Speaking about family and how much it means to you, tell me a little bit about your grandmother. Why did you feel it was important to honor her by calling your sophomore album, Laila's Wisdom, after her?
Well for one, just because of the kind of woman she was. She was really big on family, loyal to her husband, and very much the backbone of the family, so that was what I saw growing up. She just exemplified strength, love, community and family. Her door was always open to whoever came in the house if they wanted to get fed. I have so many cousins that I didn’t learn until my later teens that they weren’t actually my cousins! She just brought them into the fold so I was like, “Oh we’re not blood? This is family!” I felt like that’s who I wanted to be – I wanted to be a strong woman that loved people. When I think about the women that I was raised around, my mom and my seven aunts, they’re all strong women, and that’s all because of her. And two, there was this quote that she always said, “Give me my flowers while I’m here”. And the significance of that is for people to remember how I made them feel on this Earth. And if through music I can make you feel a way and connect a memory, or I can be a part of your life in a positive way, or I can be an inspiration in some way, then I’ve done my job.