Leianna Kai brings a dynamic and powerful new voice to music

Danny de Gracia interviews California model and recording artist Leianna Kai. Photo: Leianna Kai is the artist to watch in 2013. (Photo by Michael Khein)

LOS ANGELES, March 19, 2013 – With catchy lyrics that tingle the ears, charismatic stage presence and a golden voice packed with energetic passion, Leianna Kai is one of America’s most exciting new music talents. Fueled by a creative style that knows how to knock on the heart, Leianna’s songs are charmingly addictive, fusing only the best elements of pop, dance and R&B to bring an unforgettably original and fresh sound.

Already widely admired for her successful professional modeling career in California, Leianna’s lifelong passion for singing has compelled her to expand into recording her first album. I had the chance to connect with Leianna for an interview to find out just what goes into developing an album and to get her thoughts on her new, exciting chapter of life.

Danny de Gracia: Leianna, you have quite a life story and you’ve overcome some incredible challenges over the years. You’re also one of America ‘s most recognizable models and you’re now boldly branching out into a career in music with your singing talent! Tell our readers a little bit about yourself, what it’s like being you and what led you to do all these things.

Leianna Kai:  Growing up I’ve always had a passion for music. As long as I could remember, I’ve always loved singing. All through junior high, high school and even college everyone knew me as “the singer.” I remember when I was three years old and watching the little mermaid and being so infatuated with Ariel’s voice, I wanted to sound like her and even wanted to be a mermaid. After high school I knew that God was telling me I needed to follow my dreams and continue my growth as a performer and singer.

When my friend pushed me in the direction to start modeling, I never thought I could be a model because I was actually very shy and not confident at all. I’m glad I took his advice because modeling really helped me to not only be comfortable in my own skin, but I was able to meet a lot of people that would guide me in the right direction to reach my ultimate goal as a professional singer. So I’m here today working with so many talented musicians that I share the same passion with. I have grown so much as an artist and songwriter and I plan to continue my love for music.

DDG: You have a very powerful voice and there’s a very deep emotion behind your singing style that stands out with a “wow” factor behind it. What’s your secret to success behind that powerful style?

Leianna Kai’s combination of stunning beauty, powerful vocal talent and creative passion make her one of the most inspiring newcomers. (Photo by Rey Trajano)

Leianna: Well, I don’t think it’s a secret but I can say I really worked hard to perfect my style and voice over the years. Even now I continue to improve my craft by listening to many different styles of music from R&B to Rock, to blues, and even country. In return I was able to find my own unique style.

DDG: Tell us a little bit about your new album and the songs.

Leianna: My album will definitely have a lot R&B with a mix of pop and dance.

DDG: So what is it like recording an album for the first time? What are some of the things that go into the production or happen behind the scenes? What inspires the songs for you?

Leianna: When I’m in the studio, time seems to fly by. I could be making music for hours and not realize it. The past five months have been rough because even though I’m recording really late at the studio after work, I still have work [again] the next morning. I wish I could freeze time. When I’m in the studio, I know it’s important to have fun and if I’m getting frustrated I have to walk away for a bit and let the inspiration come alive by experiencing different things in life.

Honestly it’s my own life experiences that inspire my writing. I actually just started writing my own music about seven months ago. I was listening to the first few songs I wrote and now I realize every song I write I’m improving. My goal is to be able to write songs that people can relate to, whether it may be love, heartbreak, or struggles with positive and motivating words.

DDG: Growing up what were some of your favorite songs and artists? How would you describe your personal taste in music?

Leianna: Growing up I would listen to a lot of Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey of course, Aaliyah, Brandy, Shania Twain, Lean Rimes, Toni Braxton, and Usher. I’m so glad to know that R&B is coming back to the radio.

DDG: So when you’re not modeling or recording music, what are some of the things you like to do on your free time?

Leianna: When I get free time, I love spending time with my close friends and family. I love BBQs, hiking, biking, beach, shopping of course and wine tasting! I also enjoy trying new things, traveling and meeting new interesting people.

DDG: What would you say is your biggest dream right now and your ultimate goal in life?

Leianna: My biggest dream is to travel all around the world with my music and knowing that my family is proud of what I have accomplished. I want to change the world with my music.

DDG: Last but not least, is there anything you’d like to share with or tell our readers in Washington D.C. right now?

Leianna: I want to say thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to read a little bit about me and thank you Danny for giving me this opportunity to be featured! Follow me on Twitter at @MissLeianna and on YouTube for all my latest and upcoming shows. Also be sure to add me on SoundCloud for all my newest songs. I hope I’ll be visiting Washington very soon!

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Danny de Gracia

Dr. Danny de Gracia is a political scientist and a former senior adviser to the Human Services and International Affairs committees at the Hawaii State Legislature. From 2011-2013 he served as an elected municipal board member in Waipahu. As an expert in international relations theory, military policy, political psychology and economics, Danny has advised numerous policymakers and elected officials and his opinions have been featured worldwide. Now working on his first novel, Danny resides on the island of Oahu.

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