“Everything is and should be an evolution”: Q&A with Leila Sunier

Myles Hunt

Photo by Kenton Koneval

Rising indie singer-songwriter talks latest tunes & upcoming projects

Welcome back to the start of school…kind of. As students, teachers and wary guardians prepare for the unusual school year, musicians continue to try and deflate that stress as best they can. L.A.-based indie pop artist Leila Sunier fits that bill with her intricate songwriting and bold musical prowess.

A breath of fresh air, her music mines serious emotional depths across a wide range of genres – as evidenced by her latest singles “Everyone” and “Sober/Without.” On her forthcoming EP Where Everything Is Perfect, out October 9, Sunier captures the mess the globe is in this year. She conveys the sentiments that are relatable to everyone – with a clear focus on substance, friendship, and romance. Her music showcases a plethora of skills; gorgeous synths and catchy melodies demonstrate her maturity in her craft.

“Sober/Without” is rich with Leila’s somber voice, which is smooth and ethereal and succeeds in luring listeners into the thrall of catchy sounds that follow. That reverberating voice holds sway in a space recovering to the senses. Reality is twisted and flexed to give a more broad listening experience. She calls and beckons to listeners from far reaches of the eardrum. Fans will reminisce in a peaceful serenity that is supported by dream-like prose.

Sunier will be sought after to ease the woes of fans far and wide in these times. Listeners need only to embrace and prepare to be transported to a new realm of possibility. On that note, Leila recently gave some insight into her process and what’s on her horizon. You can read her thoughts and get lost in “Sober/Without” and “Everyone” below:

This new collection of music (Where Everything Is Perfect) has surely been an evolution in your discography, how does it feel to progress forward with it all?

It feels really good! I feel really lucky that Alex Newport and I were able to connect, and so organically too. What makes him great to work with is how readily he listens to your vision as an artist. He’s just really open to trying anything, which is incredible. I think that with the two projects I put out this year, I truly began to understand that everything is and should be an evolution. So that my music reflects that…that’s the best thing you could hope for as an artist.

What ambitious projects do you hope to tap into next?

I think I’d really like to work more with other artists. I haven’t really ever done that before with the intention of putting out a piece of music as a full on collaboration. Only once actually, now that I think about it. I’m also starting to string together some songs that I think would work well for an LP. I really love the EP and LP format. I love creating little bodies of work that kind of read and feel like a short book of stories. It’s funny, because in today’s consumer market, I’m not entirely sure that makes sense. But the “old soul” in me is not willing to give up on it. I love it too much. 

What is the best industry skill or advice that you have learned as a musician and songwriter?

I remember a conversation a few friends and I had on a garage roof a few years back. We were talking about music and getting pretty philosophical about it, what it does for each of us on a personal level, and what its role is within larger society. It was very college. I think we all agreed that the best thing you can do with your music and your audience is to connect. That for me is everything. It’s not an “industry skill” per se, but I think it keeps me sane. 

How has this strange time in history been for you? 

Strange and not always easy. I think just about everyone can say that. I feel lucky that I’ve had work, I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to put this project together, and I feel lucky about who I have in my life. You look at the world…and it’s a lot. There’s a lot of pain going on. There’s a lot of fear, anxiety, and stress about the future… I think it’s good to focus on the positive as well. If anything, 2020 has taught the world to reflect. To reflect and to know when to take action. 

What are your hopes for the remainder of 2020 going into 2021?

The world stops being on fire and good voter turnout? There’s a lot to hope for for the rest of 2020! On a personal level, I suppose I just hope to keep progressing, to keep growing as an artist and as a person. The cynic in me likes to not get my hopes up, while the optimist in me likes to think that anything could happen, so long as I keep moving and remember that plans could change at any given moment. It’s cheesy and vague, but I think it’s the right mindset to have. Or at least it’s the one I have right now.

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