In our final Blissfields 2014 preview we are featuring the hottest emerging talent from the South Coast, Laurel. The 19 year old Folk/Alternative Pop singer has been a regular feature on Strong Island for a while now. She first came to our attention while I was judging the Road To Blissfields 2012 competition. The opening slot at any gig can always be tricky, but Laurel quickly captured the crowds attention, with her heart felt lyrics and acoustic guitar.
The winners on the night were ska band, Bigtopp. Laurel impressed that much that she managed to bag a slot in the Acoustic Tent anyway. She tells me that she has fond memories of her first Blissfields experience as it’s where she met her boyfriend. She’s gone from performing in the Acoustic Tent to the much larger Hustle Den along with the likes of the Dub Pistols and Johnny Flynn, who she credits as one of her biggest influences in music.
Laurel is now plying her trade in London and is signed to Turnfirst Artists, her label mates include Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea and Dan Croll. Last November saw Laurel’s first major live show since signing a record deal. It just happened to be in one of London’s leading gig venues, the Shepherds Bush Empire, opening for MS MR. No pressure then!
I was lucky enough to be there to see the twenty five minute set which included her newest tracks Mankind, The Desert and Blue Blood. The songs sounded great in such a large venue, I had a great time and judging by the post show Tweets and reviews so did everyone else.
Laurel spend most of 2013 working hard writing many of the songs that you can hear over on her SoundCloud page. When writing Laurel prefers to write them alone, she describes “I’ve tried writing and producing with other people but figured out that I work best alone on my own material. Its good for me because I can hide away and figure out the song alone which means its 100percent how I am feeling and nobody else’s interpretation of me. I’ve written with many many other people in london in LA etc and though i have found some amazing people that really have aided my music and i still work with occasionally and I think i will collaborate with people again at some point right now writing on my own is how I feel best suits me and my first album”.
In keeping with the Wild Side theme to Blissfields this year, Laurel was asked ‘if you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?’ Her response: “I’d like to be a peacock. They are like the princesses of all the birds, they leisure round showing off their pretty feathers. I’d also love to live on a huge english estate, and this might be the only chance of this.”
If you are not lucky enough to be heading to Blissfields this weekend then you can still catch Laurel in Portsmouth this September when she plays Southsea Fest.
Taken during the Aesthetic Magazine photo shoot