THE amazing Lauren Housley…
has been chatting with me about her current track, My Sleeping Heart, and its unique story; whether she has learned any lessons since her debut days; what we can expect from her forthcoming E.P. – Housley discusses favourite albums and music that inspires her.
In addition to recommending an upcoming artist; the songwriter reveals why she took a slight break from music; if she gets time to unwind away from music; where we can catch her perform this month – Housley shares a precious memory from her time in music.
Hi, Lauren. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! I'm good, thanks - hope you are too. It's been a great week, thanks. Just got back from touring. It's been a lot of fun!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Lauren Housley…I've been a massive music lover my entire life and started writing songs before I even knew that's what they were. I'm inspired by timeless songs. I'm a northern girl who loves so many different styles of music: Soul, Blues; Americana and Country music seems to have influenced my music quite a bit. I write and perform a lot with my long-time collaborator, Thomas Dibb.
Can you tell me how My Sleeping Heart came to be? What inspired the song?
I was in Nashville in September and got chatting with a guy at the bar who was remembering a lost love. He was finally coming to terms with someone he had let go because he was afraid of commitment. The experienced had impacted his life and he had never forgotten that person. When I got back to the room that night, I picked up the guitar and wrote My Sleeping Heart.
It is a confident and impassioned song. Do you feel yourself growing stronger with every release?
Thank you, and, absolutely! I'm becoming more and more comfortable with my own way of writing and growth as an artist. With every song and release, I'm learning to trust myself more and gaining confidence to follow my instincts.
Have you learned anything about yourself since your debut, do you think?
Yes. Many things. I've learnt that we never stop learning!
Also, to accept and be ok with that. If you don't know something now, it doesn't mean you never will. I picked up the guitar as a tool for my songwriting only a few years ago - after most of the songs from my first album were written and have since started playing on the live shows. There was a time when I thought I'd never get to that point.
I believe there is an E.P. out later in the year. Are there connecting themes and stories that go into the music?
Yeah. There are lyrics that describe situations that directly happened to me. I'm a dreamer and always will be...I think I'm searching for peace, truth; beauty and understanding in a lot of things in life so these themes seem to pop up a lot.
You took a brief break from music. What was the reason behind that?
I wanted to focus on writing and spend more time in the studio: it's important to reassess what you'd like to explore through the music.
Who would you rank as your main songwriting idols and heroes?
Carole King and Gerry Goffin; Bob Dylan, Paul Simon; Ryan Adams, Prince; Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell; Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks; John Martyn, Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley.
Will there be any live dates coming up? Where can we catch you perform?
I'll be playing a set at The Ned in London on 30th July. It's FREE entry. Would be great to see you there.
Do you have any ambitions to fulfil before the end of the year?
I'd like to have a new album recorded. I have a lot of songs ready to take into the studio now. I've got quite a few collaborations I'm pursuing too.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I was asked to perform at an event in my hometown of Rotherham where primary school children come together to perform. I played a track of mine called, All You Need is a Friend, and all the kids joined in with the outro. It was very sweet and humbling to hear them all singing the lyrics together as one.
Which three albums mean the most to you, would you say?
Joni Mitchell - Blue
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Have fun, explore; try new things, go outside of your comfort zone. Create and share your work and try not to put too much pressure on yourself.
IN THIS PHOTO: Robbie Cavanagh
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Robbie Cavanagh is a very talented guy. He's played a few support slots for me recently and he's a brilliant songwriter, singer and performer. Definitely go and see him live if you get the chance.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I try to as much as possible. I like going for long walks and listening to interesting podcasts. I have just got back into drawing and painting, too, which I can get lost in for hours. I find intense exercise quite relaxing too...strangely.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Am I Safe by Ryan Adams, please. I've got it stuck in my head right now and I love that song!
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