Laura Welsh is definitely one to watch. Following her successful stint on Gorgon City’s summer dance track, ‘Here for You’ and putting the finishing touches to her debut album, Laura’s certainly on the path to success. In light of the release of her latest single, ‘Break the Fall’, we caught up with the songstress to talk song writing and collaborations.
Although only releasing a couple of tracks as singles, Laura is certainly no stranger to putting her own music out there. “It’s been good to put music online and get things out organically. I’ve been putting music online for the last year, so I just wanna keep putting music out there.” The use of popular music sharing site SoundCloud to release her own songs has certainly been successful – Laura’s profile now boasts an impressive 11,000 followers with some of her most popular tracks gaining well over 100,000 plays. “I’m really happy with the response,” Laura admitted to me, “Some people on online blogs and stuff have been amazing to me. I think it’s really good when you get that response. I just wanted to let the music go out and speak for itself, so having a good reaction to it has been amazing.” Tumblr also helped Laura spread her musical wings and upped her popularity, so much so that she already has a dedicated fan base, something she’s not quite used to yet. “When you play a gig and you see people singing back your lyrics to you it’s really strange, but also very cool!” she laughed.
It certainly hasn’t been an easy journey to musical success for Laura. “I’ve always loved to sing, I loved music from an early age,” a factor that determined the course of her education. “I studied music in Birmingham for a couple of years, then moved to London for my final year.” It was this transition that allowed Laura to find her footing in the music scene. “That’s when I started meeting musicians. I was in a band for a period of time. We did a lot of gigs and it gave me that experience to start really writing songs but, to be honest, that all fell apart. We all went our separate ways and I was at a cross-roads thinking about where I was going to go next. I took a year back and steped away from everything and in that time I started writing. I found a couple of people to work with and I started doing demos with them.” The unfortunate dissolution of this band turned out to be a lucky break for Laura. “I wrote a couple of key songs for the album then. I didn’t have any expectations for it really, and that freedom that arises when things fall apart, it had to happen for me to have the time to write those songs. ‘Ghosts’ went online and the response was amazing, then I was signed and started making the album. I had a real sense of what I wanted to do musically at that point.”
Laura already has a top ten hit under her belt. Her collaboration with Gorgon City on ‘Here For You’ quickly became one of the songs for the summer, and nabbed Laura performances at Glastonbury, Ibiza Rocks and Reading/Leeds festivals. Laura’s certainly aware of how fortunate she was to get on board with the team. “I went into the studio in December, and it was to write. I’d listened to a couple of things the guys had done, so it was just a case of going in, meeting them and hanging out. When we got in the studio we clicked really well and we wrote and laid that one song down in one day. I left the studio and didn’t think anything else of it, until a few months later when they said it’d be their next single. Musically, it’s a different world for me to step into.” Having had such success experimenting with genre, it’s no wonder that stripped-down and raw Laura would be up for that again. “For me, it’s whether I like what someone does. I’m always up for collab, getting in a studio and seeing if you click, but I think its important to do what you love. If it was a song where I fell in love, regardless of genre, and I clicked while writing, then I’d do it.”
During the process of writing and recording her album, Laura’s had the chance to work with some big names in the music industry. “I’ve co-written a lot on the album,” she confessed, “It’s been an amazing experience working with people I love anyway.” Robin Hannibal, Dev Hynes and Jonathan Lipsey are all credited on the album. “They’re all people I massively respect, so to just go into a studio with them and get into the production side of the record has been great for me,” Laura gushed, “With Robin I went over to LA and hung out. You become friends, so it feels natural to sit down and start making music together.” Even when writing with someone else, Laura’s songwriting maintains its highly personal and honest appeal. “It comes from personal experiences,” she explained, “I can only write about what I’m going through. I’ve always been a certain way and it’s in my nature to find it easier to write about how I’m truly feeling as opposed to having conversations about it. When I’m writing it just comes out and there’s no filter there for all those built-up emotions.”
Fans need to get excited – the album is finished, and Laura hopes it’ll be out early next year. In the meantime, another single looks to be on the cards. “I’m starting to get ideas for the next single, so I’m hoping to release another track later this year.”