The Scotsman Sessions #133: Leyla Josephine

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, from a blowy Prestwick Beach, poet Leyla Josephine itemises more than a few of her favourite things in The Good Stuff

Armed with a degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Leyla Josephine hit the performance poetry scene running in 2013; a year later she won both the UK National Slam and the Commonwealth Slam and since then she has toured with punk poet John Cooper Clarke, received acclaim for her theatre shows, including 2019 Fringe hit Daddy Drag, and been appointed Schools Writer in Residence for the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Originally from Glasgow, she now lives in Prestwick and a blowy Prestwick Beach where “the sky changes so quickly and you’re looking at a different view moment to moment” is the backdrop to her Scotsman Sessions rendition of the comforting yet unexpected poem The Good Stuff, in which she itemises more than a few of her favourite things.

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“It’s an uplifting poem about taking pleasure in everyday moments,” she says. “I wrote it before lockdown as a list of things that I really enjoyed in my life – and now it’s kind of a memory of lots of things I enjoyed in my life. Hopefully it will bring some joy. I think we need a bit of that at the moment.

Leyla Josephine
Leyla Josephine

“Lockdown has been hard. I've spent a lot of time reflecting on my life, what I want to do in the future and how I want to live. At times it's brought me a sense of grounding and at other times I've been wired to the moon.”

Later this month, Josephine will co-host the 11th Scottish Alternative Music Awards alongside broadcaster Jim Gellatly. Nominated artists include previous Scotsman Sessions contributors Callum Easter, Tamzene, Kapil Seshasayee and Lotos, and there will be live performances from Walt Disco and newly crowned Scottish Album of the Year Award winner Nova.

Leyla Josephine’s album Archive: Live! Is out now on streaming services. The SAMAs online ceremony takes place at 6.30pm on 18 November via livestreaming platform Twitch, see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/scottish-alternative-music-awards-2020-virtual-ceremony-tickets-125508991773

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