‘Vampirina’: Danville native creates cartoon’s spooky-fun score

Here’s some fang-tactic news for fans of “Vampirina”: The animated hit kicks off a second season today on Disney Junior. That means kids — and their parents — will be treated to more adventures of the lovable young vampire girl who is still adjusting to life in Pennsylvania after her family moved from Transylvania.

It also means fans can enjoy more of the hauntingly fun score created by Layla Minoui, the show’s composer.

“I love the fact that we can play something borderline spooky and still make it fun and whimsical,” says Minoui, who grew up in Danville and now lives in Los Angeles. “I just latch onto the characters and go from there.”

Layla Minoui

Her work on “Vampirina” has brought plenty of attention to Minoui, who is considered one of the top rising young talents in her field. Variety recently ranked her among the “Artisans Up Next” in its annual “Artisans Elite” issue. She has also racked up TV credits for shows such as ABC’s “Castle” and Bravo’s “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce,” along with several independent films.

That she is now sharing her talent with the world makes for a radical contrast to her teen years at Monte Vista High School, when mostly kept it to herself.

“I grew up with a multicultural background, which made me feel a little different,” says Minoui, whose parents immigrated from Iran. “I would come home and play the piano for hours. Music was like my sanctuary — the place I went to communicate my feelings. I considered it my personal diary that no one else could read.”

Minoui’s love of music started around the age of 5, when she began gravitating toward her parents’ piano. Her father, himself a music lover, took notice and immediately enrolled her in lessons.

“My teacher saw that I didn’t just like playing, I also liked to write songs,” Minoui recalled. “So she started transcribing them for me.”

Given her ethnic background, Minoui was influenced by the rich blends of both Western and Eastern music and quickly discovered her own voice as a composer. By the age of 8, she wrote her first piece of music for which she was awarded first place in the Yamaha Junior Original Composition Competition.

“It was called ‘Silver Moon’ and I still have it. Some of the notes are backwards,” she says, laughing.

At 17, Minoui released her first solo album, “A Fallen Muse,” written for solo piano and cello.

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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