How Just Leila’s ‘Just For Me’ EP Redefines Genres and Encourages Self-Discovery: A Track-by-Track Breakdown

Just Leila came out with a brand-new EP today, and Rock the Pigeon is proud to break it down for you, song by song. The 7 track, EP titled ‘Just For Me’, is entirely self written, performed, and produced and blends several out-of-the-box genres like Afrobeats, jazz, French pop and electronic music. Each song has special elements of uniqueness, whether that’s experimental drums or dreamy backing vocals.

The first thing I’ll do, once I actually settle down somewhere, is set a proper sound studio up. But since I’m always packing up and moving to a different country, it’s always a process to get situated and to create the space I need to play. Once my mind and heart is in a song, there’s no other choice than to become the song. I’m right back in those childhood memories, or in that dream I had – right back in all of those emotions. – Just Leila

Having grown up in Morocco, Just Leila seamlessly blends French influences into her music. The first song on the EP “bits of pieces” is a perfect example of this influence and her fusion of genres. The percussion is one of the most compelling parts of track one, it is completely original sounding, and still very danceable. Leila let Rock the Pigeon know that “bits of pieces” is her personal favorite song on the record. When we asked her why it is her favorite, she shared, “It was the first one I wrote, and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. I learned so much about myself in the writing of it, it was like a blank canvas for me to paint whatever I desired.”

Next we hear some French singing on “bébé?” In this song, Leila’s voice takes on a more tender feel in its delivery. There is a softness as she sings in her upper range. This song has great production from start to end. The most stand-out section is the transition from a poppy sound to a breakdown section that highlights elements of jazz. The record seems to take on an analog feel here, pulling on inspiration from more retro styles. We even get to hear a baby cooing towards the end, which is a very cute and creatve addition to the track.

This brings us into track three, “don’t be alarmed.” A slow intro acts as a moment to catch your breath from the previous two songs, while creating a build up into another unique track of blending genres flawlessly. We hear an enchanting vocal, harmonies, and backing vocals that float through the air to create a dreamy feeling from your speakers. The percussion elements take center stage in this song, while a piano plays softly in the background.

“more than DNA” is the next song, which brings in a darker tone than the previous tracks. We rest in a minor key, with a slowly delivered vocal while synths build in the distance. The lyrics sing for liberation and autonomy, it’s about taking your power back, and leaving a toxic relationship behind. We hear lyrics in both Arabic Moroccan and English.

The drums take a turn for the next song. “Ché pas” has an experimental hip-hop beat. The title translates from French to English as “I Don’t Know.” Musically, this song is one of my personal favorites on the record. The hip-hop in combination with the free-flowing vocal delivery, backing vocals, and light chanting, creates a magical and blissful vibe. This song is truly an experience for any listener.

“desert song” brings on more experimental percussion and blissful vocals. This song is a quest of soul-searching. It’s about finding where you belong in the world.

The introspective search-for-home chapter that I’m in right now hugely inspired the making of ‘just for me’. I don’t have a home and have just been traveling around different countries with my music equipment in my carry on. – Just Leila

That sentiment is echoed in the lyrics and music of “desert song.” The bridge section of the song contains experimental editing, repetitive lyrics that sound like a search and a victory at the same time. The song stays dark in tone, but the repetitiveness brings on a sense of empowerment and peacefulness.

“‘Just For Me’ is like a creative mantra of sorts, something I needed for myself in order to protect my creativity and keep it sacredly mine until I was ready to share it out. I wanted to gift myself this safe space, this blank canvas, so I could really open up.” – Just Leila

The outro of the EP “just for me” is spoken word with backing vocals and piano. It could just as well be an introduction to the record as well. The spoken word piece speaks on the recording process, the inspiration, the self-empowerment and discovery. It also serves as a mantra of sorts.

Listen to Just For Me on Spotify now, or find more ways to listen here.

Written by Ryan Cassata

The post How Just Leila’s ‘Just For Me’ EP Redefines Genres and Encourages Self-Discovery: A Track-by-Track Breakdown appeared first on ROCK THE PIGEON.

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