MNÁSOME spoke to Leila Jane and Danni Nolan of Leila Jane & the Healers ahead of their performance at BIMM Live 2018. The band have seen great success securing support slots with acts like Jessica Lea Mayfield and launching their ‘Decision Maker’ EP last year. The coming months are going to be just as busy for the band with slots at festivals throughout the summer as well as plans to record their debut album!
How did you first get into music?
Danni: I made my way through a bunch of instruments and lessons till I arrived at drums, I started out learning piano at 10 or 11, then guitar, bass nothing really stuck, until my Mam who is big into her music brought me a tower records signing and funnily enough Johnny Boyle the head of drums was playing and then that was it I was gonna be a drummer.
Leila Jane: I’ve always loved music. When I was 5 years old I would watch ”Stars in their Eyes” with my parents and on one occasion I saw someone ”become” Dusty Springfield. As soon as I heard the song ”Son of A Preacher Man” I told my parents I wanted to learn it and I did, only to perform it on my own standing on the dining room table. Other than that I didn’t really get in to music until my teens. I had been quite shy and only began singing again after doing a summer camp at age 13. Then at age 14 I joined a band with my cousins. And then it was the blues that really got me writing my own stuff.
What women inspire you in your music career?
Leila Jane: I’m definitely inspired by Janis Joplin and current artist, Jessica Lea Mayfield. I think both those women have a remarkably free spirit that is rare in a world full of expectations, rules and social pressures.
Danni: The ladies in Mongoose and those in Vernon Jane. Also I’m lucky enough to have women around me that I get to play with that are all super talented and I get inspired by their work ethic and how much of themselves they put into their craft. CAZ9 – an electro pop writer and producer, Alice Grollero – seriously class bass player, Leila Jane and Sarah Deegan from Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra, all badass ladies in the industry.
Who among your fellow BIMM graduates would you recommend going to see at this year’s BIMM Live?
Danni: Jailbirds are deadly, so much energy, as well as Laura Ryder and Blue Fish Diamond — So much groove.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Leila Jane: I recently discovered Hayley Heynderickx who I’ve enjoyed listening to lately. It varies though, sometimes I will be in a particular mood for a certain song and I’ll just want to listen to that, like ”Good Bye Baby” by Van Morrison or some of Jimmy Reed’s feel good blues.
Check out ‘Decision Maker’ below…