MC Layla

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Birth name Layla Rose Hanbury
Born (1982-10-05) 5 October 1982 (age 36)
Origin Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Genres Hip hop
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • MC
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2000–present
Labels Obese
Associated acts Downsyde

Layla Rose Hanbury (born 5 October 1982), known mononymously as Layla, is an Australian hip hop singer-songwriter and MC from Perth. In January 2005 she released her debut solo album, Heretik, on Obese Records. She is a member of Syllabolix (SBX) Crew, with other MCs including her husband, Dazastah (aka Darren Reutens). The couple also perform as Layla and Dazastah. During September and October 2011 the duo were a support act for another SBX artist, Drapht, on his Australia-wide Party Party Party Tour.


Layla Rose Hanbury was born 5 October 1982. In 2000 Layla's first gig was at an MC battle where she was the only female among 20 entrants.[1][2] Layla is a member of the Syllaboliks (SBX) Crew[3][4][5] with other Australian MCs and hip hop acts: Drapht, Matty B, Dazastah, Hunter, Downsyde, and Clandestien. In 2001 Layla provided raps for Clandestien's track "A.T.O.M.S.", alongside Dazastah and Dynamikes, which appeared on the group's debut album, Clandestien.[6] The following year she issued a track, "Its Only Me", on the Obese Records 2× CD compilation album, Culture of Kings Volume 2.[7] In 2003 Layla was one of six artists interviewed for the VHS, All the Ladies, describing "what it is like to be a female MC in the Australian underground hip hop scene".[8] Film footage included live performances from an earlier gig, Short 'n' Sweet, organised by fellow hip hop artist, A-Love (aka Antonella Formosa).[9] Layla's solo track, "Maverick", appeared on the 2003 Various Artists compilation album, Straight from the Art.[10]

On 12 January 2005 Layla released her debut album, Heretik, on Obese Records.[11][12][13] The album included the single, "The Fuss About Sluts", which was co-written by Layla with Darren Reutens (aka Dazastah).[14][15] The lyrics relate to female artists, exemplified by Britney Spears, who sexualise their performances and give young girls a poor example.[16] Reutens also produced, mixed and recorded the album.[2]

Her music is defined by her forceful and candid lyrics that range from her frustrations with female recording artists using their bodies to sell music in "The Fuss About Sluts", to an exploration of her own creative practices in "Driving Miss Layzy".

— Gadd, Natasha; Graham, Rhys, Words from the City (2007).[17]

In the Mix website's Sophiska described Heretik's tracks, which "range from straight up hip hop battle jams ... to more reflective, instrumental composition ... The remainder are very theme dependant, 'Driving Miss Layzy' employs more of a light-hearted funk, soul formula to compliment rhymes about laying back and procrastinating".[18] Her brother, James, provided artwork for the album including a comic book in place of typical liner notes.[5] After the release of her debut album, aside from performing, Layla also studied for a degree in natural medicine.

Layla and Dazastah have co-written material with Drapht, including "Inspiration Island" for his 2005 album, Who Am I.[19] Layla has performed on albums by fellow SBX artists and some guested on her debut album.[4] On 7 December 2007 Layla was featured in a documentary, Words from the City,[17] on Australian hip hop artists, which was screened nationally on ABC Television.[20]

In March 2011 Layla indicated that a follow up album was possible – she had written material for "20 plus tracks".[21] In May that year Layla married Dazastah;[15] the couple had been in a domestic relationship since 2001, they gig together as Layla and Dazastah. During September and October 2011 the duo were a support act for Drapht on his Australia-wide Party Party Party Tour.[22] On 11 February 2012, Layla helped launch a charity album, Australian Hip Hop Supports CanTeen, by various artists for the teen cancer support organisation, CanTeen. The project had been directed by SBX member, Hunter, who himself died of cancer in October 2011. Layla provided "Love Times Pie Recurring" for the album.[23] In September 2012 Layla and Dazastah are due to play the Rhyme Intervention 5 Festival at the University of Canberra.[24]



  • HeretikObese (OBR028) (12 January 2005)


  • "The Fuss about Sluts" – Obese (OBR027) (2005) (limited edition 12" vinyl – 500 copies)

Other appearances[edit]

Layla has appeared on releases of other artists, including members of Syllabolliks Crew (*).

Year Track(s) Artist Album
2000 "Dreams"[25] Bliss n Esoterikizm The Arrival EP
2001 "A.T.O.M.S."[6] Clandestien (*) Clandestien
2002 "It's Only Me"[7] Layla Culture of Kings Volume 2
"Divine Intervention" (Part 2)[26] Terra Firma featuring Layla Suffering City Volume 1
"Kids of the Future", "Oceanography", "Exposing Em", "Sin Stains in My Eyes", "Mutants", "MysticAL Alliance", "Co-Conspiriters"[27] Hunter (*) and Dazastah (*) Done DL
2003 "Divine Intervention"[28] Terra Firma Waking the Past
"Maverick"[10] Various Artists Straight from the Art
2004 "Verbal Diarrhoea" Downsyde (*) When the Dust Settles
2005 "Inspirational Island" Drapht (*) Who Am I?
2006 Hospice Crew Visiting Hours
2008 "Straight Outta Tagged Corridor", "Every Corner", "I'm Sorry, I Hate You", "Cry Me a River", "Love 2 Love Ya", "Now I'm in the House", "Social Graces", "The Phantom of Hip Hop Era", "Right or Wrong" Tomahawk A Bitch Named Hiphop
2009 "Dumb Dumb", "Bling Bling" Porsah Laine Feel This
2010 "Monster House" Hunter (*) and DJ Vame Monster House
"Judge and Jury" Optamus Forever and a Day
"Dirty Thoughts" Complete Panic Disorder
2011 "Bat Country" Hunter (*) and Mortar Fear and Loathing
2012 "Swan Song" Clandestien (*) Weapons Grade
"Love Times Pie Recurring" Various Artists Australian Hip Hop Supports CanTeen


  1. ^ Formosa, Antonella (2001). "MC Layla Interview". Out4Fame Magazine (10). p. 6.
  2. ^ a b Hegarty, Khalil (8 April 2005). "Affirmative Action". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 August 2012. Note: Last name is given as Handbury.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Tony; Keys, Nick (17 April 2005). "Layla Interview". Local Noise. Australian Research Council. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b Force, G (26 July 2007). "Layla Interview – Heretik Release". Straight Up!. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b Bodine, BigDaddy (Brand) (5 April 2005). "Layla Burns Like a Heretik". In the Mix (Sound Alliance). Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b Clandestien (Media notes). Clandestien. Clandestien Productions. 2001. CND001. "A.T.O.M.S." is track 14 and features raps by Layla, Dazastah and Dynamikes.
  7. ^ a b Culture of Kings Volume 1 (Media notes). Various Artists. Obese Records. 2002. "It's Only Me." is track 7 on this compilation album.
  8. ^ Hughson, Colleen; Quinsacara, Mary (2003). "All the Ladies [videorecording]". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 11 August 2012. This video explores what it is like to be a female MC in the Australian underground hip hop scene through interviews with six women across Australia. The interviews are coupled with a dynamic soundtrack and live footage demonstrating their diversity as women participating in a male-dominated music culture ... Features interviews with, and performances by, A-Love (Antonella Formosa), Maya Jupiter (Melissha Martinez), Little G (Gian Chrisanthopoulos), MC Que (Mary Quinsacara), Layla (Layla Hanbury), MC Thorn (Jurnan Ayerst).
  9. ^ Mitchell, Tony; Keys, Nick (9 October 2005). "Layla Interview". Local Noise. Australian Research Council. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  10. ^ a b Straight from the Art (Media notes). Various Artists. Warner Music (Australia). 2003. 2564611212. "Maverick" by Layla is track 6.
  11. ^ "Layla Heretik". Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR). Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  12. ^ Colman, Tim (8 April 2005). "Feminem Wiles". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Artists: Layla". Obese Records. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  14. ^ "'Fuss About Sluts' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 11 August 2012. Note: Layla is given as Hanbury L, Dazastah is given as Reutens D.
  15. ^ a b "Dazastah". 2011. Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  16. ^ Martinez, Melissha (14 July 2005). "Triple J Interview: Layla – Part Two" (MP3). Hip Hop Show. Triple J (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  17. ^ a b Gadd, Natasha; Graham, Rhys (2007). "Words from the City – Artists – Layla". The Australian Film Commission, Adelaide Film Festival, Film Victoria and Film Camp. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  18. ^ Sophiska (24 February 2005). "Layla – Heretik". In the Mix (Sound Alliance). Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  19. ^ "ASCAP – ACE Title Search". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved 11 August 2012. Note: Requires user to enter title, e.g. Inspiration Island.
  20. ^ ABC TV guide December 2007
  21. ^ Parks, Glen (31 March 2011). "Heretik Heart". X-Press Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2012.[permanent dead link] Note: This source has last name spelled as Handbury.
  22. ^ Tijs, Andrew (27 July 2011). "Drapht to Party Party Party Through an Australian Tour". Undercover Media. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Aussie Hip Hop fraternity to gather in Perth to launch charity album". Hip Hop Supports CanTeen. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  24. ^ Barnes, Matthew. "Rhyme International 5 Festival". University of Canberra. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  25. ^ The Arrival (Media notes). Bliss n Esoterikizm. Independent label. 2000. "Dreams" is track 3 and features vocals by Layla, Bliss and Eso.
  26. ^ Suffering City: Volume One (Media notes). Suffa. Independent. 2002. SUFFA02. "Divine Intervention" (Part 1) is track 12, credited to Terra Firma. "Divine Intervention" (Part 2) is track 13, credited to Terra Firma featuring Layla. "Divine Intervention" (Part 3) is track 14, which is credited to Terra Firma featuring Suffa.
  27. ^ Done DL (Media notes). Hunter and Dazastah. Syllaboliks. 2002. SBX 003. "Kids of the Future" is track 4, raps by Layla and Drapht. "Oceanography" is track 9, raps by Layla, Format, Mortar, and Tommohawk. "Exposing Em" is track 10, raps by Layla, Bias B and Matty B. "Sin Stains in My Eyes" is track 13, raps by Layla, DJ Armee and Dynamikes. "Mutants" is track 15, raps by Layla, Graphic, Mortar and Tommohawk. "MysticAL Alliance" is track 17, raps by Layla, Drapht, Dynamikes and Graphic. "Co-Conspiriters" is track 19, raps by Layla, Figure 8, Mortar, Optamus and Tommohawk.
  28. ^ Waking the Past (Media notes). Terra Firma. Independent label. 2003. TF001. "Divine Intervention" is track 16 and features raps by Layla.

External links[edit]