We meet Laura Doggett, the girl from bath who has gone from singing songs from the musical ‘Wicked’ to getting set to perform at the Royal Albert Hall secret space this week
Every once in a while an artist with a mesmerizingly distinctive voice appears that stops you in your tracks; hailing from Bath, songstress Laura Doggett is just that. After releasing Sohn produced track ‘Phoenix’ back in July to an unprecedented reaction and a legion of new fans, Laura has been working away on her debut album, supporting John Newman on his UK tour, prepping for a secret gig at the Royal Albert Hall and filming a video for her latest track ‘Moonshine’ – out on the 10th November.
You had a phenomenal immediate response to ‘Phoenix’. What was going through your mind when writing the track? What did you want to convey?
Phoenix was written about how we all change instinctively to become what life requires of us.
I feel like I’ve grown into a stronger version of myself as a result of realising what I need to become in order to achieve my dreams in music. Music and writing is like another instinct – it changes me; the way I see the world and listen to what’s going on around me. I’m vulnerable as I’m allowing myself to be seen at my most transparent in order to then flourish. It’s saying to people that it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside – “I burn, so you can see my ghost”.
We have to strip ourselves down to our most vulnerable states so we can learn who we really are – and show people our souls – only then can we begin to build ourselves back up again and become strong.
What was it like working with Sohn, what did you take from the experience and do you have any plans to work with him in the future?
Sohn is a genius; he’s a lovely guy, with a strong knowledge of who he is and how he wants to be perceived. I learnt from him to be choosy with words – only say what is necessary and remember to breathe. We’ll definitely be keeping in contact and who knows what the future holds?
You’re currently working on your debut album, what can you tell us about it so far?
My debut album is an emotional journey through highs and lows – it can get very intense, and very ethereal, and very raw as the journey progresses.
You’re about to join Jetta as support for John Newman on his upcoming tour. Have you toured with either before, and what do you think about their music?
I’m very excited for the John Newman dates. Sadly me and Jetta aren’t supporting at the same time, we’re sharing the dates between us – she’s doing 3 and I’m doing 5. However I love her music and would have loved to see her perform. I can’t wait to watch John Newman perform, learn from him and feel the buzz of such big audiences fill up to see someone they love and have fun.
Your voice is phenomenal, and different. What first sparked a love of singing?
My voice was a very gradual thing – it’s ever-changing and developing. I noticed it was a bit different when it was too low to sing my favourite songs from the musical “Wicked”. I then discovered writing songs really organically through my brother making music in his room, and also my music GCSE teacher asking me to write a song to raise money for a cancer charity. Seeing my voice and my words emotionally affect people was an addictive feeling, and something I will always chase. It’s a beautiful moment.
Who are your musical influences? Have you ever had the opportunity to see them perform?
I have a vast array of influences both new and old. My first main songwriting influence was Tracy Chapman – I think she is so strong and empowering, talking about social change and creating that conscience within people. Another influence was Annie Lennox and Imogen Heap, they use their powerful voices as instruments to make songs so much more impacting. It becomes their signature. I was then gradually introduced to the greats of the female singer-songwriter world such as Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush and Tori Amos – these then became instrumental in my writing. To dare to be daring. I’ve recently seen Kate Bush live and it was mind-blowing – she really pushed the boundaries of the live music experience. I also once saw Joan Armatrading, which was a life-mission complete.
What are your earliest musical influences? Did your parents taste influence you? Did you play any instruments growing up?
I’ve never had a good knowledge of music history – I went to college as the only person who didn’t know who Led Zeppelin was and still don’t, shamefully. However I did spend a lot of my childhood singing Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera, which I attribute to my low tones. My dad gave me the Tracy Chapman greatest hits album when I was about 15 and that changed everything.
Talk me through your writing process?
Any 2 songs are never the same – inspiration can come from anywhere at any time. It’s important for me to be in touch with nature, it’s where I feel most inspired. Sometimes I come up with basic chords or a riff and write words to it, but usually my songs always begin with a theme of lyrical element as that’s what I write for, the meaning of the songs.
What have you got planned for your show within the Royal Albert hall?
The show at the RAH is a chance to be intimate with my audience – it will be beautiful and a real chance to show people what I’m all about and just have fun.
What else have you got lined up that you can tell us about?
We have the John Newman tour and the RAH gig all to come this month, and we’ve just announced a headline show at The Chapel in The House of St. Barnabas on the 19th November where I’ll be playing 2 shows in one night – an early one at 8pm and a later one at 10pm. Also watch out for the ‘Moonshine’ video, which is expected to hit the end of October.
Words: Siobhan Frew