A passionate singer/songwriter and soulful performer, Leela Gilday has a voice that comes straight from the heart. Confessing her stories to her audiences with a gutsy voice and open stage presence, Gilday weaves her experiences as a northerner, a member of the Dene nation, and a traveler into a beautiful world that transports the listener.
If you’re from the North, Leela’s music is home. If you’ve never been, it will take you there. Born and raised in the Northwest Territories, she writes about the people and the land that created her. The power in her voice conveys the depth of her feelings of love and life in a rugged environment and vibrant culture, as if it comes straight from that earth. Leela’s family is from Délįne on the shore of Great Bear Lake and her rich vocals dance across the rhythmic beats of traditional Dene drumming as smoothly as a bass line onstage the largest venues in the country.
Leela has toured festivals and concert halls with her four-piece band through every province and territory in Canada. She has played in the United States, Greenland, Australia, New Zealand and several countries in Europe. Her live shows are where she connects with fans who have followed her on a 20-year career and where new fans are born. She reaches into their hearts and feels the energy of every person in front of her as she guides them on a journey through song and experience. She
believes music has an inexplicable effect on people. It is a place where she can share light and dark and the most vulnerable moments, with a clarity and genuine purpose that reassures her listeners through every word. She is a storyteller, and through this, reflects the world onto itself.
Leela’s fifth album "North Star Calling" was awarded the Indigenous Artist of the Year JUNO Award 2021. It is more raw, more intimate and more Leela than anything you’ve heard from her before. She is currently working on a Dene-language record with her close friend and producer Hill Kourkoutis. It is expected out fall 2023.
“Leela Gilday’s voice comes straight from the heart. It’s the voice of a winner; the song of a warrior. That’s the call of Leela Gilday.”
- David Newland, Roots Music Canada