I've Got A Feeling: An Interview with Laila

by - July 13, 2023

Singer and songwriter Laila Kharouba remembers attending a show in Toronto when a familiar face appeared in the crowd. This familiar face was also a performer, and the two spent the night catching up. At one point the conversation brought up this familiar face liking girls and asking Kharouba if she could take her on a date. This moment in time ultimately became the origin story of Laila’s single, “I Like Girls”.

“It caught me super off guard in that moment,” Kharouba said. “I ultimately said yes, but not without 1,000 different versions of my life flashing before my eyes first. This was the moment where I really started to think about my sexuality and how I’ve never really been entirely straight, but just had never put a label on it.”

She shared the moments of that night with her friend, Monica Spiering, and they thought it was an exciting idea for a song.

“The story itself just held such a magical, exciting energy, so we got together to start writing it,” she said. “When I first proposed ‘I Like Girls’ as the hook, we both laughed. It sounded too on-the-nose and too simple to work. But within seconds we realized that it did in fact work. It was pretty cool.”

After writing the first iteration of the song, they took it to producers and collaborators Jon Pike and Brandon Pero. Parts were rewritten and the instrumentals were created before much of it was recorded at Pero’s home studio.

The most challenging aspect of creating “I Like Girls” was that it sort of forced Kharouba to explore untapped territory.

“I had never written about being interested in girls, so in a way this song was a semi-coming out for me,” she said. “For a while I was really nervous that the song didn’t have a clear enough take on my sexuality, and that its exploratory narrative would be laughed at or deemed illegitimate. But then I realized that we had written my truth, and I decided that’s what people want to hear and will resonate with.”

With its cheerful and vibrant production, “I Like Girls” seamlessly blends shimmering pop elements with an undeniable groove, creating an irresistible sonic landscape that invites listeners to dance and embrace their true selves.

“I hope listeners take away the idea that you can explore your sexuality and identity while having fun doing so, and not feeling like you need to fit into any specific box or camp,” Kharouba said.

That night in Toronto had a major impact on Laila Kharouba’s life, and also inspired music that she can be proud of. “I Like Girls” was her opportunity to be honest with herself and those around her, as well as encourage anyone else to take that same opportunity.

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