Introducing Lauren Aquilina. How many people can say that they’ve released two EPs, amassed 2.5m YouTube views and played Reading & Leeds Festival at just eighteen years of age?
Not many, I can assure you. Well, how about adding the fact that she’s done it without the backing of a record label? That basically narrows it down to one singer-songwriter from Bristol; Lauren Aquilina. Adam introduced us to the singer-songwriter back in August and we just couldn’t resist asking the girl behind the voice how the ride has been so far…
How are you today Lauren? We saw that you launched your latest EP in a very literal sense… into the skies of London on balloons! Have alien life-forms contacted you with any feedback yet?
Good thanks! Haha, not that I know of! Although maybe they’re trying to talk to me and I just can’t hear them 🙁
You’ve done phenomenally well for yourself without the backing of a record label. What advice would you give to people starting out in a similar position who hope to achieve the same success?
Thank you! You have to be your own record label. Unfortunately, people rarely get signed on just ‘talent’ these days… you almost have prove yourself! Utilise the internet has much as you can because it’s such a great tool, and take every opportunity, no matter how small. You never know who could be watching.
Have any record labels made any indication that they want to sign you to their label? You’ve come such a long way without one, would it be something you would still consider?
Yeah I’ve had a bit of label interest since the release of my first EP, but decided to hold off seeing as I was still at school. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so much more rewarding doing it on your own I think. I’m not ruling out anything though! When I get to the stage where I want to make an album, I’ll probably seriously reconsider my options. I don’t know if I could handle THAT on my own.
What was the turning point when you really felt people were really starting to take notice of you? Was it a specific cover you posted on YouTube? Or was it the release of your own material?
It was definitely the release of my own material, in particular my first EP ‘Fools’. All of a sudden people began to take me seriously, like I wasn’t just a girl who did covers. That was a great feeling.
As you’re currently recording new material, will it be for your third EP or will you be venturing into a debut album?
I’m writing for both a third EP and an album at the moment. There’ll definitely be one last EP in the new year, three EPs was always the plan 🙂
This current tour in February will be your biggest yet and most venues are already creeping up to sold out status. What does it feel like knowing that you have such a loyal fan base to sell out any place in the UK (or New York and Malta) within a few days?
It’s mental! Primarily online artists like myself don’t always translate too well when it comes to live/ticket sales as the following can be so spread out, so I feel really lucky. Nothing compares to people valuing your music enough to travel (sometimes a very long way) just to hear the songs live.
Which artist(s) would you most like to record a song with and why?
I’d love to work with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, just because everything he does is so unique and special. It’s also a fantasy of mine to record a sassy bitch battle duet with Beyoncé too, but I really shouldn’t mention that.
You were only fourteen years old when you wrote ‘Lilo’, how do you think your lyrical and musical styles have changed since then?
I (hope) that I’ve grown and matured, especially musically. Sonically I’m much more aware of what I want to be. My lyrics have always been overly mature for my age I think – I get told that a lot.. I can feel myself growing all the time though.
Lastly, is there anything strange or quirky that yours fans do for you? Supermarkets across the UK are reporting a 200% increase in the sales of bourbon biscuits lately…
Haha tell me about it! Apart from the excessive amounts of bourbons, I guess not.. In fact most of them enjoy just taking the p*** out of me on Twitter! (In a twisted loving way) They’re such a lovely, hilarious bunch of people though – I’m so so lucky to have them.
Thanks Lauren, we hope to catch up with you on your UK tour in February! You can check out Lauren’s YouTube channel here and make sure you pick up her latest EP on iTunes.
Words by Mark Wood & Adam Paver.