You’ve heard Laura Welsh’s heartbreaking voice on Gorgon City’s track, ‘Here For You’. Expect to hear more of her siren calls when her debut album drops in March.
The latest single ‘Ghosts’ from Laura Welsh is an exercise in control. Written when she, ‘wasn’t in a very good place’, Laura’s emotional outpour is our bittersweet gain as soft breathy whispers transform effortlessly into sweet howls. Backed by a war drum beat, Laura calls listeners to arms to face an invisible opposition, singing, ‘I need you to help me…I won’t let them take me.’
We kind of want some heartbreak to come our way now, so we can have a cathartic singing session bellowing along to Laura’s track, considerably less tunefully than the singer herself of course. Be sure to check out her solo version of ‘Here For You’ too, an entirely different song to the Gorgon City collaboration, it’s stripped back and gloriously intense. ‘Ghosts’ is set to be released on 18th January and ‘Soft Control’, Laura’s debut album will be available later in the spring, on 9th March. Mark the date in your diaries.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a musician?
I grew up around music. My Mom was a musician and singer so there was always instruments and music in the house. I would go to a lot of shows with her when I was younger and it just set me off. I started writing and I taught myself to play guitar when I was studying music in Birmingham.
Who or what would you say has influenced you the most?
There’s too many to list as I get influenced by music nearly every day. There are artists that have had a lasting effect on me and the music they have made will stay with me forever. People like Prince, Carol King, D’Angelo and Otis Redding. I listened to a lot of different styles of music growing up and still do but soul music is always at the core. It’s the raw emotion of the vocals on great soul records that get me. Though if a song moves me in some way regardless of genre then I’m always inspired to pick up a guitar or sit at a piano and start messing around with ideas.
How do you go about the songwriting/recording process?
Well, I always write from personal experience in an emotional and reactive way. I interpret situations and things in my head and that comes out in the writing process. In some cases I’ll have the lyric and go into the studio and start collaborating on ideas musically or other times I will have a melody line and start building the track around that until the song starts to take shape. Theres no real science to it for me. I still find songwriting a bit of a mystery! Songs can come from a place you can’t explain where all your emotions just come out. The process of writing and recording this album has been very different from track to track as some songs have come out really quick with just a vocal and piano and others have started from maybe listening to a drum loop or sounds. If I connect with people in the studio creatively and theres not a feeling of an ‘agenda’ in place then its the best environment for me to work in. It should feel completely natural. I normally have a sense of how I want songs to sound production wise so it’s a case of experimenting until I feel had achieved the sound that was in my head.
You’ve worked with a lot of interesting people! Has anyone given you any advice you’ll always remember?
Not directly but you pick up on a manner and way of working. People like Dev Hynes, John Legend and Robin Hannibal who I’ve worked with on this record make such honest music. I totally respect their fearless approach and only doing what feels right to them regardless of opinions. Theres a truth in what they do which is ultimately why I wanted to work with them.
Is there anyone else you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
I really love new artists such as All We Are and Honne at the moment. And Flying Lotus is incredible. I would love to work with him on something.
What is your latest single ‘Ghosts’ about?
‘Ghosts’ in the most personal song on the record. I wasn’t in a very good place around the time I wrote it as it’s about the darker side of a relationship with someone very close to me. It stems from the battles we have with ourselves sometimes as I can be my own worst enemy so it’s about learning the lessons from these situations and overcoming them instead of being pulled under.
Does your debut album have any themes and have you developed a signature style?
‘Soft Control’ is about a journey back for me. Taking a step back from everything and giving myself the time and freedom to write with nothing in that moment telling me how or who I should be.
There’s a couple of significant relationships that I have written about and how they’ve effected me which are underlying themes on the album. Unfortunately they came with a level of darkness and this is a recording of the route back from all of that. Ultimately it was about reconciling with yourself and others before taking back control of everything again.
What’s your ultimate dream – do you want to release 10 albums or get to number one or headline Glastonbury?
Well, I wouldn’t pass on any of the above! I love the creative process of writing and recording music so I will always be doing that doing that and if success on that level comes with it then thats great. I want my music to be heard by as many people as possible but the most important thing is having the freedom to make that music without compromise and release songs I am passionate about and 100% believe in.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a singer?
Probably something to do with photography. I love to shoot on film whenever I get chance. Photography helps me escape for a while. Visual imagery has always been important to me.
What are you excited for in 2015 and do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
I’m very excited to release the album and tour. I am always working on new songs and a few have come through over the past 6 weeks that I am really excited about. My New Years resolution was to not over think so much (need to work on that), trust my instincts and just take everyday as it comes.
‘Ghosts’ will be available to purchase from 18th January and her debut album ‘Soft Control’ is set for release 9th March.