Back in October, we chatted to British singer-songwriter Lauren Ray just prior to her heading out on tour and now ahead of her Woman In The Arena tour, we felt it was only right to properly introduce you to the rising star.
In 2016 Lauren released her debut album; We Will Need Courage which was followed last year by Inside This Silence. When listening to her tracks one thing is clear, Lauren’s sound knows no boundaries as one moment we’re in a country world with Come To Me and the next we’re having a dance to a fiery pop track on Irreplaceable. Latest single Moment captures the essence of the importance of the now and living in that moment. With an upbeat melody, there’s a real sense of summer in this track with some Katy Perry-esque vibes and a catchy pop-country twist. Lyrically lines such as ‘I won’t let you down, you’ll be proud looking down wherever from’ make this an exciting yet still emotive track to introduce listeners to just what Lauren Ray is about.
During her time in music, Lauren has performed shows with the likes of Lucy Spraggan, Rebecca Ferguson and Paul Carrack which has taken her to prestigious venues such as Shepherds Bush Empire and the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
With her new album, Woman In The Arena produced by Julian Emery set for release in the upcoming months, it looks as if 2019 is going to be an exciting year for Lauren. We had a quick chat to find out more about her music from the lady herself:
Can you sum yourself up in five words?
Five words are not enough
You’re releasing your new album Woman In The Arena in the hopefully not so distant future, can you tell us more about the release and the recording process?
The album is made up of 10 new original songs which I am really proud of. I worked to be more honest and vulnerable in my writing and tackle slightly different subject matter than I did on my first album. One thing I really aimed to have is a proper upbeat love song – something I’d not written or released before. I have been really lucky that writer/producer Julian Emery agreed to work with me on this project. I knew his work through artists like Lissie and Nothing But Thieves and had always been keen to work with him at some point. He really understood what I wanted to create and worked to make it sound even better than I could imagine – he was an absolute joy to work with.
When you were growing up which artists did you listen to, do you feel they’ve influenced your sound?
Growing up I was mostly exposed to pop music radio – it was the 90s so it was a lot of Garage and R&B music plus Spice Girls and Britney Spears. I started songwriting in my teenage years so I found myself gravitating towards the singer/songwriter sound so I listed to great female writers and singers like Norah Jones, Alicia Keys and Alanis Morissette and then artists like John Mayer, Frou Frou and Coldplay. I took inspiration from all these artists and learned how a song should work from learning their songs. Today I listen to so much music it’s hard to really pinpoint a particular artist or genre that influences me but an artist with a good melody and interesting lyrics will hook me in every time.
What’s your favourite lyric on Woman In The Arena and why?
Oooh hard to choose but maybe..
“At any given moment this could all just blow away” – Moment
I think it’s probably a fairly simple lyric but it represents a shift in how I’ve started to feel about everything and has affected my songwriting overall as I’m trying to be more honest and vulnerable in it. It’s probably a cliche and somewhat trite but realising you have no idea when you might lose someone you love or you might be at the end of the line yourself is equally terrifying but exhilarating and really forces you to value and appreciate the time you get with those people.
Aside from the album release what’s coming this year?
I’ve got some shows in the diary and I am planning more for the end of the year with the band which I am looking forward to. I’ve also started writing a lot more for other artists which I am really enjoying and who knows what that will lead to.
Lauren Ray is heading out on tour starting at the end of the month, you can catch her at the following shows:
29th May Birmingham, Kitchen Garden Café
30th May, Newcastle Prohibition Cabaret Bar
7th June, Bristol Cafe Kino
13th June, London The Troubadour