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Interview: Laura Welsh

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Laura Welsh takes guise of the classic folk singer-songwriter cocooned in 21st century pop.

Laura Welsh

The buzz about her personal song-writing and sweet voice is due to be matched by the release of her debut album Soft Control on 9th March.

Music has been a constant in Welsh’s life. She was first introduced to music by her mother, also a musician - a folk singer, and the records played in her home whilst growing up.

She began song-writing when studying Music, “I got into music because my mum was a musician, so it was always kind of influenced around the house. I was studying Music in Birmingham and that was probably the time when I started writing, I just kind of taught myself to play guitar and bought a little eight-track recorder. I studied my last year of it [Music] in London, so that gave me the opportunity to move down here and meet musicians and I was in a band for a while just playing gigs up and down the country before then starting on this album.”

She grew up listening to, and was subsequently inspired by, classic soul and folk artists, “Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’ was a big influence on me as a song-writer. I remember when I was younger my sister used to play Prince all the time in the house. I love soul records, classics like Otis Redding, I love D’Angelo… I think I’m always kind of drawn to that kind of raw emotion, those records you’d put on late at night and that you keep going back to.”

Like her influences her lyrics come from a personal place, positioning her own experiences in a way that is accessible for all.

“I always write from personal experience, so there are definitely touches of darkness there lyrically. I wrote the record about personal situations, like there’s a couple of significant relationships that I’d had that had fallen apart and they kind of come with that level of darkness so that’s definitely come out in my songs, and the theme on the records. I’m kind of always fascinated by human relationships, even the ones that we have with ourselves, and with other people and ‘Ghosts’ is a track that I wrote during that time when things kind of fell apart and I think musically I just had the freedom to really write what I wanted to. So, I think it’s kind of overcoming those, the journey you take to get back to yourself and basically have that control again.”

As a modern artist, Soft Touch straddles the influence of classic sounds with those of the current pop landscape, “I’d say that there’s two sides to the sound and on a production level, one has more of a minimal electronic feel, whereas the other is a lot more kind of raw sounding in tones. I just wanted to make an album with those experiences that I was going through and just try to make an honest record that hopefully people relate to… I think that’s the beauty of song-writing, people interpret songs - they have their own experiences that they relate to, I think that’s how I kind of listen to music, and relate to it.”

Work on the debut record was conducted with acclaimed producers Robin Hannibal and Dev Hynes, an experience she learnt from and enjoyed.

 “It was good, I collaborated with people that I loved, I loved what they were doing musically such as Dev Hynes and Robin Hannibal, especially someone like Robin Hannibal who’s a producer - I loved his work on Quadron and Rhye Records. We kind of clicked musically, so it was really good to work with him, he’s a great producer. It’s been really good, I think it was just important to work with the people that were on the same page musically and I think that’s where my best work has come from.”

Her profile has expanded to new heights recently with the inclusion on single ‘Undiscovered’ featuring on the soundtrack to bondage mega-flick Fifty Shades of Grey.

“It was amazing. In the States I’ve had quite a lot of music in TV and film but to get a movie like Fifty Shades was incredible. I didn’t write the song for the film, they heard the track and wanted to use it, so it was amazing. I didn’t even know who else was on the soundtrack when I found out I was going to be on it and then to see your track amongst people like Annie Lennox and Sia and The Weeknd it was just incredible.”

This is obviously the time for Welsh to capitalise on this increased exposure but what is she planning in terms of the future?

“Get the album out and play as many live shows as possible, and I’m heading back out to the States. When you make the album you’re kind of in your own little world sometimes, so I think when you put the record out it’s really good that the songs take on a new lease of life when you start playing them live so, I can’t wait to do that. I’m writing as well, I’m always going to be writing, so, as long as I’m making music, that’s kind of the goal, just continually making new music.”




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