If you’re from the North, Leela Gilday’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 and several countries worldwide. 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 believes music has an inexplicable effect on people. It is a place where she can share light and dark and the most vulnerable moments: she is a storyteller, and through this, reflects the world onto itself.
Leela’s fifth album “North Star Calling” won the 2021 Juno Award for Indigenous Artist/Group of the Year, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Indigenous Songwriter of the Year, and Roots Album of the Year at the Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards. Her forthcoming record will be an album entirely in Dene languages, which is a journey of cultural reclamation that she is proud to share.