We had a chat with atmospheric singer-songwriter Lauren Aquilina about recording her debut album, playing Barn On The Farm festival and being tweeted by Taylor Swift…
How would you describe your music for people who don’t know you?
Cinematic, dreamy pop. Very focused on the lyric and story-telling side of things…
You’re in the middle of recording your debut album – how’s it going?
It’s going well! Slowly but surely getting there. It’s such a long and emotional process (well, for me anyway) that I go through real extreme ups and downs with it. Some days it feels amazing, and other days I just feel so lost and like I’m doing it all wrong. I think that’s natural… Well, I hope it is.
Was it easy to write?
Not at all. It’s taken me two years… And I’m still writing now just in case I better myself! I went through something really difficult last year, and it was so difficult that I felt like I couldn’t even write about it because I just didn’t want to think about it. So, for a while I just didn’t write… That was really tough. I’ve been writing pretty much every day since I was thirteen – it’s how I deal with my problems! Luckily I found my creativity again.
Why did you decide to release your Fools, Sinners and Liars EPs as a series, as opposed to just doing three very separate stand-alone releases?
I just saw every singer-songwriter under the sun releasing EPs at the time, and I wanted to make myself different and do something to make myself stand out. Clever concepts, stories and visuals are really important to me as an artist too, so I always knew that was going to play a big part in it.
You’re also playing a few festival shows this summer – what’s the best thing about playing festivals?
Getting to see other amazing artists play!
You’re playing Barn on the Farm festival – are you looking forward to it?
I’m so excited. It’s the best small festival I know in the UK.
Have you got many fond memories of Barn on the Farm?
I played it in 2013, and loads of my friends were on the line-up too. We all got really drunk and watched Benjamin Francis Leftwich on the Saturday night, which was cool. I love the fact that all the artists can just walk around and chat to everyone too… It’s lovely.
Let’s talk about songwriting – can you talk us through your songwriting process?
It’s really different every time, but the best songs always come when I feel naturally compelled to write. Very occasionally I’ll force myself to sit at the piano and come up with a nice melody or something, but normally it stems from a core feeling. I’ll usually start writing lyrics on my phone or laptop and just take it from there.
Out of every song you’ve ever written, which is your favourite?
It’s a song on the album that’s going to be the first single. I won’t say what it’s called yet. It’s the only song that I managed to write about my ‘difficult’ situation last year, and it’s about me escaping that. It’s also the song that made me realise what my sound was, and set the production tone for the rest of the album. I wrote it over a year ago now and I still listen to it at least once a day. I love it so much.
Do you tend to write from personal experiences?
Always, I don’t know how to write any other way!
What made you want to start making music in the first place?
I’ve always been obsessed with words and poetry; when I was eight I would take Girls Aloud songs and steal all the melodies but write my own lyrics! I was always fascinated with pianos, too, so once I put the two together, I was off… It’s weird. Nobody else in my family is even remotely musical!
Out of every song ever recorded, which do you wish you’d written?
God, that’s such a tough one! Happy Birthday?
What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you through your involvement with the music industry?
Getting tweeted by Taylor Swift whilst I was sat at home in my pyjamas, eating Nutella out of the jar, and watching Harry Potter. That was probably the most surreal moment.
Describe yourself in three words?
Fragile. Emotional eater.
See Lauren Aquilina at Barn on the Farm Festival. For more information please visit www.barnonthefarm.co.uk.