URSULINE GRAD MEETS SNOOP DOGG

Photo by Jasmine Safaeian

Juliette DiGiuseppe grew up in Preston Hollow and graduated from Ursuline in 2000. She studied vocals, took ballet and was a competitive cheerleader. Now known as “Layke,” she teamed up with Snoop Dogg and recorded a cover of the Bastille and Marshmello collaboration called “Happier.” Proceeds from the project will benefit children through Snoop Special Stars and Childhelp.

What happened after Ursuline?
I went to the University of North Texas, and then I found my way out to Los Angeles. I was always strong in English, and I turned that into songs. I attended the Musicians Institute. A couple years ago, I met producer Adrian Gurvitz. He’s worked with Stevie Wonder, Steve Perry and Whitney Houston. We had a meeting, and he really liked me. He said, “You’ve got something.”  We cut 10 songs. It’s Layke Part One on Spotify and iTunes.

Why the name Layke? 
Adrian and I spent a year putting a list together of nearly 100,000 names. He wanted to do something separate from any project I’d done before as Jules or Juliette — a whole new me. It was a new moment for me because we had changed my style of music. I used to be primarily in this kind of dream pop world. I was shedding one skin and discovering myself artistically. He really made me get uncomfortable with the genres I was thinking of doing. It was time to choose a different name to show that. There was this show that came out with Kyra Sedgwick, and I love Kyra Sedgwick. Anything that Kyra Sedgwick is in, I will watch. Her daughter on the show, her name was Lake. We wanted something cool and one word, and something that just had a good energy. I was like, “If we throw the “Y” in there, I think it would be really cool.” And it just fit.

What were you like when you were a student at Ursuline?
I was a little bit of a punk rocker girl. At Ursuline, I was my own unique self. That’s what’s cool about it. There is a lot of uniqueness there, and I think every girl is different. My sisters, they all live in Dallas, and they’re all a little more conservative than me. I’m definitely the liberal.

What are your memories of Ursuline? 
I was a UA cheerleader. I was a big fan of the English program. Writing was my thing. I don’t think I encountered an English teacher I didn’t love at Ursuline.

Where do you live now? 
I live in Hollywood in a house up in the hills. I’m a queer woman. I date men. I date women. I date everyone. It’s the type of place that fits my personality and who I am very well. It’s home for me.

What’s a typical day like for you? 

Yesterday I had three meetings out of the house. One had to do with styling. One was a meeting with my producer. Another was a meeting with a graphic designer. The shoot with Snoop, we only had two physical hours with him, so we shot that fast. Every day is different. Some days I have appearances at night, so I’m sleeping in until 11, because I have to be at an appearance at 9 p.m., and I’ll be out until 2 in the morning.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? 

 I’m proud of the project that me and Snoop Dogg did. It is bigger than us. Adrian Gurvitz, my producer, started out thinking, “We’ll just raise some money for youth at risk and try to do something good.” I want to build my activism. When he said to involve Snoop, I was like, “That’s never going to happen.” But he had worked with him before, and Adrian is amazing, and he made it happen. Getting to do that was a surreal experience. To be able to film the video with him and now see it come to life is amazing. We’re getting donations.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve overcome? 
I think my own head. This industry is the thief of joy. I’m 36 now. It took me a long time to get 

there, and that’s something that I really want people to understand. Never give up on your dreams and never stop trying to achieve more or do more. Whatever it is, whoever you are, or whatever your background, wherever you come from, whatever your age, whatever your circumstances, you can change that. You can overcome. Your age is not something that holds you back, you know what I’m saying? Where you come from is not something that holds you back.

What’s your style?
I used to dress a lot less androgynous and a lot more tight-fitting. In the past couple of years, I’ve transformed. I wear kind of androgynous stuff, and I like the power in that. I’m all about however anyone wants to put themselves out in the world. No one should judge how someone dresses. I feel more comfortable draped and covered up. I’m sick of being sexualized. I wear black, white and gray. I don’t ever wear blue or brown, really, unless it’s like a deep velvet blue or something. I love iridescence, and I love neon. 


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