Back To Mine with Leyla Diamondi

London-based half-Greek half-Turkish songstress Leyla Diamondi is stirring energy into the UK’s music scene, effortlessly combining piano ballad elements with pop influences to create her own pristine musical stamp. Already the 23-year old has proven herself to be an impactful force in the industry, having helped raise over £80,000 for the WARchild Charity. Her live performances have equally made their impression at BBC 6MUSIC festival fringe, COYA Mayfair, Boxpark Wembley and at her Werkhaus London sold out headline show. Following the kinetic release of her latest track ‘My Soul Cries’, Diamondi returns with stunning new spectacle ‘Broken Pieces’. DMCWorld goes back to mine with Leyla Diamondi.

Etta James  – Summertime

One of my favourite songs of all time. I first sang the original version of this song, from the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), when I was doing classical music as a child. It was the first song I sang that was more modern, not in Latin or German, and I loved being able to play with my vocal sound and express more emotion. I then found this version later on and it was my introduction into Blues.

Fools Garden  – Lemon Tree

Fools Garden - Lemon Tree (Official HD Video)

The first song I can remember obsessively playing as a child because my parents didn’t have a lot of songs on their iPod.

Rebetiko music

I linked a playlist here to showcase a style of music that came out from a group of people that crossed from Turkey to Greece during the Byzantine exchange. These are my grandfather’s people on my father’s side. During the exchange, they walked on foot and many died along the way. There was mass poverty and starvation when they settled in Greece. This struggle was the foundation where Rebektio music was birthed into existence. The genre of music has been described as the ‘Greek blues’ and I feel this is why I am so connected to the genre of blues.

Pink – Fun House

P!nk - Funhouse (Official Video)

I used to dance to this song in my room with the lights off and imagine I was this superstar or that I was in a place where I was surrounded by love.

Elton John  – I’m Still Standing

Elton John - I'm Still Standing

Just one of the best-written songs ever. I can’t listen to this song and stay seated! When the track starts playing, I have to get up to let it live through me.

Aretha Franklin  – I Say A little Prayer

Aretha Franklin - I Say A Little Prayer (Official Lyric Video)

I think she will always be one of the greatest. When my current partner introduced her to me properly and I heard this song I was totally blown away. This song opened my mind to what is possible and I was just in complete awe.

Shirley Bassey  – Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever

It was my grandmother’s favorite song – she loved to sing. She was a total icon of a woman! As soon as I learnt it was her favorite song, I just latched onto it.

The Beatles  – Let It Be

Let It Be (Remastered 2009)

I feel like this is the best example of less being more. The simple message and melodies are so powerful. Anyone can sing along with this song and everyone can relate to it.

Phil Collins  – In The Air Tonight

Phil Collins - In the air tonight (live)

When I first watched this performance of this song live at Knebworth on June 30th 1990, I said to myself ‘he looks like a plumber.’ He just stood there and performed impeccably. I couldn’t believe what I was watching – there was no glitz, no glamour. Around the 4th minute, he was walking to the drum set like he’s walking through town. Just a normal guy doing super natural things through a mic. It was so authentic.

Linkin Park  – One More Light

Linkin Park - One More Light Live (Chris Cornell Tribute)

Linkin Park have always made legendary music. But when I saw Chester Benington sing this song at the Chris Cornell tribute a few days before his own suicide, I felt that he gave his whole soul to the world. I felt my whole body experience his entire universe. I was so amazed at his openness and boldness. When he sings “I do” at 3:37, I just wanted to hug him and tell him it’s going to be ok.


Leyla Diamondi ‘Broken Pieces’ is out now.