Grammy nominated Canadian born, London based artist, producer and songwriter Laura Roy has created a unique soulful sound blending her early folk influences and her love for alt-r&b. Roy's new EP, 'Odyssey' was produced and written in collaboration with UK artist Geo Jordan. Together they have created a project that is raw, honest and powerful; featuring soulful vocals and impactful lyricism. With her voice being described as 'gentle lava', her latest release really is an emotive listening experience.
Tell us a bit about your story: who are you and what has your journey looked like so far? Truthfully, I am a small town, country girl who grew up in rural Canada. My journey has been a long winding one of self-discovery, growth, joy, pain, loss, trial & error. It’s taken me a long time to build to where I am at now and I would say I lived many different lives. I don’t come from a musical family and all of my family remain in Nova Scotia, where I was born and raised so there was no real road map for me when I left home at 18 to pursue a career in music. In 2017 I played a small showcase in London and fell in love with the scene here. I went back to Canada, drove from Toronto (where I was living at the time) back to my hometown with the goal to work at a shitty bar, stack cash, apply for a working visa and book a one-way flight to London. This is what I did and now five and a half years later, I’m still here. It’s the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place. London is definitely my home away from home. It’s a grind for sure to live, survive and thrive here but it’s helped shape me into a stronger person and artist. Who inspires you musically and creatively? I’m inspired by my friends in all honesty and just people in general. A lot of my friends are amazing artists and musicians so there is a real sense of community. Their creativity and growth inspires me a lot. We share deep conversations, ideas, experiences, music and it’s something I really cherish and feed off of for my own creative process.
Musically, I am confidently going back to a lot of my early childhood influences which I used to really run away from. I used to feel self conscious about not having certain influences or pop culture references but I feel a lot more proud of where I come from now and want to really embrace that influence in my music. I had a lot of Celtic, folk, singer songwriter, country, Christian music influence early on, but at the same time I taught myself how to sing and most of my own personal loves and influences were r&b/soul music. In my last EP “Tides” and my new EP “Odyssey”, I think you really start to hear a blend of those two worlds. I just say that it’s alt-folk-r&b when people ask.
What is the creative process behind your music?
I worked extensively with Geo Jordan as a co-writer and co-producer on this project and many of my
past releases. They are the most incredible musician, writer and producer. We’ve built a really strong sonic foundation and trust together which I think is really special and keeps the music cohesive. When I write, it’s often sparked by chords and melody, then an idea wiggles itself out of my brain and I begin to piece lyrics and melodies together like a puzzle until it feels complete. As for production, I am an executive producer with Geo on this EP so it was a very collaborate approach to bringing the songs to life. Each song really had it’s own unique way of getting to where you hear it now on the record. “Breathe” was one that I wrote and produced myself first, then brought to Geo for some additional fine tuning and magic touches. Whereas “Odyssey” was Geo playing the chords on guitar, I then wrote the lyrics and melodies and then we produced it together from the ground up. What’s the best advice you’ve received during your journey?
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Stay focused on your own unique journey and what really matters to at the end of the day.
How do you nurture your creativity? I nurture my creativity by creating space and time for it. Whether that means, rest, watching a film, going for a walk in nature, journaling, listening to a podcast, calling a friend. It’s a combination of actively making choices that will likely spark inspiration and then also creating space for ideas to come through. It’s also really important for me to not force or judge that process and be in-tune with myself and how I am feeling in any particular moment.
What do you hope your music will reveal to your listeners? I only ever strive for connection through my music and that can present itself it many different ways. Sometimes a person will really relate to a lyric, sometimes they are moved by a melody. There’s no right or wrong way to connect to it. Are there any upcoming shows or projects we can look forward to?
My EP release show will be at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney on March 28th. This is going to be a full band show so I am really excited to bring the music to life on stage. People can look forward to more new music hopefully later this year. I’ve been writing a lot since finishing this EP.
Is there any advice you want to give to new artists? My only advice would be to focus on what you have and not on what you don’t have. Respect the creative process and just to take things one step at a time. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Stream the full EP below:
Photographer credit - @fridatouray