Interview with Lauren Aquilina

I met up with British singer Lauren Aquilina prior to her supporting Jamie Lawson in Vicar Street on January 24th, which was an amazing set that stole the show for me on the night! We talked about the tour, Taylor Swift and hummus!

Read the interview below.

So you are just about to finish off the tour with Jamie Lawson, how has it gone?

Yeah it has been really great actually. Him and all of his crew have all been very nice so it has made everything very pleasant. I have been playing much bigger venues in the UK than I am use to so it’s been really cool!

Previously you have had recognition from some big names like Taylor Swift, what was it like knowing that people like that have listened to your music?

The Taylor Swift thing especially was just really weird because the tweet from her was completely unprompted and I have never tried to get her to listen to my stuff or anything. It was just like a realisation like oh if you put something on iTunes literally anyone can find it and hear it, even Taylor Swift! It was just really cool! I think she is a new music lover and she is always seeking stuff out so I was very honoured that she liked what I did.

And of course you got to support her in Hyde Park then too which was cool!

Yeah that was amazing!

You have released three EPs to date which all got great reactions. How important was it to you that you got those EPs out there prior to tackling an album?

I mean I did it in what was quite an unusual way at the time, like a lot of people were releasing EPs, especially within the singer songwriter community but I knew that I wanted to do something different and set myself apart which is why I did the sort of connected trilogy as such! But it has made doing my actual album now interesting actually because I have had to treat it like a second album because I have already released 12 songs that were all basically part of one thing. It has made me challenge myself and push myself which has been a good thing, but there have definitely been some real lows as well!

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You have just released a new live video for Echoes and the song has more of a chilled indie vibe to it which is quite different form some of your older material, is that the sound we can expect to hear from the rest of the album?

My album is actually a straight up pop album and Echoes isn’t really a single it was more just like here is a song that kind of gives you an idea of where I am going with this, but this is no where near the full scale of where I have gone to! It is to sort of ease people in cause it is so different to my EPs. At the heart of it my song writing and my lyrics I think you can tell, or I hope that you can tell, have come from me but yeah it is a lot more mature and different I think.

The internet has played a crucial role in your career so far, do you think that it would be harder to get noticed online these days with the pure volume of videos uploaded of musicians singing in their bedrooms?

I was classed as a YouTube girl but I wasn’t really, like I was right on the end of the YouTube lot but really when I first met the label that I am now signed to it all came down to more like twitter and that side of things rather than YouTube. I think at that point all the record labels had become so weary of YouTube and people who did covers because you know they had signed people through that and some had gone on to work and some hadn’t and they realised that it wasn’t a sure fire thing that if you had a few thousand subscribers that you weren’t definitely going to be successful. The internet itself has been so crucial and I think that it still is for every artist now but it is definitely a much more saturated market so I don’t know if now I would have had the exact same luck as I have had!

You have played Ireland a few times before, do you like coming here? Do you find it different than the UK?

I love it! I was in Belfast yesterday and that was my first time in Belfast and Northern Ireland in general and like it is so different to Dublin. I don’t now what I was expecting but Dublin has very special memories for me because my best friend Orla lives here and I came over a couple of times to see her and her family and done like Ruby Sessions when I came over and that was really intimate. It was so good! It was a real honour to play it because so many of my favourite people have played it so it was really cool. But yeah I love it! Like Dublin especially feels like there is a really strong music community here and music lovers and everyone is just really friendly!

Can we expect you to come back and play your own headline show here sometime soon?

Yeah I would love to come back because it has been so long since I last played a headline show here!

Your lyrics can be quite personal and emotional, what inspires you to write them?

Basically it is just like very self centric when I write like I am actually in quite a happy place at the moment so I am actually finding it very difficult to write because I can’t fake things! I can’t force things! I have to be like naturally sad or angry or emotional about something to be able to write which is sort of a catch 22! It is annoying like because now I am getting really frustrated that I haven’t written a song in about a month and that is making me upset so it is like a never ending cycle! I have a song Low which is basically about that, me not being able to write any good songs like and then that ended up being a single! So ironic!

Music is a path that constantly throws surprises at you. What has been the biggest surprise for you so far?

It is difficult because like I have wanted to do this my whole life. Like when I was 4 and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t just say that I wanted to be a singer, I said I wanted to have a record deal! Like I had my sights set on a very specific part of music and being a pop singer and writer. I think the biggest surprise is just like that it is just not what I expected. It is like every time you think oh yeah once I have done that I will be happy or feel that I have achieved my goal. You are always just looking for the next thing! It is not like a bad thing! I think that that is the biggest surprise that I have just never felt truly fulfilled, which is a good thing! But I just always thought that I would when I was a child and teenager I thought right as soon as I play my first gig that will be it, and then as soon as I get a record deal that will be it, and then it was like as soon as I sell out a tour that will be it but it never is! You are always looking for that next thing.

I have a feature on my blog called The OB Sessions, so I was wondering what your obsession is at the minute, musically and non musically?

Musically I would say it is a band called Muna. They are a girl band from LA and they write like pop songs but like bad ass girl kind of pop songs and I am just completely obsessed with them at the moment! Non musical obsession is the hummus that I just had! It was so good! I got through that so quickly, it was like chili basil and lime hummus. I am actually just loving hummus in general but that hummus was the best of the tour! Yeah we finished on a high with the hummus!

Ciaran O'Brien

Founder of The OB, Ciaran is also a cameraman and video editor that has an obsession with all things music. He created The OB Sessions in 2014 and set up The OB Blog in 2015.

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