Laura Roy is an incredibly Canadian singer and songwriter who was born and raised in the small village of Canning, Nova Scotia. She began singing, writing poems and composing music by the age of 10. Taking music seriously after that, she blossomed into a talented artist with a soulful voice and an ability to construct sweet and catchy soul and R&B tracks. Her debut self titled EP released in 2016 highlighted the extent of her talents, with strong, confident vocal performances and slick, synth-driven sounds that are very well composed and give her the ability to shine.
2 years later, she is back, better than ever, with her new project titled Forte EP. Now based in London and with support from the guys from The Pit London, her new EP is musically richer, with is as a result of the combination of stronger, more emotive vocal performances from Laura, as well as more engaging production from GEO, who has worked with the likes of The Hics, Etta Bond and Kojey Radical. It’s only 4 tracks long, but it feels like such a complete, exciting body of work. All of the tracks are incredible, but for me “Temporary” stands out, the melody is most reminiscent of early 2000s R&B classics, a gorgeous closer to the project.
I asked Laura Roy a few questions in regards to her musical influences growing up, expressing vulnerability in her music as well as her experience living in London.
MB: Hey Laura, I’m a big fan of the new EP, I definitely see growth in your sound over the last few couple of projects! What was the process like working on Forte EP, and how did that differ from different projects in the past?
LR: Thank you! This project differs for sure in the sense that the music is much more r&b influenced and less pop. I also think that these songs have some of the most honest lyrics I have written to date.
I’m always curious to know when the journey started for you and your music. Was there a defining moment that sparked your desire to pursue music?
I definitely became interested in music from a very young age but I actually don’t come from a musical family. It wasn’t until I was around 10 years old that I became really infatuated with singing. I wasn’t very good, ha! But I just loved it so much and sang and sang until I slowly started to teach myself technique and tone and improved… That was done mostly by listening to some of my favorite artists growing up like Celine Dion, Brandy and Dixie Chicks, very random combo I know.
How did growing up in Canning, Nova Scotia in Canada shape your personal and creative identity?
This is a big one, because I have had quite a unique, winding creative journey thus far coming from where I come from. Canning is a tiny village in the Eastern coast of Canada, so I had a rural upbringing. Beautiful place to grow up, but as I grew into myself as a teenager and a young adult, I never really felt like I fit in there. I was obsessing over r&b, soul, reggae, hip-hop, while a lot of my peers were blaring country music. My mother was often playing James Taylor in our house so I think that contributed a lot to my interest in songwriting. There is also a large singer-songwriter/folk music community where I am from, so the first couple years of my music career were spent learning guitar, writing songs and doing acoustic performances. This was all back when I was 14-16 years old.
I know you mention the fact that you tried to open up to show your vulnerabilities on this new EP. I would assume it can be daunting doing that especially with a growing fanbase. Did you ever feel a sense of anxiety for being more upfront about your feelings on this EP, and how did you overcome that?
Definitely! I experience anxiety all the time, in my career and in my personal life. That is a natural feeling, it’s just about how you handle it. For me, I am in a place where I know little tips and tricks that work for me in order to keep those anxieties in check. I also recognize that being open and transparent in my writing is so much more important than allowing that fear and anxiety to hold me back. It’s much more rewarding knowing that if I put it all out there in a song, there are probably so many other people that will connect and relate to what I am singing about. It’s become quite natural for me to showcase that vulnerability in my music, probably because I am growing more and more comfortable with who I am as a person and an artist.
Now that you’re in London, how do you feel within the music community? Was the scene here one of the factors for moving?
I am really loving tapping into this community. It was a huge factor in why I moved here over a year ago. I played a couple shows here in the Spring of 2017 and I fell in love with the people and the energy of London. It was so easy to become connected in the scene and work with such talented people, especially in the type of music I wanted to make.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any new music at the moment?
I am always working on new music! At the moment I have been working with a few different artists on their projects, but I also have a ton of music in the works for myself to release next year.
Thanks a lot to The Pit London for introducing me to Laura’s music, but more importantly Laura Roy herself for the insight into her musical journey. I wish you all the best, and will be sure to support you in the future! You can listen to Laura Roy’s Forte EP below via Soundcloud. Make sure you support!