Today we’d like to introduce you to Sirena Leyenda.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in Chicago but raised in Waco, Texas from the early age of nine years of age. I started singing on my 11th birthday party! The music director from the church my family and I were visiting at the time, whipped out his acoustic guitar and asked me to sing after I unwrapped all of my presents.
It was a fun day celebrating with family, church members, close friends and singing in front of them not having a clue it would just take off from there. I would sing every Sunday a song or two with their house band. After a few months of singing, my family met an amazing producer (still friends with) who had a full album of songs she wanted me to sing. I recorded my first album written by Abbi Garcia at 12 years old. She taught how to sing, record and perform.
Once my album was complete, my dad booked me every weekend at all of the local church events around town! We were anywhere I could find a stage. My dad would set up my small table with my cassette tapes and after my presentation, I would stand by my little table and people would buy them for $10 a piece. I loved selling as many as I could to pay for the album that we still owed and buy my next outfit for my next gig!! I remember practicing my songs in front of my dad and he would help and guide me perform as an artist using stage presence. It was fun. He was definitely hands-on and sacrificed so much to pay for my recording, trips to my local gigs, booking, his guidance, and support. I sang in tons of local churches and met so many wonderful people along the way.
At the age of 16, I recorded my second album with the same producer. Abbi wrote beautiful songs that almost every church loved her music and used for their services and always had so many songs to choose from. We did a ten song album and I started the whole church local tour again. I was at almost every churches festival, service or event singing to promote my new album. I went to college to study more music and was guided and taught by the best set of professors that I still look up to. McLennan Community College was my home for a little over two years getting my Associates degree. I became so close to a few of my teachers and got to sing a lot with Clark Nauert in a lot of his outside church gigs. That was a lot of fun too! Met some of the best musicians and so exciting to still see them grow til this day.
After graduating college, I branched into rock music and started a band with my ex. He was a talented guitarist and songwriter that had a bigger vision for me. At the time, I needed guidance. We started a rock band called Beautiful Disturbance. We played the whole rock circuit scene around Dallas, Austin, Waco, and surrounding areas. We performed only our original material and played with some of the best musicians in the area. We played in front of no one to playing in front of huge crowds too. We were steadily booked 2-3 nights a week. Sometimes with no pay, selling tickets to try to make some profit and paying to play too at some of these Austin clubs. I was honored to sing with amazing musicians and still friends with those guys. Had a badass female bass player too! Those were the days we all paid our dues with late nights, having to get up the next morning to work our day jobs to make ends meet. Recorded an album in New Jersey with a label interested but at the end, it didn’t happen for whatever reason. Til this day, I don’t know what happened.
After about five years of playing rock, my ex and I decided to end Beautiful Disturbance and start our own thing as a duo band only. We just weren’t feeling that vibe and wanted something fresh. We were so scared of starting over and basically revamping a whole new band. Well… we did it. It felt right. We felt a more country/folk/pop feel to us. We called our new duo band Queen of Kings. He started to write and write, booking more gigs than before bc our sound felt more genuine and people were really liking this new sound. Our look, coming from a rock scene, changed too. We were performing as a duo, acoustic guitar and me on vocals. People loved it because they could hear me as the vocalist and the lyrics of the songs.
After about a year, we both decided to love to LA! Los Angeles baby! We literally packed and got on the road with our doggie! We started our new life in LA and boy was it rough the first year. We always followed our gut and have made some risky moves in our career and it has always paid off. We felt lonely, broke and lost that first year. We were away from family, friends and our faithful fans. Besides the newness feeling and rough start, we instantly made connections the minute we moved here playing at Sofitel Hotel “Jazz Night” in Beverly Hills, recording with Malik Yusef, and playing around town for free. Queen of Kings was in town but we felt so lost. We learned it’s all about getting out there and networking our asses off!
Los Angeles…. its where it all started for me. Most importantly internally. I didn’t realize how lost I was.
Our goal and only goal was to move to LA and get a RECORD DEAL! That’s it.
Wow, we were in for a ride…
We moved to LA, about four years ago. It seems like forever ago but it also feels like it was just yesterday.
I thought this whole time I knew what I was doing and who I was. I lost myself the minute I gave up control of myself and career. Since I didn’t have a vision for myself, I allowed my ex to guide my every step, dream and life, basically. Not his fault. I now realize that.
He was my best friend, guitarist, songwriter partner and love until he broke my heart multiple times. We both throughout our relationship had a rocky time. I was a timid, quiet girl when I wasn’t performing. I wanted to stay home curled up on the couch with my dog and wanted a family, a warm cozy home and sing! My ex is an incredible intelligent human being! He was passionate about our music, our little doggie and wanted only the best for me. I feel protective of him, till this day… I can’t seem to find the courage to say anything negative about him.. that’s how much I loved him and still do.. so not sure how much I want to share as it still hurts to share … here goes another portion to my internal growing and of course my music career…
We were married for 11 years. We met the summer before my high school years. He was my first kiss, love, boyfriend and husband.
When he asked me marry him, I felt confused and obligated at the time to marry my best friend and didn’t feel ready. I just graduated from college and wanted to fly and move out of the city on my own and start a new life elsewhere. But the wedding was now priority. I come from a small town and there wasn’t anyone else that I wanted to be with at the time than with him. I was pretty young. I married at the young age of 20 years old.
As soon as we married is when he wanted to help with my career and ran with it not knowing I would lose myself and starve myself spiritually.
As a new wife, he was my priority, his needs came first, his family, his feelings, our new home. I wanted to be nurturing and be of a help to him as much I could. i put myself to the side to accommodate him first with everything.
I felt like we were fine. We had our fun times, shared a life we both loved and did our best to show affection. As we started to gig more around the bar club scene is when I noticed a change in our relationship. He started to go out more with his friends, coming home till 6 in the morning, hiding his phone, putting a lock code on his phone, training with several female workout partners. He is a fitness addict and it’s also his passion and I’m not against training with the opposite gender but he was secretive about it. On the weekends, I would wake up around 3 or 4 in the morning, wondering he wasn’t home and worried and felt such an alarming gut feeling that things just didn’t feel right. I would hear through the grapevine that he was out flirting and sleeping around. I didn’t believe them because this wasn’t the man I married. The next morning things were back to normal because I would brush it off and didn’t have the guts to confront him so we went on with our lives. It’s embarrassing to say this but it went on throughout our entire relationship. I didn’t realize it then but it was tearing me apart, my self-esteem was low and I was bottling this inside.
When we moved to LA, I found several messages he had with another girl and then having an affair that tore me to pieces and I finally confronted him and he admitted and told me the truth about the past and was apologetic. I forgave him and we moved on.
We kept making music, played some amazing music and shows together. Life went on.
My heart has been broken multiple times and I felt tired. So many things that I prefer to keep to myself for now but he would tell our fans that I was his singer and never his wife. There wasn’t a really husband and wife connection when we would play music. I wanted it so bad. I wanted to be his only and I wanted him to show his love for me in public. He seemed embarrassed and told me it’s best we don’t share that we are married. It broke my heart once again.
But in December 2017, is when it all changed for me this time. Another disloyal incident happened that completely tore my heart and BROKE my spirit to pieces because this was the man that I loved and wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I remember confronting him and he never really apologized for his action.
I remember waking up one day in January 2018 and wanted to get stronger mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I had a VISION!!! Wow! I knew exactly I wanted to be powerful. I didn’t know how or what to do but I KNEW I had fire! Something I have never felt!!! I still had hurt and was angry but I felt fired up about my life now… it was an awakening. I remember having a spiritual awakening that changed my life. I cried and was heartbroken for too long. I didn’t like myself, I felt weak, my music wasn’t taking off and I felt like everything was being forced. Even my face looked sad and stressed.
I started to hike a lot… almost everyday, reading self improvement books daily, dancing alone as exercise, and surrounding myself with friends that were empowering and successful with their life and careers. So amazing how the universe brought me beautiful friends that were my guidance.
I discovered to meditate and wow…. that changed my life. I slowly was learning to tune INSIDE!!!!
I remember on my birthday on April 2018, having a chat with my ex that I wanted to start my career as a solo artist. I wanted to do it alone…. everything… I wanted to write my own songs, book my own shows, have my own band, everything! His heart broke to pieces because he wanted to do this with me. When I had this chat with him, it just FELT right. I was scared to open my mouth because I had to dig in deep for courage to share what has been brewing. I wasn’t doing it to get rid of him musically but I was only following my gut. I a.ways wanted to have a solo career and felt like it has always been a dream.
As soon as I put myself out there as a solo artist, I was booked left and right. I was singing more than before. I was hardly home too because of my gigs. I finally felt happy! I was moving in the direction of where my heart was guiding me. I relied heavily on my intuition.
So my career life was taking off but my marriage was falling apart. We were moving in opposite directions and it hurt a lot .. still does thinking about it… We weren’t connecting like we use to. I did t see him the same after the incident in December. I changed and felt stronger internally. I was able to speak up and I didn’t want this cycle anymore.
After a lot of deep soul searching, I left him in Sept. Before I left, we had many deep conversations and oh man, I would cry and had to really search from within to say exactly how I felt to him. Wasn’t easy.
When I packed my clothes and shoes, I moved in with my brother who is my best friend. Wow… what a day that felt lonely and dark. I moved out with only my clothes and shoes.. can’t leave my shoes! I left everything including my keyboard, mic, in ears, the car we shared….. I left EVERYTHING!
I lived with my brother and slept on his couch with a few covers and one pillow I brought with me.
I would wake up everyday and meditate and had a plan for each day. I was still gigging, writing more and networking.
I completely surrendered to the flow of life.
I let go of the idea of getting that record deal or recording my next single or album.
I worked on myself. I was focused on strengthening my heart, vision and self care. For seven months, I literally had it dark in the living room and never opened a single blind. The only time I saw the day was when I went running or when I was running errands, or making my way to a gig.
I was hurt… very hurt. I felt lost… again. I felt like my 20-year-old self again too. Oddly enough I felt free but still dealing with feeling hurt and sad.
There were days I would wake up with so much sadness wanting to call him and starting all over again. I couldn’t… I needed to heal. I needed me… I needed to find me…. who was I?
I had no idea what I LIKED because I always hid behind my ex needing approval for everything I did.
I had to go through the heavy emotions these past few seven months of deep meditation, running ALOT, reading self love books and just learning to listen to my heart to slowly heal. I had to forgive him and had to let go.
I simply had to let go of everything including my true passion which is music. I just lost everything … literally everything. I learned to surrender to life and where it’s taking me. I finally felt the true meaning of SURRENDERING!
Wow, the simplicity of letting go … making a conscious effort everyday of surrendering and following my intuition changed my life.
I still had so many insecurities of all sorts and I learned to just let them happen or come. It was part of my healing.
Everything was falling into place effortlessly…. so magical. I was being booked to sing in all sort of studio projects, singing with a cover band, who has become family AND finally writing ALOT! Not only songwriting but I am journaling. It’s helped with my healing too. I started to dream bigger without realizing I was healing through all of this.
I am the creator of my world. My thoughts and energy is what has made my world a healthy one. I’ve learned to dream bigger and move fearlessly towards them. I don’t have anything to lose… literally.
I know how to listen to my intuition.. To my own gut. Every move I make or have made has been intuitive and it’s guided me to the best places or people in my life.
Every step has been magical for me these past seven months. There were days I couldn’t get up from my brothers couch but I pushed through with meditation and self tuning in.
I started to dream again, speak greater things into existence, and love myself.
Dreams do come true. I am now recording my Spanish NEW EP with Dito Godwin who is a multi-platinum producer with a few of No Doubts albums, living in my new place in Beverly Hills and completely booked with songwriting projects and gigging. I hardly can catch my breath sometimes. Surreal.
I am a beautiful piece of work in progress. Ive learned to smile a lot from within, love and respect myself and trust where life is taking me. I move effortlessly now. I am grateful for my journey and for my ex. Everything happens to strengthen us and others.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not at the beginning. Once I awakened, I knew what I desired. I would put energy and passion into what I wanted and had a plan for my vision. It all just comes easier that way.
Please tell us about Sirena Leyenda.
I am a singer-songwriter. I love sharing my story through my music. Music is sooo powerful!!!!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Riding bikes, playing kickball, making up games, jumping on the trampoline with my brother. We were always creative with playing!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @SirenaLeyenda
- Facebook: @SirenaLeyenda
Oscar Rojas Photography