Genre: Americana, UK Country
Discography: Laura Oakes EP (2015)
Record Label: Independent
Laura Oakes is a very fast rising star of UK Country with a recent sell out EP launch in the heart of London and a great performance at the Town Square at the huge Country Music Festival at C2C at the O2. Laura is a very good singer-songwriter originally from Liverpool but now based in Leeds. She took part of the second season of the BBC1 's The Voice on Team Danny (The season won by Andrea Begley). We have been very impressed with Laura and she is on our 'ones to watch list for 2015'. She is currently working on her debut album which should be released next year.
Coming from a big Liverpuddlian family where everyone can sing or play an instrument, it was only a matter of time before Laura caught the music bug. Her mum was a local celebrity playing in clubs and pubs throughout the 70’s and 80’s, but fell ill 15 years ago - so it’s Lauras turn to step into the spotlight. She has her own style, merging country and pop.
"I was always going to get into the music industry – it was my only path; well, that is apart from being an archaeologist! Coming from a musically talented family that started generations ago, I have always been surrounded by a wealth of musical talent. My mum taught me to play the guitar at a really young age, and my uncle showed me how to perform on stage.
Studying music at high school gave me opportunities to perform in front of an audience, which was always quite difficult for me as I was always painfully shy, with little confidence. Then while studying for my A Levels, I was exposed to more opportunities due to connections that my college had with local talent shows, festivals etc. But when I started my degree in Popular Music at Leeds College of Music, many more opportunities came my way. I suppose it has been a gradual journey that has got me to where I am today. Meeting like-minded people is the best way to get ahead in the industry; this is something I never really had before university, apart from my family, I had never known anyone who loved music as much as I did.
The biggest frustration is there is no set path, no rules, no formula; like if I do A, B or C, I will end up at a set point in my career. The music industry tends to be more about luck: being in the right place at the right time, being spotted by the right person – and always asking yourself if what you’re doing now, is relevant?
Take country music, for instance: there has been always support for it but it hasn’t ever been in the mainstream, especially not in the UK. I have overcome this hurdle by finding small groups of people who share my passion, working with them to produce country music, and we are now seeing the scene grow. We hope you’ll all be donning those cowboy boots and be line dancing by next Christmas.
For me people appreciating my work is the most rewarding thing. This can be as simple as people clapping at the end of a song I have written, or people asking for me to sign their personal copy of my CD. Having the songs that I write recognised and appreciated is amazing because its quite insular when I’m writing – it’s my thoughts on a subject, so when someone comes up to me and says they agree with me it’s an odd but amazing feeling. Little things such as messages of support on Facebook or Twitter can really make my day."