INTERVIEW: Lauran Hibberd


PHOTO CREDIT: Nathan Russell

 Lauran Hibberd


LIFE for a talented young musician on the Isle of Wight…

PHOTO CREDIT: Nathan Russell

has its benefits, that’s for sure. Not only are there epic festivals on the doorsteps: Lauran Hibberd has some great musicians and producers living close by. I speak to the artist about her current E.P., Favourite Shade of Blue, and whether a snippet of a new track, Parties and Babies, will find its way into the studio. Hibberd talks about artists like Laura Marling and Feist: those who have been instrumental and influential in her formative years (right up until the present-day).

I ask about tour dates and what gigs she has coming up; a few new artists who are in her mind and, whether her bedroom – where she writes all her songs – is the perfect place to create music that has personal intimacy, deep passion and incredible moments of candour.


Hi, Lauran. How are you? How has your week been?

Hello! I’m good, thank you.

I’ve finished a new tune; played live for BBC introducing and bought orange dungarees - so this week has been kind to me.

For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?

Of course.

My name is Lauran Hibberd (Lauran with an ‘A’ - not an ‘E’).  I’ve recently turned twenty and I’m a Pop/Folk-inspired singer/songwriter living on the Isle of Wight.

Favourite Shade of Blue is your latest E.P. Can you tell me about the inspiration behind the title and have you been surprised by the reaction it has got so far?

As this was my debut E.P.; I felt a real pressure to get the title right. It had to sum up a year of my work and represent me and my debut as an artist.

So, I went around the houses and came up with titles as long as your arm… but I could never settle on one. The leading single was always going to be Favourite Shade of Blue, and then, I started reading into the title and how it could translate into so many different things.

The song itself is all about how ‘blue’ can be portrayed as a colour as well as an emotion - and how there are so many shades and layers to both of those things. So, when I thought of it like that, it completely summed up the whole ethos of the E.P.

PHOTO CREDIT: Albatross & Mariner Photography

The reaction has been great! The E.P. has been a long time coming as it took me so long to get it right (I’m a bit of a perfectionist and everything in the industry takes time) - but, I’m extremely proud of it. It was also great to have a premiere by - and support from BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio. I had no expectations when releasing it - so, any press/radio/feedback was a lovely surprise.

I had an incredible reaction on a recent Facebook live-stream, also. It’s a funny thing: because I spent so long working on this E.P. - and the minute it was complete - I was on to the next thing. I’m back in the studio already; working on something new coming in September.

What kind of moments and times inspired the E.P.? It sounds like some of the songs are quite emotional and hard-going? Was it quite tough writing the tracks on the E.P.?

I’m fairly young so I’m used to feeding off other people’s experiences when it comes to writing - but these tracks strictly relate to me and my home. I’m a very free writer and often don’t realise how I’m feeling until I write a set of lyrics - but I never find it tough; always enlightening.

PHOTO CREDIT: Nathan Russell

The concept behind the E.P. was to demonstrate the happiness that comes with sadness, to signify the purity that comes with youth - but emphasise how it slowly disappears into the unavoidable… love, loss and all that falls in-between.

I see, from social media, there is a song, Parties and Babies, taking shape. Can you tell us anything about its inspiration?


I am so excited about this track: it’s really fun, really honest and actually quite heart-warming - despite the melodramatic title.

My sound is definitely developing. I’m now listening to a wider range of artists and really experimenting songwriting-wise. This song is a really great insight of things to come.

PHOTO CREDIT: Albatross & Mariner Photography

You just played a BBC Introducing Solent Live Longue. What was that experience like? Are the musicians who played with you there the same we hear on the Favourite Shade of Blue E.P.?

Yes, it was great fun!

It was a Bestival special and I’m lucky enough to have a Main Stage slot there this year - so it was really getting us into the spirit of things. I’m so grateful for all of BBC Introducing’s support so far. I did an acoustic session for them last year; so it was great to go back full-band.

I love playing with the band (Oli Old on Guitar, Jess Eastwood on Bass and Joe Perry on Drums). They have been with me from near-enough the start. We’re all great friends as well; which makes gigging together good fun.

The musicians that played on the E.P. were different in this case, though. A huge thank you to Chris Newnham (Guitar), Rupert Brown (Drums) and producers Boe Weaver - here on the Isle of Wight.

Your official website is informative and you have many great images. You update social media and have a very professional approach to music. Do you think that is important – and should more musicians put this sort of effort and attention in?

I think it’s super-important, especially at a time where people don’t go anywhere without an iPhone. It’s the best way to reach people… and I love it.

I like to update social media regularly - just to keep people posted, and make them feel like a part of what I’m doing. I always think, a Facebook page for a musician is like a C.V. - but a prettier one that happens to have emojis on.

Can you tell me how you got that passion for music? Were you compelled by music as a child? What kind of artists were you listening to?

I started having guitar lessons at fourteen and singing and songwriting became a huge afterthought to that - and something I didn’t really know I could do until I partnered them. I was hooked as soon I’d finished my first song.

Up until that point, my listening was whatever was on the radio… it wasn’t until I started obsessing over music that I delved into artists like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and, more recently, Laura Marling and Feist.

 I believe your songs come together in your bedroom. Have you always written there and do you think that quiet and privacy leads to great songs?

Every song I have ever written has been written in that bedroom.

I think it’s just where I am most at home - and comfortable enough to write freely. I keep all of my guitars on a stand by my bed; so it may also come down to laziness! I’ve just never felt the need to take it, or try it, anywhere else.

I’m definitely a 'lone-wolf' kind of writer so the quiet and privacy definitely lends itself to that. But everyone is different: that’s just the way I have grown to go about things.

The Isle of Wight is your home. What is the place like for music? Is there a varied and busy music scene there?

The Isle of Wight is a great place to grow up and definitely a great place to write songs.

There is a music scene and it is definitely varied and definitely growing and we’re also lucky enough to have numerous festivals on our door-step. I recently supported Clean Cut Kid at a brand-new venue, Strings, so things are definitely on the up; and a lot young musicians are pioneering that.

PHOTO CREDIT: Albatross & Mariner Photography

Stations like BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio X have played your music. Has it sunk in at all – how popular and widespread your music is becoming?

It’s incredible - and always unexpected.

It’s really reassuring more than anything and is always surreal but it’s the dream job! I released my first song in December 2015 so I’m really proud of how far everything has come - and what I have built up along the way.

So...I’m just really hoping it all continues on an upward path.

I hear shades of Laura Marling in your songwriting and performances. Is she someone you admire?

Definitely. I’m a huge fan.

She really got me into the world of ‘Folk’. I’ve had her album, Alas, I Cannot Swim stuck in the C.D. player in my car for about a year now - so that’s had many a-listen!

I also went to Citadel in London to watch her recently and she did not disappoint.

PHOTO CREDIT: Albatross & Mariner Photography

Can we see you on tour anytime soon? Where might we be able to catch you?

I’m hoping to tour early next year, actually; I have a few things in the pipeline so I’m hoping it all comes together.

In terms of this year, though, you can catch me at Victorious, Bestival and Ventnor Fringe. I will also be in Nambucca (London) next month and will be playing at a few universities - including Winchester in September.

So...lots of things are on the way!

IN THIS PHOTO: Billie Marten/PHOTO CREDIT: Liz Seabrook

Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?

I’m a big fan of Maggie Rogers. Her debut E.P. is incredible and definitely brings some new elements to Folk.

I’m also a fan of Billie Marten, Lucy Rose etc..

I’ve been listening to a lot of Feist and Courtney Barnett, too.

Lastly, there is an incredible guy on the Isle of Wight called Swan Levitt. It’s super-moving and I’m playing a show with him soon!


PHOTO CREDIT: Nathan Russell

If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?

(These are the albums that kind of turned my head - and made me want to listen to the artists that inspired these artists - and the artists that inspired those artists etc. On a different day, we’d probably be looking at a different three albums. These may not be my favourite now - but they are definitely where I started…)

PHOTO CREDIT: Albatross & Mariner Photography

Laura MarlingAlas, I Cannot Swim

This was the first C.D. I bought that wasn’t a ‘Now!..’ or ‘Pop Party’! I stumbled across the track, Ghosts, and became obsessed (and I still am). It’s stuck my car C.D. player; so I know it better than some of my own songs!

FeistThe Reminder

I absolutely love this album. I became really aware of the power of production etc. with this record: it was a real eye-opener. I’m definitely more into her recent albums, now, but, as a turning-point and as a songwriter.

I took a lot from this album

Bon IverFor Emma, Forever Ago

This was my ‘music college’ album. Everyone was obsessed with Bon Iver; so I went home and listened to For Emma, Forever Ago and, thirty seconds into the first track, completely understood why. It’s beyond engaging and, as a sixteen-year old listener, was a bit mind-blowing.

This album definitely pioneers my mid-to-late-teens.

PHOTO CREDIT: Nathan Russell

What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?

This is a tough one.

It’s hard to give advice to an artist because everyone has their own way of doing things - and their own vision. I would just say: make good music, write good songs; play good gigs, meet good people and let everything else run its course.

Just work hard - and be nice to people.

PHOTO CREDIT: Nathan Russell

Finally, and for being a good sport: you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).

Great. Thanks for chatting!

I’m off to see Feist on Thursday so let’s give her new tune, Pleasure, a spin.


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