Chanda Leigh

Chanda Leigh

 Atlanta, Georgia, USA
BandPopSinger/Songwriter

Velvety vocals, memorable lyrics, and beautiful piano riffs wash over your soul, intoxicate your senses and stimulate your imagination, leaving you eager to listen again and again.

Biography

At 12-years old, Chanda was very shy when it came to directing the choir at her father's church. At such a young age, the budding pianist from Springfield, Massachusetts did not quite know how to juggle her church duties with running track, writing short stories and playing soccer. What she did know was that, much to her surprise, when she directed the choir, people listened to her and followed her instruction. This seed of inspiration would prove to bloom into a dream come true; one day, she would have a unique and fulfilling career in music.

Years later as a creative writing major at Spelman College, it was a performance by the school's Jazz Ensemble that thrilled her and re-ignited her passion for music. She was so inspired by the talented women playing all kinds of instruments that she decided to join. Under the tutelage of Professor Joe Jennings, she began studying Jazz Piano and upon graduation in 1995, formed The Chanda Bailey Trio. The group performed live jazz all over Atlanta, delighting audiences at the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Montreaux Music Festival and The High Museum of Art. In 1997, she moved to Los Angeles to begin her television career playing keyboards in the house band of the Keenen Ivory Wayans Show. Shortly after moving out west, she met and befriended Grammy-nominated producer, DaMone Arnold. The two instantly formed a musical bond, quickly writing and recording her first record, Easy on the Eyes. Her debut, which she playfully describes as a hybrid of Janet Jackson meets Stevie Wonder, received so many hits on www.mp3.com that Chanda became a featured "Women of MP3 "artist three times.

After a 1999 world tour with the Grammy-nominated reggae band, Morgan Heritage, Chanda returned to the US to grace the big screen in Jerry Bruckheimer's romantic film, Coyote Ugly. After a decisive move from LA back to Atlanta later that same year, she began collaborating with her former creative writing professor, Ray Grant. Together the two created such inspiring songs as Big City Life, ˜Wash His Feet" and "Something Old is Something New". These beautifully crafted songs would go on to become the defining sound of her new second record, Big City Life, inspired by the experiences of city life in the hustle and bustle of New York. "Now, when I walk down the street, I see so many things that inspire me that I might have overlooked before. There are times when I have to laugh out loud, and sometimes I'm moved to tears. My goal is to capture those emotions and put my thoughts to music."

Recently, Chanda performed daily as a keyboardist on the nationally syndicated The Caroline Rhea Show. Her talents have also been showcased on MTV, The Roseanne Show, and as a solo artist on The Caroline Rhea Show. Her theater credits include Fats Waller's Ain't Misbehavin', and Five Guys Named Moe. Chanda also records and performs with pop icon, Irene Cara, about whom she says, "Her work ethic really inspires me to reach for my greatest." From gospel to jazz, reggae to rhythm and blues, exploring and performing all kinds of music has helped her to define her own style of music, a style she affectionately calls "country-pop-gospel". "It's a little bit country because I like to tell vivid stories lyrically… a little bit pop because you can remember the hook and sing along… and a little bit gospel because God gave me this talent and that's where my roots are."

Lyrics

How Could You Break My Heart

Written By: Chanda Leigh McKnight

Your suitcase is by the door
and your eyes
speak apologies to mine
believe it or not
I do understand
that you have to be
who you truly are inside
You say we can still be friends
but don't ask me to pretend
If it's the end let me
hold on to my pride

But how could you break my heart?
You kept me in the dark
You could have come to me
We could have worked it out
And how can you justify
When did death do us part?
How could you love me so and still
break my heart?

Discography

Easy on the Eyes (2000)
Big City Life (2003)
Simple Life (2009)
Day Into Night (2009)
Boom Boom Room (2009)
Irene Cara, Featuring Hot Caramel (2011)
Morgan Heritage Live in Amsterdam (2006)

Set List

Big City Life
Do My Dance
No More Stress
Wash His Feet
Something Old is Something New
Let's Go Green
Alright With Me
It's On
Medicine
How Could You Break My Heart
Imma Be Alright
BBGG
I'm Still Standing