me once and I'll sure kiss you twice
Don't ever let me go
On these golden sands, take me down sweet and slow
Yeah, as the sun sits low


Oh, come caress me like a tropical breeze
For once there ain't no trouble in paradise
Riding waves of these diamond seas
Kiss me once and I'll sure kiss you twice
No, don't you ever let me go
In these foreign lands, there's so much to explore
Just too good to ignore


The sky's ablaze with orange delight
The hills tuck the sun in and wish a goodnight
They fall steep but with you, it's an easy climb
Take me anywhere and it'll be alright
Hand in hand, strolling by the riverside
Or off into the distance for that sunset ride

Oh, come caress me like a tropical breeze
For once there ain't no trouble in paradise
Riding waves of these diamond seas
Kiss me once and I'll sure kiss you twice
Don't ever let me go
On these golden sands, take me down sweet and slow
Yeah, as the sun sits low


Oh, come caress me like a tropical breeze
For once there ain't no trouble in paradise
Riding waves of these diamond seas
Kiss me once and I'll sure kiss you twice
No, don't you ever let me go
In these foreign lands, there's so much to explore
Just too good to ignore


And there is no better view, baby, my paradise is right with you
And there is no better view, baby, my paradise is right with you
And there is no better view, baby, my paradise is right with you
And there is no better view, baby, my paradise is right with you

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#12 Posted : 27 September 2021 05:43:10(UTC)
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Online 2001clay  
#13 Posted : 07 October 2021 14:26:59(UTC)
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Fatima Amari: I’m obsessed with your album & I’m personally believe that this is your breakthrough hit so I’m fucking amaze of how much you put your heart & soul to this so kudos to you my labelmate!

Tika Mays: Hi Layla I hear your album & I’m love it & honestly Miami Smooth is my favorite song off your album & I hope to see you soon so anyway amazing job

OCC: good job
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BrownSugar on 07/10/2021(UTC)
Offline BrownSugar  
#14 Posted : 08 October 2021 01:35:55(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 2001clay Go to Quoted Post
Fatima Amari: I’m obsessed with your album & I’m personally believe that this is your breakthrough hit so I’m fucking amaze of how much you put your heart & soul to this so kudos to you my labelmate!

Tika Mays: Hi Layla I hear your album & I’m love it & honestly Miami Smooth is my favorite song off your album & I hope to see you soon so anyway amazing job

OCC: good job


Layla: Thank you so much ladies! I really appreciate the solidarity and support. Comments like these make the process of creating an album so worth it :)

OOC: Thanks! :)
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2001clay on 08/10/2021(UTC)
Offline PANIC!  
#15 Posted : 09 October 2021 07:06:03(UTC)
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Ryan: It's tough to muster up words to say because I already constantly praise you and your work. Congratulations on creating a truly remarkable debut LP. I put out my debut around the same age that you are now and I had zero expectations behind me, so the fact that you created such a beautiful album with immense pressure behind you given your time with Synco, is mind-blowing. You're one of the kindest and most talented artists I know. You've earned all the acclaim that you've already received and will continue to now thanks to Feel No Fear. You already have the biggest song of the year included in here and this may just be the best pop album of the year. The deep cuts on here are just as special as the bigger than life singles. The most exciting thing to me about you and this album is that you have decades and decades of music ahead of you. I can't wait to hear it and continue to support you.

OOC: Another album thread that you knock out of the park! You never fail to impress me with the attention to detail and clear hard work that you put into these. It does not go unnoticed. Fantastic work!

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BrownSugar on 09/10/2021(UTC)
Offline C4AJoh  
#16 Posted : 09 October 2021 21:48:22(UTC)
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Ashford: Layla, you already know I'm a fan of your work but I have to say this is an incredible collection of pop gems. However, pop gems seems a little unjust considering the varying levels of genre intricacies throughout this record. You've shown so much of your abilities and styles throughout this perfect ten track juggernaut of a record. We'll take the hit singles as given at this point, but the depth shows throughout both in lyrical content and the more subdued and melodic style of the record. Starting the record off with a lyrical minefield like "Feel No Fear", it's both poetic and clever at the same time, showing a mature and intellectual depth as a songwriter that maybe people don't give you enough credit for.

I really could go into full detail about the little things that impress me most about this record, over-analysing every aspect of the lyrics and production of each track which hold their own in every conceivable way. Let's face it, they're all hit singles if you wanted them to be. But for me, the biggest beauty of the record is how it all seems to flow so well together as a collective. That's down to both the content and wealth of story behind the record as well as the production that feels so very concise and consumable. It feels like one of those rare records where it's made to be listened to collectively despite each track having the necessary components to stand alone if needs be. Remarkable work Layla, you're truly an artist on a different level right now, long may it continue!

OOC: Incredible work as always, nobody can do what you can do with a pop artist on here. It blows my mind every time. I love this sort of pop music in real life where it's smart lyrically and not completely over the top, where the songs can sort of speak for themselves without being forced and that's the only way I can best describe reading this thread. It feels like something I'd want to listen to and as always is as close as we can get on here to listening to real music. The descriptiveness and quality throughout lyrically and aesthetically is just insane. Top of your game as always, incredible!
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BrownSugar on 09/10/2021(UTC)
Offline Famouss7x7  
#17 Posted : 23 October 2021 09:53:51(UTC)
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BitchWat: Whoooooaaaaaaaa what a fucking way to prove the girlies wrong! I won’t lie, I was alil iffy about you girlie cause you seemed alil shady at the FCA with the other blonde chick but to me, I never hate when good music is good music and this did just THAT. Sis, this is an album full of bops and raw emotion. Like there’s something here for everyone and I honestly like everything on here. To me? Miami smooth is the fucking one, it’s a vibe sis! A big vibe. Keep doing you, cause you fucking did that with your debut. I can’t hate tbh.

OOC: Another amazing album in the books! I know how long you’ve been wanting to get this out and I got around to checking out each track and you’ve done it again. Top notch stuff, but would I expect anything less? (; go the fuck off!

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BrownSugar on 23/10/2021(UTC)
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