Emerging from the purple, fluorescent lights, LAYA takes center stage. The crowd shouts as she greets her excited audience, informing everyone this is the last show on her tour. The rhinestone embellished seaming of her black shorts shimmers in the stage lights. Her zebra print gloves come up to her shoulders and accent her matching thigh-high boots and black bra. Her set begins with a phone ringing, the singer answering through the microphone and replying with an energetic, “Imma have to call you back!”
She belts each song with a casual bravado. She moves from one side of the stage to the other without missing a beat or taking her eyes away from the crowd. The venue is packed, yet feels as though she interacts with each individual concertgoer. The sultry bass of her standout hit, “On Sight,” vibrates the room. She hits every note in her soulful R&B tone. For the next song, a chair is sitting in the middle of the stage.
LAYA performs a burlesque-style dance with the one chair, never breaking eye contact. Her presence is captivating and effortlessly cool. There isn’t a band or any other props. There are no extravagant decorations or special effects. The stage is empty, aside from her and the microphone. When “Brag” begins to play, she carries the microphone along with her as she swings the cord above her head. The audience chants the chorus, and the singer flashes a grin.
The dark walls of The Echo make up an intimate venue space that acted as LAYA’s big top for the night. She was the ringleader of her one-person circus. She didn’t need any additional theatrics; her natural enthusiasm kept the audience hooked. Her short set list could’ve gone on for hours and would continue to entertain the fans. LAYA is an extremely talented singer, but her stage presence sets her apart from others, making her a must-see concert experience.
I am a digital marketer and publicist with a passion for A&R and music management. Originally from Southern California, I spent many years as a transplant in the Midwest in the St. Louis and Chicago areas. Now I am back in sunny Los Angeles. Besides my professional life, I enjoy music of all genres with a sweet spot for hip-hop/rap. I love my west coast rap and all things Tupac, Kendrick, Nipsey, etc. I am always down to go to a show, whether the venue be the smallest hole in the wall or the largest arena.