Layla Boe is a force of nature. Her drive is limitless, her talent is unlimited, and her potential is untapped. She is also poised to be rap music’s next female superstar. The German born bombshell is a lethal blend of smarts and sensuality. Armed with a hypnotic voice and a fierce attitude, Layla is defining a vigorous vixenly style that is all her own. She continues to build a strong European following with her unapologetic lyrics and sexual swagger. The 23-year-old (as of May) will no doubt carry that momentum across the pond in 2022. Her Western fans can get to know her a bit better here. What follows are her opinions and thoughts expressed to the periodicals that are most familiar with her. This is Layla Boe in her own words.
Using the best three words you can think of, tell us: Who is Layla Boe?
“I am an artist. Very honest. A professional overthinker.”
On her single, “CHOPPA.”
“I released it on my own without a label and with everything that has happened ever since, I’d say the most dominant feeling is gratefulness. I did it on my own terms and I didn’t expect it to go so well. I’m grateful for all of the love and support I’ve been getting and of course, deeply appreciative of the people around me that are helping me.”
What was the inspiration behind the sound?
“Well, it’s a trappy rap song, which is funny when you consider how I started. Initially, I only made R&B and Soul music. I never used to rap but I always loved listening to rap music. I enjoyed the energy and also the direct and explicit approach you have in rap music. My personality is very diverse. I can be very moody and very outspoken, so rap became an outlet for me to express a big part of my personality. Moreover, it’s a fun way to channel my energies.”
When did your interest in rap start? What drew you towards rap over other types of creative expression?
“I’d rather talk about why I chose music in general as my type of creative expression, since rap is not all I’m doing. Music just always spoke to me in a way that nothing else could. I would always be the person who knew the lyrics to every song, and I can barely think of a better feeling than listening and/or singing along to a song that resonates with me. So, if I can do that for others and, of course, also do it for myself—I can’t think of anything better.”
On how music can impact people:
“The way music can connect people from different races, languages or religions fascinates me and gives me incredible joy. Music in my opinion is therapy that we all need. And I’m blessed to be able to be both; therapist and patient, if that makes sense. Taking my single ‘CHOPPA’ as an example, which is not even a super deep or conscious rap song but very simple, straightforward and also a lot of flexing. I’ve had so many young girls writing me about how it gave them confidence and made them feel good about themselves, which is so gratifying and one of many reasons I’m doing this.”
Who are your favorite current rappers?
“Well, if we go from my Spotify review of 2019 it’s Tyler the Creator. He was my most listened-to artist, also because of IGOR. I love that he is freely expressing himself in his music as well as his personality and is not conforming to society’s rules. That inspires me a lot and also gives me confidence to do so. J Cole is also one of my favorite artists, music and personality wise. His music has helped me a lot in my life. Of course, Kendrick as well.”
On favorite Female Rappers:
“Major female rap inspirations to me at the moment are Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Junglepussy, and Bbymutha. It is so satisfying to me to see all of these strong females being fearless and unapologetic. Taking on topics like sex for example and being very explicit in their language, not shying away or holding anything back is super important to do for us females. If we look at German rappers, my favorite rapper is OG Keemo. He is so good with words and rhymes and also has a lot of depth. He was my second most listened-to artist in 2019 and I only knew of him since beginning of 2019 (Lmao). Other than that, definitely Luciano. His energy is crazy.”
Which emotions or experiences do you think act as the biggest driving forces for you when you’re creating music?
“Love and anger. Emotions in general. I’m super emotional and they also change a lot haha, which you can hear in my music.”
If genres didn’t exist, how would you describe your sound?
“They don’t REALLY exist to me. I do what I like. If anything—moody, like me!”
How would you sum up your style in 3 words?
“Raw. Unpredictable. Lovely.”
How does your heritage influence your visual language?
“I am half Gambian (Dad) and half German (Mom). Growing up in Germany as a black girl I didn’t really have a lot of idols that I could identify with to look up to, so I am really happy to be representing black women in my visual and videos. Black skin, afro-hairstyles or even African currency, I try to represent as much as I can and I feel like that’s also part of my calling and my responsibility as a Black artist, considering the platform that I have. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”
In your opinion, what does it mean to be non-basic?
“To me, it simply means being and expressing your truest self. Everyone is so unique; you can never be basic by being you. “
What is your Dream collaboration?
“Frank ocean. I would die to make music with him if we’re speaking globally. In Germany, I have a few dope people on my list. Some of them I already made music with, so I won’t say too much. But honestly, there are so many artists out there that I would love to work with, especially with me being so open to different genres, it’s hard to pinpoint one.”
On her future projects:
“Good music in general and also English stuff. That’s all I’m saying :)”
What can we expect next from Layla Boe?
“Surprises. I wouldn’t recommend expecting anything from me, because I might change my mind tomorrow and disappoint your expectations (lmao). You can always expect me to bring you quality music, fun and good intentions, other than that I don’t like to live up to people’s expectations.”
- NBGA Magazine
- Dominique Mkhonza