Laurel Smith’s eclectic musical references culminate in her moody new single, “EVERYBODY BLEEDS.” From Yung Lean to Lady Gaga, SOPHIE to Travis Scott, the 20-year-old newcomer has tunnel vision when it comes to the music she makes and those she turns to for inspiration. Using her craft as a way to reclaim her power, a cathartic revenge track emerges, one set to uplift listeners with its invigorating messaging.
Speaking on the new tune, the artist divulges, “During the time I wrote ‘EVERYBODY BLEEDS’ I was in an angry place, I felt like I’d been used by a lot of people and let them get away with it. I wanted to create something to end that feeling of helplessness. It was a revenge track I guess, the main message being that in the end, we’re all human and we all bleed the same; if you do me wrong expect it to come back around.”
Upon its release, the artist took some to reflect on the creation of her latest hit and discuss all things music with us. Head below to enjoy our chat with Laurel Smith…
Hey Laurel! Where are we speaking to you from?
Hey! I’m in Oxford at the moment playing Sims. Needed to get out of London for a few days to clear my head, it can get quite suffocating in the city sometimes.
What was the first thing you thought about when you woke up this morning?
Honestly, the first thing I thought about this morning was the dream I had the night before. My friends and I were all fairies with different abilities; apparently, mine was being able to grow weed buds out of my hands. Was quite disappointed to wake up from that one.
When did you first discover you wanted to be a music artist? What sparked the interest?
I think music always felt like an option for me from a young age. I grew up in quite a musical household; my mum played classical piano and my dad was a big music head. I used to get to pick a CD every time he took me on a drive (which would end up being either AC/DC, The Police or Michael Jackson). I started music theory lessons along with cello at around 8 (I hated theory a lot and honestly still can’t do it to this day) and I was writing songs on our piano from the age of around 11 or 12. Around the same time, I started going to the studio on Saturdays with my dad’s friend, we’d spend a few weeks perfecting one song; that’s when I realised music was the only thing I wanted to pursue.
Do you remember the first song you ever created?
I remember one of the first songs I made properly in the studio, it was called “untouchable” – a seriously heart-wrenching love song. My parents were kinda blown away and also a bit worried that their 12-year-old could write about things she’d never really experienced before. Honestly, I don’t even know what feelings I was channelling these lyrics from, I just remember being able to tap into this sadness I had somewhere in there.
Who would you say are your biggest inspirations?
This is always a difficult one for me, I draw on a lot of different influences. I grew up on rock music but now listen mainly to hip-hop. Charli XCX inspires me a lot, not just in terms of her music but her strength and resilience. I watched the Nasty Cherry documentary (about an all-girl band Charli put together and helped manage). I saw how she carried herself and the confidence she has. She wasn’t afraid to be honest with people or be stern when she needed to be. As a female artist, it can be difficult to be assertive with people, strong-minded women in general are seen very differently to strong-minded men. We’re seen as “difficult” or “naggy” while men are respected for it. This is something I’m constantly working on and have definitely got better at doing.
Congratulations on the release of your new single “EVERYBODY BLEEDS”! What was the inspiration behind this track?
Thank you! During the time I wrote “EVERYBODY BLEEDS” I was in an angry place, I felt like I’d been used by a lot of people and let them get away with it. I wanted to create something to end that feeling of helplessness. It was a revenge track I guess, the main message being that in the end we’re all human and we all bleed the same; if you do me wrong expect it to come back around.
How did you resonate personally with the track’s themes?
Like I said before, the song really helped me get out of a bad phase of being too submissive with people. It was a turning point for me, genuinely since then I feel like I’ve changed a lot and become a lot more confident. I love that music can do that.
How did you come up with the concept of the music video?
The message of the track was really important to me, so I wanted to make a video that stuck closely to the storyline of the song. I was very happy to be teamed up with a female director for this one (Matilda Harding-Kemp) . I think it only would have worked with a woman directing it because it’s such a common female experience to feel overpowered by the male voices around you and have that anger building up inside. I came up with the core concept myself and sent it over to Matilda. As soon as she got back to me and started mentioning the girls in the video having weapons, I knew it was going to be a sick video.
Who did you first play it to? What was their reaction like?
The first person I showed the song to was my friend Diamanda. I remember her shouting “Oh my god yes!” when the chorus dropped in. We both knew this was gonna be a big turning point in my sound.
You’re also a model, how do you juggle your passions?
It can get difficult for sure, very overwhelming at times, especially on those days I just want to stay in bed. But I tell myself all the time that if I put in the work every day then I will see the results. I have to work hard because I want to know I did everything I could to make this work for me.
And finally, at just 20 years old you have already achieved so much. Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time? What’s the goal?
Sticking to my promise to myself to be assertive & confident: In ten years time I’ll be back in the studio making my next album having just finished a world tour. Gotta aim high right?