Say hi to Leila!
For those unfamiliar with the name Leila Buffery, you might be interested to know not only is she incredibly talented when it comes to baking incredible vegan goods, she’s also a dab hand at Youtube – Having recently celebrated her 1 year anniversary. Her naturally funny and colloquial way of communicating with her viewers means that she’s developing quite a rather special fan base who aren’t just interested in the advice Leila has to offer about heartache or long distance relationships (that’s when she isn’t making us laugh), but also for those vegans/non vegans out there as she’s one to look to for her vegan recipes (which FYI will blow your minds when you try one).
We decided to have a chat to the Brighton based baking goddess, so get yourselves comfortable and get to know this lady a little more…
Recently you celebrated your first year on Youtube! How would you best describe your channel for those people who aren’t already familiar?
My channel initially started as a way of sharing my recipes but it quickly developed. I tried doing a couple of popular tags on YouTube and they were getting way more views so I saw it as a good way to build the channel and then gradually build up the food vids with a bigger audience. It’s a total mash up now of cooking, DIY, advice and humour!
What made you set up your channel?
I set up my channel to give people more of a chance to get to know me, I’d built up quite a good following on my food blog but people were always asking personal questions on there so I thought it would be a happy medium.
What’s surprised you about your journey so far?
I think my favourite surprise is that people are actually interested in my life! It’s weird but really cool because I put a lot out there. Also I’ve found that YouTube is a really awesome little community rather than just cat videos (which I am a huge fan of).
It must be a pretty daunting task when you’re starting out, Did you have any reservations about doing it?
My only reservations were how people were going to take to me and if anyone would actually care what I’m doing but I’ve had a really great response and my subscribers are so encouraging!
Do you take inspiration from any other Youtubers out there?
Yeah for sure, I love watching other people’s videos and getting inspiration from them. Right now I’m crushing hard on Helen Anderson, Zoe London and Amanda Hendrick.
You’re very honest with your viewers about what’s going on in your personal life; do you ever worry that you may share TOO much at all?
I think when you choose to put yourself out there on the internet you have to cover pretty much all bases of your life. It always ends up coming out eventually. I’m cool with it though, the minute it gets too much I’ll pack it in. People do feel entitled to know every detail sometimes but ultimately I’ve chosen to put it out there so I have to expect it!
Veganism is naturally a big talking point for you on your social media as you have your Instagram @whatleilaeats, Tumblr and also plenty of your Youtube videos are also food related too: What made you become vegan?
I became fully vegan about 2 years ago although I’d been on the path for a long time. I watched a documentary called forks over knives and it totally changed everything I thought I knew about food. I was a real meat lover so it wasn’t easy for me but I did it really gradually over the space of a year and I’m a firm believer in easing yourself in to something big like this!
What would you say is the most positive thing you have gained from veganism?
The biggest positive change through doing it has been reawakening my love for food. I’ve been obsessed with cooking since I was little but I had to learn an entire new set of skills for vegan cooking which I found so exciting. Teaching people who are new to it has also been amazing.
Why do you think it’s important that people take more notice of what goes on around us in the world? Instead of being ignorant to global events?
It’s hugely important we start paying attention to what’s going on in the world because I think we’re going to be one of the last generations who can actually reverse some of the damage we’ve done to the planet and to ourselves before it’s too late. It’s so easy to float along, not paying attention to anything important that might be deemed depressing but we’ve gotten ourselves into the position where we can no longer afford that luxury. We have to pay attention now, there’s no other option. Ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s fucking stupid.
You live in Brighton right? We always hear people saying how cool it is there. What makes it a great place to live?
I love Brighton for so many reasons. It’s amazing for vegan food so we’re totally spoilt for choice with places to eat. It’s quite literally a breath of fresh air being by the ocean and having the beach at the end of our street never fails to make me feel free if life’s getting a bit full on! Anything goes here and everyone is accepted, you can be whoever you want without any judgement.
What music are you into?
My music taste has always been really eclectic, my CD collection when I was younger ranged from Black Sabbath to Jurassic 5. There was probably (definitely) a Craig David album somewhere in there too. I’m still a sucker for both hiphop and metal but my taste has definitely branched out into more experimental stuff.
What new things have you got coming up in the pipeline this year?
Right now I’m concentrating on running my baking business, moving house and getting a dog! At some point I’m planning on sitting down and actually starting to write the cook book that I’ve had in my head for years as well as re-vamping my blog and collaborating with more Youtubers.
Now we know you can’t tell us too much but you must have sneaked a listen to the new Architects record while Sam wasn’t looking. Is it good?
Honestly, the new Architects record is rubbish. Just kidding, I’d actually go as far as to say it’s a masterpiece. I was actually just listening to it, shouting along in the kitchen, baking a cake. I’d like to think that if there’s ever a film made about my life (which is very unlikely but it’s good to have dreams), that will be the opening scene. It’s honestly the kind of record that gives you chills, I wish I could listen to it for the first time all over again!