We had the good fortune of connecting with Leila Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leila, what do you attribute your success to?
I think authenticity is so important. It is common to want to conform to a mold that either you have held yourself to, or that is defined by others, and this can be so limiting. In my experience, it is definitely worthwhile work to try and let go of these limitations so that you can move forward and create with more freedom.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My music is often categorized as Folk, although I find that I like to float through different genres and styles. Not feeling pressured to produce music that holds obligation to a label or style makes me feel proud, and inspired to continue to create. I’ve learned through the years that each artist holds their own gift and style. Long ago were the days that I felt drawn to compare myself to others, and this has been such a gift. Working alongside so many amazing artists and seeing what each person brings to the table has been a truly incredible experience.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start the day with brunch at 5 Points. Then we would go for a walk down 4th avenue, after grabbing a quick coffee at Exo. Then we would shop around at some of the great local businesses in the area. We’d grab a happy hour cocktail at Che’s, and then head to saguaro west to watch the sunset. We would end the night by catching some live music either at El Crisol, or 191 Toole, and then grab dinner at Downtown Miss Saigon.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe endless thanks and gratitude to Jamie Manser, and Kris Kerry. In 2003, Jamie gave me my first interview, which was published in the Downtown Tucsonan. Without this first nudge to put my music out there, I have no idea how long it would have taken me to work up the courage on my own. Kris Kerry used to book the talent at Plush. His support through those early years (and beyond!) really gave me the opportunity to develop and fine tune my music and performance onstage.
First image of Leila Lopez on the floor with guitar photo by Michael Longstaff.