*EXCITING THINGS WARNING KLAXON*
Today I have something VERY EXCITING (shush, calm down, me) and a bit different…it’s an interview with one of my favourite singers, the wonderful Lauren Aquilina. (I apologise in advance for my cringy fangirling behavious that will undoubtedly occur during the course of this post!).
Those of you who have followed my blog from its early stages may know of my love for her music (she was the focus of one of my very first Tracklisting Tuesdays posts, and I also featured her as part of TT here) Lauren is 19 and from Bristol, and recently signed to Island Records in the UK (home of such incredible artists as Jack Johnson, Drake, Leona Lewis, Ariana Grande, Annie Lennox, Hozier and even U2) and Republic Records in the USA (think James Bay, Angel Haze, Lorde and Sigma). According to her Island Records artist page, Lauren’s been songwriting since the age of five and playing piano since the age of seven, and says “It’s such a cliché but music literally is everything to me”. She’s sold over 100,000 EPs in total, and is also a big fan of the Bourbon biscuit and “in a deep emotional relationship with biscuits”, which gives her an automatic thumbs-up from me. Oh, also Perez Hilton and Taylor Swift are both fans. Yep, she’s that good!
I got in touch with Lauren by Twitter and email, and she kindly agreed to answer a few questions…so, here are the answers from my very first interview, with Lauren Aquilina!
Each image links to the EP’s Amazon page
1. How would you describe your music in three words?
Lauren Aquilina: Dreamy, cinematic, honest.
2. Who are your favourite bands/artists, and how do you think they’ve influenced your music?
LA: I absolutely love M83, Coldplay, Bon Iver, Porter Robinson, Chain Gang of 1974, Imogen Heap.. A lot of electronic stuff actually. You can’t hear it really on the EPs because I hadn’t really discovered my own musicality yet, but you can definitely hear it on the album I’m working on. The songwriting at the core is the same but the production is very different.
3. Can you remember the first time you sang in front of an audience/played an instrument?
LA: Not the first time, but I had a solo in my school’s musical production of ‘Macbeth’ (lol) when I was 11, and I remember loads of other parents coming up to my mum afterwards like ‘who’s her singing teacher?!’ and I didn’t have one. I think that’s when I realised I could sing.
4. How did you get into music?
LA: I‘ve always been fascinated and obsessed by it, it’s only grown. My mum puts it down to her playing classical music to me every day whilst I was in the womb. No one in my family is musical though.
5. Do you have any plans for either the immediate or the distant future – and if so, can you tell us anything about what they are?
LA: I’m making my album right now, that’s the main thing.
6. What’s the funnest performance you’ve ever done?
LA: My headline show at The Borderline in London in 2013. It’s not the biggest show I’ve ever done, but I’ve never felt such immense love from a room of people. That’s the show that got me signed to my record label too, actually.
7. Who would you most like to collaborate musically with?
LA: Porter Robinson!
8. How do you feel about artist royalties from streaming – do you agree with Taylor Swift, or are you more relaxed about it?
LA: I’m much more relaxed about it. Streaming is inevitably the future of consuming music. It’s how I consume music! We, as artists, should evolve with it.
9.What do you think of Jay-Z’s new Tidal streaming service?
LA: I don’t know enough about it to comment! The launch was very clever though, getting pretty much the 20 biggest artists in the world on board straight away. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m an avid spotify user so not too curious right now.
10. Is there anything about your musical journey so far that you would like to change or have done differently?
LA: So much. There’s a very dark/personal side to my musical journey which I’ve never talked about and was a horrific experience. But then again, I might not be in this amazing position if I did change anything.
11. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
LA: SO TRICKY. Maybe Dakota by The Stereophonics, that song makes me feel amazing.
12. Can you think of any one song, album or artist that radically affected your musical taste or career?
LA: It’s actually my own song, which I can’t reveal the name of right now. But when I wrote it I’d never heard anything like it before, and I had this moment where I was just like ‘yes, this is what I want to be. this is the music I love’. Through that I discovered my now favourite bands and artists.
13. Aside from being a musician, what would your ultimate dream job be? (Reality no object!)
LA: I was going to do a Geography degree, I wanted to go into the prediction of natural disasters and helping come up with better/quicker evacuation schemes etc. Niche I know!
14. What has the highlight of your musical career been so far?
LA: Headlining a stage at Reading & Leeds festival was amazing. The whole thing has been incredible though.
15. And finally: in honour of my blog’s name, what is your favourite book, your favourite type of hot drink and do you own a onesie?
LA: I hardly read now (bad I know) but when I was growing up the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison was my absolute favourite. Pretty lame but they brought me so much joy. Favourite hot drink is a good vanilla latte (with almond milk!), and yes I own a giraffe onesie 🙂
Lauren’s social media pages are also amazing: her band interests on Facebook include elastic bands, though “hair bands are cool too”, and she tweets such gems as “why are flights so expensive i mean its just like a bus with wings”. Good point, by the way. Basically just go and listen to her music, stalk her on social media and become an obsessive fan (like me!). If you’re looking for a starting point, I especially love ‘Irrelevant‘, ‘Talk To Me‘, ‘King‘, ‘Beloved’ (which seems to have disappeared from YouTube :/), ‘Drag Me Down‘, ‘Expectations‘ and her collaboration with Doddleoddle and Orla Gartland on a cover of Ingrid Michaelson‘s ‘The Chain‘ (thanks to Appletaile for recommending that one, by the way!). Tell me what you think of her music down in the comments! Oh, and on top of the amazing voice, she’s a brilliant role model – this YouTube video about what beauty means is hugely inspiring.
I hope you enjoyed my FIRST EVER INTERVIEW (woop woop) – I certainly did! Oh,and of course many thanks again to Lauren for answering my questions!