On Jan. 25, Leyla McCalla will release The Capitalist Blues, her third studio album, via PIAS. On the road to that release, the singer-songwriter will bring her protest songs to The Hamilton Live on Friday, Jan. 11.
In her new batch of protest songs, Leyla seeks inspiration from her Haitian heritage and the decade she’s lived in New Orleans. She processes the current political environment with “gnashing teeth, a raised first, and a sturdy belief in music’s power to effect change,” according to a press release.
Leyla recorded the title track at New Orleans’ Preservation Hall. Watch a lyric video for “The Capitalist Blues” by Leyla McCalla on YouTube:
Most of the album was recorded at House of 1000 Hz studio in Bywater, and it was produced by Jimmy Horn of King James and the Special Men. Leyla sings in both English and Haitian Kreyol, in what Leyla calls a “language of resistance.”
Born in New York City, Leyla moved to New Orleans to busk nearly 10 years ago. She joined the Carolina Chocolate Drops then launched a solo career. In 2014, Leyla released her debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, and followed it up with A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey, her second studio album, in 2016.
Along the way, Leyla toured with Rhiannon Giddens and performed multiple times at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in addition to an event co-hosted by Solange to benefit the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans. She is currently developing a theater piece in residency at the Contemporary Arts Center as well — based on the archives of Radio Haiti housed at Duke University and commissioned by Duke Performances.
Friday, Jan. 11
Doors @ 6:30pm