It has often been stated that for some artists it is better to miss out on success in TV reality shows and use the experience and exposure gained to plough your own creative furrow (minus those pesky TV people who always seem to want to re-package a performer).
Soulful voiced singer-songwriter Laura White has done just that. In 2008 she was a popular contestant on The X Factor and she then saw here dreams fall apart.
The divine Miss White was the subject of countless newspaper articles and TV news spots, when Judge Louis Walsh made the controversial decision to vote her off of the show.
Luckily Laura has indeed used the experience to her advantage and has bounced back with her stunning debut EP ‘What My Mother Taught Me’.
We love the way her material echoes the sounds of Motown and similar genre from decades gone by. Here are highlights from our chat with this highly talented young lady.
Hi Laura, first up lets get our readers to know a bit more about you. What have you been doing since we last saw you (2008’s X Xactor)?
Since 2008 I have toured the country and parts of the world with my music, playing Arenas and filling my own venues with my music (The Lowry Manchester).
I have been writing my music and working in studios everyday for myself and also writing many songs for other artists.
I have been working interacting with my fans, and developing my art as an artist and living in London doing this.
The highlights have been singing for the Primeminister, Writing a number 1 hit song, Signing to my management TurnFirst Artists, having a num 14 Official Itunes hit and releasing my debut EP and gaining 200,000 fans online independently. How do you feel now about the controversial nature of your exit from the show?
I feel my controversial exit was amazing! Being the only artist to be discussed in parliament off the show was incredible.. my mum has a letter in her front room from Downing Street!
It was a moment of love from the UK knowing how much my music and voice was loved. 150,000 people petitioned its been crazy!
Would you still advise people to enter such a competition?
I would tell people to go for the show but for the right reasons. Before i did the show I had gigged 6 years tirelessly, built a huge following on myspace, was in mark Ronsons band, had done everything to get heard and did the show to be able to gain fans to release music not to be famous.
This should be why people use the show to work harder and do it for the music. The show gave me a bigger platform, taught me valuable lessons and made people listen to my music. For that I am entirely grateful. Getting back to your own wok. What can you tell the readers about your debut four track EP?
My debut EP is something I am incredibly proud of. I wrote all of the ep, worked with musicians, writers and a producer that I really believed in.
I feel the 4 songs all symbolize how I had been feeling over the last few years and I think everyone in the UK, no matter who you are can relate to it.
‘Rush hour’ for instance, is a song I wrote about a guy I love and how I had the urge to be honest and go and drive through London to tell him at work I was in love with him.. I think most girls can relate to this!
You write all your own material too. How do you go about creating a new song?
When I write I always start with looking for an idea, a title that I think is unique, like nothing else I’ve heard before that excites me.. Then everyday whatever I feel, I write. So, If im upset with a guy I write it, if im in love madly I write it, if im missing home I write it whatever! Always piano chords first ( I play) and then the melody comes and then the lyric when I am happy. I now write all of my material, I love to write. I write everywhere with my diary, I take it and write poetry most places I go to and use this in the studio.
You have a very distinctive and rich style to your songwriting and vocals. Who would you say influences you as an artist?
Thank you! I’d say Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Alicia Keys!
What about collaborations. Have you any artists you would love to work with?
I would love to collab only with people I am truly excited about and who I believe in. Obviously Aretha or Stevie, but also someone like drake would add something different to me and lyrically I love his work plus hes my dream man!
What is next for after your EP is released. Have you a full album in the works for example?
I plan to release another ep and keep getting my music out to my fans and the world and I plan to take my music as far as I can. my dream is to win a grammy for my music.
Your new EP will be a huge success we are sure. What would it mean to you to receive rave reviews and hear your songs played on the radio?
It means everything to me and more. I truly have worked for 11 years, writing, developing every single day.
When I have had people telling me ‘no’ I would not stand for it I believe in breaking boundaries for my music I just want to get my music out to the fans and believe completely in what I do.
My fans are everything to me and they bring me all the joy in the world. I have heard my songs played on radio and everytime its so amazing!
Finally Laura, may we ask you how you got in to the music business and what your dreams/aspirations were back then?
My dreams / aspirations were always to get real music out to the world that was real, organic music and a lyric that was my own. A message for the people, Im a normal girl who has been in love, had heartbreak, suffered and succeeded.
Im a fighter and believe I want to give this message to the world that they can fight with me. I started music when I trained classical piano aged 8.
But hearing Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill I was a girl who would sit and play these albums over and over just so lost in the music and knew then how I felt in my heart was different, I guess then I knew I was a musician.
I think you get in the industry if you are already in it in your mind! I worked professionally gigging since I was 15 and never stopped!
Whilst other kids were out clubbing etc i was writing and playing music and gigging if you make something your life it will eventually be your reality and you are already ‘in’ the industry!
You can pre order my debut ep at itunes now Laura White ‘What my mother taught me’. Also twitter @laurawhiteoffic facebook.com/Laurawhiteofficial
Thank you ! xxx lots of love xxx