Leyo (born Leonardo Mendez) was born in Orange County, California. He had a passion for singing and first realized he could sing when a lady at church said he had an amazing voice and should join the choir. Not skipping a beat, he did as she suggested and joined the church choir.
Growing up in a Mexican household, he listened to the greats of Spanish romance music and discovered his deep connection to the genre. Leyo has been greatly influenced by artists such as Juan Gabriel, Luis Miguel, Christian Castro, Luis Fonsi, George Michael, Josh Groban and Ricky Martin. His deep, rich tone and wide vocal range allows him to tell the story of the greatest ballads with immense intimacy, tenderness, and power.
In 2006, a chance audition landed him a place on Telefutura’s singing competition show, Objetivo Fama Season 5. Leyo was known as "el bufon de la casa", "the joker of the house” out of the other 19 aspiring singers. Leyo quickly became a fan favorite by competing and performing songs by some of music’s greatest vocalists like Marc Anthony, Christian Castro and Pepe Aguilar. Leyo continued to grow into his own as a vocalist from this experience, coached by show judges and industry experts Roberto Sueiro, Fernando Allende and Mexican singer Jimena. A great student, Leyo humbly applied all the valuable feedback to better his craft. The run on Objetivo Fama 05 came to an end, but his visibility in the public eye remained.
His sexy smile, striking looks, infectious laugh, obvious talent and outgoing personality made him a regular correspondent for Sin Editar, an entertainment magazine show, solidifying him as a favorite TV personality in Puerto Rico.
Leyo completed work with legendary producer and songwriter Rudy Perez, Billboard Music Latin Producer of the Decade and President of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame in Miami, recording his ballad “Ya No Recuerdas.” Leyo has long been an admirer of lyrics and he connects to songs that tell stories of love and heartbreak.
Leyo’s fascination with the Spanish language and the passion of its words inspire him in his songwriting. Songwriting also allows him to draw upon his own life experience of love and disappointment.
Leyo is currently under development with multi-Grammy award winning producer Cory Rooney (Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige) collaborating on new music and developing his unique style.
“As a producer, my goal is to bring back real music and real vocals and Leyo is the perfect artist to do this. Leyo has a real gift to connect with lyrics and deliver killer power vocals; bringing something fresh and new to Latin and mainstream music. He is a truly talented artist who is gaining a lot of attention. I am confident that between his amazing vocal ability and my experience in creating music, we have a winning combination. Aside from all the great things Leyo has going on, he is just a great guy, a really genuine wholesome person. The cool guy next door moms adore. People are going to love him and his talent.” – Cory Rooney
Leyo has also set his eye on film and television, recently appearing on Hulu’s Emmy Nominated series “East Los High.” Leyo had the opportunity to play himself opposite Christina Milian performing his song “Vete Con El,” produced by Rooney. The single is to be released July 14, 2015.
ADORE PHOTOGRAPHY by Carla Flocken
David Perez Photography