Photo: Jabari Jacobs
Following the release of her critically-acclaimed EP, Um, Hello earlier this year, LAYA returns with the sultry visual for “Sock It 2 Me” just in time for summer. The Staten Island R&B singer/songwriter’s DIY approach is front and center as creator and director, bringing her world into vivid focus and fully reflecting her sonic experimental essence. In the video, LAYA takes on many forms and faces as she croons about a “late night creep” with her significant other. Donning a black corset and vintage bob cut, she serenades listeners with undeniable charisma and formidable presence, lighting up the camera in the most alluring way possible. Originally released exclusively through Amazon Original songs and available via Warner Records, “Sock It 2 Me” is LAYA’s reimagined rendition of Missy Elliott’s hit record. A bombastic and insidiously catchy cover of the original song, LAYA continues to bring her contemporary perspective to R&B. Since her inception, LAYA has showcased her ability to meld ethereal soundscapes with nostalgia-soaked musicality. She has a knack for crafting hooks that feel good, garnering critical acclaim for her past efforts. “Sock It 2 Me” was LAYA’s Um, Hello EP has amassed 10 million global streams, 1.7 million YouTube channel views ,and 3 million views across fan-generated videos on TikTok for “Crazy Down.” This visual follows the release of her latest music video for “On Sight.” LAYA will be hitting the road this summer joining Teyana Taylor in NYC on the "The Last Rose Motel" tour. She will also support Alex Isley on her headlining Marigold Tour, presented by Femme It Forward.
ABOUT LAYA: LAYA’s boundless creativity is born from a desire to push herself. The Staten Island-born artist has worked as a singer, songwriter, producer, creative director, and visual artist—constantly shifting forms and acquiring skills, because, for her, that’s what growth looks like.
Her vibrant yet vulnerable take on R&B and pop offers up a unique perspective on life and love, powered by a need for newness. The upcoming release of her EP, Um Hello, showcases her approach thus far, but her first single of 2022, “Brag,” with Fivio Foreign, is a retrofuturist victory lap—her slinky ’90s-indebted vocals echo gently as she flexes what she’s accomplished so far. Which is a lot.
Growing up around musical theater and visual art, LAYA’s love of performance began in her childhood. But over time her musical energies focused and crystallized, leading her to the nostalgic, yet forward-looking sound resonating with fans today. Her 2020 breakout, “Sailor Moon,” showcased that visionary approach and broadcast her auteur status.
In addition to writing the song, LAYA also shot, directed, and edited the visuals, on top of doing her own hair, makeup, and wardrobe—all skill sets that remain core to her work today. The inclination to constantly create has given her a leg up, in terms of achieving her past, present, and future ambitions. “Everything that I’ve gotten to this point, I’ve worked for and made happen,” LAYA says. “It didn’t exist yesterday, but it exists today.” And clearly, tomorrow.