Arab American Leila Milki Releases Debut Music Video for her Original Song “Burn”
On December 1st, Lebanese-American singer, songwriter, and pianist Leila Milki has released her music video for “Burn,” a poignant new ballad featuring her original music and lyrics. The video, directed by Tayo Amos and shot at Studios 60 in Los Angeles, champions creative manifestation as a form of healing and self-awareness. “Burn,” the sixth track off of Leila Milki’s debut record “Promises,” is a stripped-down union of intimate storytelling, compelling vocals, carefully crafted piano lines, and an evocative string arrangement by esteemed composer & orchestrator Doug Petty (associated acts include: Rihanna, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, Tears for Fears, Roseanne Cash, Audra McDonald).
As an emerging artist with Arab roots, Leila Milki seeks to showcase her multilayered identity, which embraces the image of a powerful female middle-eastern performer who sings, writes, plays, and produces her work. To her, each of these elements is intricately intertwined, and she hopes to encourage others to harness their unique experiences through their own forms of cathartic expression.
Leila Milki is a Lebanese-American singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist based in Los Angeles, California. As a dynamic, eclectic, and multilingual pop-fusion musician, she integrates her classical piano training with her Arab heritage to create thoughtful instrumentation, engaging melodies, and heartfelt harmony. She strives to translate her artistry into an accessible platform for emotional and cultural empowerment.
As a recent graduate and Renaissance Scholar of the University of Southern California’s Communication, Songwriting, and Music Industry programs, and a recipient of The Royal Conservatory’s ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance, Leila now pursues a full-time career as a vocalist, pianist, composer, lyricist, educator, recording artist, and performer.
In March of 2017, she released her debut album, “Promises,” a collection of her original songs rooted in personal stories and cultural histories. With themes of nostalgia, empowerment, heartbreak, belonging, and a yearning for home, her lyric-driven work relies on intimate storytelling and sensory writing, woven together through intricate piano and guitar arrangements, full-band layers, soulful vocals, and a powerful yet honest delivery.
Leila also draws from the musical and poetic traditions of her Lebanese roots, seeking to merge the vivid nuances of her middle-eastern background with the Western stylings of her contemporary pop-alternative influences. This union of East and West is captured in “Leil Ya Leil,” the Arabic/English fusion single she wrote as a special tribute to El Koura, Lebanon. Arab America deemed it “an endearing combination of her two worlds,” and claimed that “the traditional Arabic music, paired with the energy of modern pop music, provides listeners with bone-chilling excitement as they listen to Milki’s story-based lyrics.” This track earned her the Grand Prize in the World Category of the 2017 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Also included on “Promises,” her song “See You Tonight” won her the Grand Prize in the Adult Contemporary Category of the 2017 West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest.
Leila performs regularly in the greater Los Angeles area and the San Francisco Bay Area (where she was born and raised). She incorporates English, Arabic, French, and Spanish into her captivating performances, and finds that these separate, yet beautifully cohesive narratives enrich her creative palette, inspire her multilayered perspectives, and ultimately elevate our colorful, unified humanity.
“Undeniably, Leila is a true-blooded artist and her spellbinding talent is something that the world should watch out for.” — StarCentral Magazine
Compiled by Arab America