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Daily Inspiration: Meet Layla Brisbois

Today we’d like to introduce you to Layla Brisbois.

Hi Layla, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved music. There’s a picture of me I’ll never forget on my first birthday playing the harmonica my grandfather was holding up for me. I’d always be writing lyrics or poetry or just random thoughts and started putting some of those to melodies when I learned piano at seven and then guitar at 16. I really decided on pursuing music though, once I hit high school and couldn’t really find a connection with any majors or anything to study and go to college for. I decided to take a year off and move to Nashville just to surround myself with music and really see if it’s what I wanted.

So I packed my car at 19 and rented a room off craigslist and left. It was scary and wonderful and a lot of emotions all at the same time and I ended up coming back to Winter Garden to start a fan base and get going in my hometown. I was doing the Youtube covers and writing and a friend of a friend recommended my name to a local guitar player, Guy Walker, to fill in for his usual partner one night and the rest is history. I was hooked and quickly went from a full-time job to balance that and full-time gigs, and eventually doing the gig thing full time. I released several EP’s and am still in the process of doing more. It wasn’t easy. I worked extremely hard and broke down a lot of doors and refused to take no for an answer sometimes. It’s an area of my life where I’m grateful that I’m aggressive. Nothing fills my soul quite as music does. No matter what I’m feeling, it always helps me through. I can’t really see myself ever doing anything else.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Absolutely not. The initial opinions when you decide to tell everyone that you want to be a singer-songwriter for your career and job are typically awful. I had so many people tell me I’d never make a living doing it and I was crazy. However, I did have some amazing people who believed in me and that helped carry me through. Everyone thinks they can just tell you what to do with your life and how to live it and I’m not the kind of person who tolerates that and who tolerates it well. The more people told me no the more determined I got to prove them all wrong, and I did.

The transition from working my full-time job at Whole Foods with 35+ hours a week and moving to gigs 5+ days a week was really tough. I was exhausted and just not ready to completely make that jump because I felt like my gig schedule just got really intense really fast. I ended up developing polyps on my vocal cords and needing surgery and that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through in my life. It was about a 6-8 month process, including recovery and therapy and it was really tough but I still didn’t let it stop me, and I feel like it helped me in the long run with knowing my limits and how to use my voice properly. Another struggle in this unforgiving industry are the comments about age and how you’re running out of time. That always bothered me, don’t put an expiration date on me and decide that one day I just won’t be worth anyone’s time because of how many years I’ve been alive. Don’t even get me started on how hard it is being a female in this business. It’s frustrating but you’ve got to have thick skin and ignore a lot of people.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a full-time musician and singer-songwriter. I play at venues all around Winter Garden, Orlando, and surrounding areas. I also have original music online and I write my own songs. I’m probably most known for being outgoing, loud, and not at all afraid to speak my mind haha. I love life and I love what I do and I live my life around that work hard play hard motto. I’m most proud of never giving up, and I think that sets me apart too. I feel like a lot of people would have quit if faced with some of the things I was, but instead, I always just let it fuel me. I am also most proud of the friendships and relationships music has brought me. I have THE most incredible chosen family and it’s all because of music and what I get to do for a living. It truly makes my heart full knowing how many incredible people are in my life because of it. I want to produce music and be 100% authentically me and put out songs that I’m proud of. I’m a what you see is what you get kind of girl and I’ll never water myself down or try to be a different version of myself just to make people happy.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I really love quotes. It might sound funny but they make me feel better, so I’m constantly looking at them and using them as sources of motivation and inspiration. I also HAVE to plan my life on a paper calendar, it just keeps me as together as I can be. Also highly recommend dogs, 10/10 get as many as you can and life will be better, hahaha.

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Image Credits
The Inspired Storytellers, Stephana Ferrell

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