Singer, songwriter, LGBTQIA+ member, and activist Layke is pushing beyond labels and picture-perfect standards to create a limitless space for queer individuals to chase their dreams. With the release of her EP, “Frequency,” and performance at DTLA Proud, Layke sums up her 2022 as “a whirlwind.” “I just feel really happy with how everything has gone and very blessed to be where I’m at, and I’m excited to see where things are going,” she explains.
For Layke, growing up in a conservative home with Catholic roots in Dallas, Texas, often led her to feel like an outsider. Even as she was coming into her own sexuality, there was a fear of comfortably talking about it, especially after she knew two girls who were kicked out of the private school she attended because they were rumored to be lesbians.
“From the start of high school and really since I was a child, I knew I was not in a place that supported or understood who I was,” Layke shares. Dancing, music, writing poems, and performing were some of the outlets she used to express herself and are what landed her in Los Angeles. “I just always felt like I was holding my breath and when I moved to California, I felt like I could breathe,” she says. It was there she finally felt free to explore her sexuality and make music that celebrated that part of her life.
After releasing her self-titled debut EP “LAYKE, Pt. 1” in 2018 with the follow-up “LAYKE, Pt. 2” in 2019, several singles in 2020, and even working with rap legend Snoop Dogg, Layke released her much anticipated new EP “Frequency” in 2022. Her first single, “Help Me Out,” discussed the struggle of mental health, specifically anxiety. By singing about topics that are often seen as taboo for our generation, it made the process of making this record alongside producer Adrian Gurvitz more special for Layke.
“The lyrics were extremely important on this EP as they always are to me, but even more so than ever because the subject matter is so vulnerable for me,” she shares.
Another theme on the EP is Layke’s bisexual and pansexual identity. As a love letter to the queer community, the single “XOXO” featured the pronouns he, she, and they, and highlighted dancers from the queer community throughout the music video. “I really wanted it to be very clear it was about showing queer joy and love.”
In forging a path and becoming a symbol for many of what it means to create your own happiness, Layke hopes others are reminded to find their voice. “Everybody’s voice matters, no matter how loud it is,” she explains. “Figure out what you’re passionate about and what matters to you and speak to that and do it to whom and at the level you’re comfortable with. You will eventually feel yourself becoming stronger and stronger and surer of that voice.”
With her continued success, Layke notes the importance of remaining present. Whether it is enjoying time with friends, working out three times a week, or spending time with her dog Zoltan, she says staying present in the moment is extremely important, especially when it comes to staying centered. “It’s something I’m trying to be more aware of and be better at.”
As Layke looks ahead at what 2023 may bring, it seems like a year filled with music, pride, and celebration. Having spent the holiday season in the studio remixing songs from her EP “Frequency,” she is excited for fans to listen to the songs they’ve come to love in new styles and genres.
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