I’m a pianist and writer who studied journalism and music. I live in English and Spanish, visit my native Colombia yearly but love my multicultural U.S. life. As a wife and mother of two teens, balancing everything with my job as executive director of Latin content for Billboard and host of TV show Estudio Billboard is a challenge. Add my life as a novelist (my second baby, The Second Time We Met—www.leilacobo.com-- is out in February) and my plate is full. Nothing a manicure and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc can’t fix!
I point with my mouth :)
Leila's Latest Posts
Everyone has a public appearance nightmare--you know, the play where you forgot your lines, the microphone that didn't turn on, the wardrobe malfunction.
I had my little nightmare recently, as a guest on 99, an entertainment show on the new channel Soi TV. I'd been invited to talk about my book and my career as a journalist.
I had my suspicions when I realized the hosts didn't know anything about me, but what the heck--TV hosts are great at doing things on the fly, so I figured I was worried over nothing.
Continue Reading >
Last week we attended our nephew's high school graduation in Cali, Colombia. The celebration, from morning to night, highlighted the many traditions Latins in the U.S. and our parent countries have in common. But, boy, did it ever highlight the differences as well.
Now that I have my own kids, I constantly contrast and compare my native Colombia--which we visit yearly--and Miami, where we currently live. It may be the most Latin city in the U.S., but rest assured, there's still an ocean between us.
I had dinner with Gloria Estefan last week. Ok, I was interviewing her. But it was still dinner with Gloria. And, I have to confess, even a decade after first meeting her, I'm still in awe of the woman.
Not because she's a superstar who's sold 70 million albums worldwide, or because she was in Glee or because she still churns out No. 1 hits. It's because, despite all that, Estefan remains happily married--a wife, a mom who is so grounded and so solidly down to earth.
That is a major part of her stardom that others would do well to emulate.Continue Reading >
I went to see Maná at the American Airlines Arena with my 13-year-old son as my date.
We had a blast. And not just because the concert was good, but because, for the first time ever, I think, my son realized, "Hey, rock en español is actually cool!" (and, by association, that makes me--the mom who got the tickets--a little bit cool, too).
It was a long time coming, but it seems my U.S. born and raised kids have finally fallen in love with Latin music.
As the Summit of the Americas ended in Colombia, the conversation didn't center on trade agreements, the drug war or even Fidel Castro's absence. Rather, it was all about Shakira fumbling one little word when singing the Colombian national anthem and about the Secret Service prostitute/escort scandal.
And then, there was Hillary Clinton, whooping it up at a Cartagena bar, dancing salsa, drinking a beer and having a great time. I think it's the biggest compliment the Secretary of State could pay to Colombians, partying like one of them. And the fact that her actions generated criticism from some quarters highlights the huge cultural disconnect between those who simply don't get Latin culture, and those who do.Continue Reading >